Shoreline Stabilization at Muses Beach

We have talked about the many benefits that constructing a living shoreline can do for the environment. Constructing a living shoreline in a heavily eroded shoreline can provide habitat for wildlife as well as being a natural resilience to communities that are near the waterfront.

EQR teamed up with the Navy, Stantec and Blossom Consulting & Engineering, Inc. to construct a shoreline stabilization in late October 2017 at Muse Beach in Westmoreland County, VA. The project area is located along the Potomac River. It is approximately 4 miles downriver from Colonial Beach and directly adjacent to Range Station 21, a part of the Potomac River Test Range, operated by the Naval Surface Warfare Center.



Westmoreland County has architectural, historical, and archaeological resources unmatched to most other counties in Virginia, with a combined 394 records to date. Resources that surround the project area include the George Washington Birthplace National Monument, located approximately 0.8 miles southwest, and the Westmoreland State Park Historic District, located approximately 2.5 miles east of the site area.

Construction consisted of 240 linear feet of shoreline stabilization. Consistent, high energy tidal currents had begun to erode the existing property and threaten natural resources. The crew used 621 tons of fill and sand material to extend the shoreline and protected it with a revetment using Class III Riprap. Revetments are common in shoreline stabilization; they absorb wave energy and protect slopes from further erosion. A recreational kayak path was also installed, and the surrounding area was planted with a variety of grasses and shrubs. The crew finished construction ahead of schedule, considering their struggles associated with constant heavy wave action and tight working space. The new shoreline will provide rich, active habitat for fish and wildlife and structural integrity to the water’s edge.


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