Living Shorelines Team

illustration of trees at shoreline

Ecosystem-friendly alternatives to traditional coastal defense structures are becoming more prevalent as they can provide superior coastal protective services to traditional infrastructure, while also generating additional benefits to society such as carbon sequestration and nursery functions. We are working to improve the science of living shorelines in North Carolina, including creating a vision for a marsh plant nursery at the Duke Marine Lab. Additionally, NSOE faculty are leading a global effort to test how intentionally including positive feedbacks generated by species into restoration can lead to drastic, and no cost increases in restoration efficiency. Duke Restore will provide a larger platform for integration of these findings across all the world’s ecosystems to maximize ecological and social restoration outcomes.

Our Team

Dr. Carter Smith
Faculty Advisor
Nanditha Ram Satagopan
1st Year Lead
Emma Brentjens
1st Year Lead
Nicholas Fairbairn
2nd Year Lead
Fanny Yang
Grace Chamberlain

Our Goals and Projects

In Fall 2022, the Living Shorelines Team hosted a collaborative meeting inviting members to co-create our team’s goals. The following goals emerged as most pertinent:

  1. Build a marsh plant nursery at the Duke University Marine Lab (DUML)
  2. Conduct a feasibility assessment for living shorelines in novel ecosystems
  3. Research and develop policy recommendations that tilt the status quo toward “greener, softer” shoreline stabilization approaches
  4. Develop Duke Restore communication channels (e.g., website, Instagram) and maintain a publications database
  5. Explore the blue carbon benefits of living shorelines; update the DUML carbon budget and propose offsets in the form of living shorelines*

*we are currently seeking a project lead for goal 5. Please contact for more information.

Get Involved

  • Join us on Zoom for a meeting on Wednesday evenings from 5-6pm ET
  • Reach the whole team by contacting

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