Term of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Chester Jackson

Committee Member 1

Christine Hladik

Committee Member 2

Risa Cohen


Anthropogenic stabilization of erosional shorelines by hard-armoring structures is used for protection of property, especially if buildings, historical monuments, cultural resources, or other infrastructure are present. The post-installation effects of shoreline stabilization structures on adjacent shorelines in the back-barrier marshes of coastal Georgia are a concern, and interest in living shorelines as erosion control devices has increased because of their use of natural materials and vegetation. AMBUR shoreline analysis software was used to calculate pre-and post-installation shoreline change rates of shorelines adjacent to riprap and bulkhead structures. There was no significant difference between the post-installation shoreline change rates of the structures, but individually there is erosion immediately adjacent to four of the structures after installation (the end-around effect). Vegetation percent cover, stem height, and stem densities were measured in addition to shoreline change rates. Analysis of vegetation showed similarities between shorelines adjacent to living shorelines and control sites. There are significant differences in to vegetation cover between riprap structures and the control sites, and these results showed that installation of riprap structures significantly changes the vegetation cover of the adjacent, unprotected shorelines. These results provide novel methodologies and initial data for determining the influence of erosion control structures on back-barrier shorelines. The researcher identified limitations with available data sets and supplied needed results to researchers for future study and to coastal managers for better informed decision making about the effects of shoreline stabilization structures on adjacent shorelines.

Research Data and Supplementary Material