In the coastal marshes of Georgia, erosion is a constant force reshaping the landscape. In areas of human settlement, however, this erosion can threaten property and cause other problems. For this reason, scientists are developing new methods to control erosion that are more effective and more environmentally sensitive than prior methods.

The “living shoreline” approach has been tested and achieved success in several locations. This approach uses natural materials such as sand and oyster shells, bagged and secured, to form a retaining wall in the portion of the shoreline prone to erosion. Applying many such bags effectively stabilizes the shoreline while providing benefits to the ecology above and below the surface.

This video features a pilot project on Sapelo Island, Georgia, organized by the Nature Conservancy in partnership with Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources, the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Student Conservation Association. Georgia-Pacific supports the Nature Conservancy in Georgia and its work to conserve and enhance the coastal environment.