Living Shorelines Restoration

Franklin Point

Visitors of Franklin Point State Park can witness scenic views as they explore the park’s 477 acres of marshes, forests, sandy shorelines, and grassy fields. Unfortunately, low elevation and exposure to high wave energy has caused the shoreline of a 30-acre peninsula within the park to erode, with an average of 8 feet lost per year and bank heights up to 3.5 feet in some areas. As erosion causes the marshes and forests in the area to disappear, the surrounding land and nearby community of Shady Side becomes more exposed to storms and other impacts of climate change. A 2011 Sea Level Rise Strategic Plan published by Anne Arundel County identified Franklin Point State Park as vulnerable to sea level rise, with the Deale/Shady Side area as having the greatest number of impacted residences in the county.

To stabilize the peninsula, enhance the existing wildlife habitat and improve community resilience, Arundel Rivers Federation will construct 1,060 linear feet of living shoreline with breakwater and sill features that will mitigate the effects of coastal storms, sea-level rise, flooding, and erosion. Thousands of native grasses and other plants will be added to increase the integrity of the natural marsh, reduce rates of erosion and absorb wave energy before it can damage critical infrastructure. Stabilizing the Franklin Point shoreline will protect both community and ecological resources for current and future generations.

The project was designed by Coastline Design, constructed by Resource Restoration Group, and funded by MD Dept. of the Environment and MD Dept. of Natural Resources. This site was selected as a pilot project for the state’s new Resiliency Through Restoration Initiative to demonstrate how nature-based practices can help address flooding and erosion to protect people, infrastructure, and ecosystems.