Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP)

Legacy Department

City and Regional Planning

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dyckman, Caitlin

Committee Member

London , James

Committee Member

Allen , Jeffery


Erosion control is one of the many tasks of managing land use in a coastal community, but it is arguably one of the most important issues. Increasing human growth in the coastal regions of the United States places heavy demands on fragile coastal systems that cannot sustain population increases. There is a need for sound shoreline management strategies to combat and/or mitigate this problem. The purpose of this study is to determine innovations in shoreline management and inform the remainder of the Assessment of Shoreline Change Options in South Carolina project. This study asked and analyzed the following three research questions: (1) What is the past, current, and emerging thought with respect to shoreline management; (2) What are the program structures, regulatory framework, and planning tools used in coastal states; and (3) What are current and emerging approaches for addressing shoreline management? To answer these, the study triangulated the following methodology: (1) background assessment of coastal geography, development and population pressures, and institutional management program structure; (2) legal research, including statute, regulation, and plan compilation by states, and comparative analysis; and (3) a coastal manager survey administered in each coastal state. The study concluded that the preferred shoreline management approach currently is soft stabilization, although there is a need for integration of tools to better control growth, and use of these tools does appear to be on the rise. There is a widespread need among coastal states for increased data and funding, in addition to public education and funding for land acquisition. Despite these limitations, states are actively pursuing innovative methods of shoreline management and recognizing the effects that sea level rise will have on coastal management. Finally, this study urges more specificity for shoreline management in Section 306 of the Coastal Zone Management Act.



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