The Giant Marsh Living Shoreline Project, constructed at Point Pinole, uses a variety of nature-based shoreline treatments to provide ecological and sea-level rise adaptation benefits.

Why does this project matter?

The project restored approximately 100 acres of subtidal habitat, and is the first large-scale project to be built from the concepts developed in the Coastal Conservancy’s San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines Project, which investigated several nature-based engineering approaches to combat sea level rise while enhancing habitat. After years of monitoring, the Giant Marsh Living Shoreline Project has a wealth of data that will inform future sea-level rise adaptation projects.

What is ESA doing to help?

To advance the science and practice of living shoreline techniques in San Francisco Bay, ESA led the engineering design, permitting, and implementation of several nature-based approaches to sea-level rise including the design and installation of several unique oyster reef balls or cubes composed of concrete and shell units.

These uniquely crafted reef units were strategically placed in the low marsh area to function as a buffer against wind waves, contributing to shoreline protection.

The Giant Marsh project incorporated a diverse range of tidal and subtidal plant species, including eelgrass, rockweed, and native cordgrass. These plant species were carefully integrated into the ecosystem to enhance ecological resilience.

ESA’s monitoring of wave attenuation over the oyster reef, reef stability, and sedimentation is being utilized to support future nature-based adaptation projects across the region. This comprehensive approach to living shorelines is helping to drive scientific understanding and practical application in San Francisco Bay and beyond.



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“This project represents a big push forward towards understanding how we can use habitat restoration to also protect shores."

Katharyn Boyer, Coastal Ecologist

San Francisco State University's Estuary & Ocean Science Center

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