Shoreline Decision Support Tool


The Shoreline Decision Support Tool is an interactive guidance system that provides the user with a recommended shoreline erosion control strategy. The recommendation is based on the user’s answers to a series of questions that help to characterize the shoreline condition. The tool integrates the best available science on shoreline management, and follows the logic pathways behind Version 5.1 of the Shoreline Management Model (SMM) developed by the Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) at VIMS for tidal shoreline erosion control in Virginia. The model and decision support tool have been adapted to accommodate geographies along the Gulf Coast of the United States with funding from the NOAA RESTORE SCIENCE PROGRAM. Application of the tool to other geographies may require additional adaptations depending on the region (e.g rocky coastlines).


The decision support tool provides guidance on shoreline erosion management strategies appropriate for your setting. This is not a design tool. Design specifications for any project should be done in consultation with regulatory authorities, technical advisors and contractors.

How to

The tool is responsive and quick. Simply answer the questions and proceed. The first question determines if your shoreline is currently defended with a bulkhead, seawall or revetment against the upland. The next four questions determine if your shoreline requires special consideration due to the presence of sensitive habitats or the complex arrangement of features. If you answer “yes” to any of these four questions, the query ends with recommended next steps. If you answer “no” to all four of these questions, you will be allowed to continue. When all questions have been answered, click “Submit My Answers” and a summary window with the recommended strategy will open. This window describes the recommended strategy, reviews the answers provided, offers pictures to illustrate examples of the recommended practice, allows you to go back and change answers if necessary, and provides a print option in the upper right corner of the panel.

Not sure how to answer the questions? Each question has a help section. Simply click on the following each question. The pop-up window offers explanations, examples and pictures on how to measure and/or answer the question. Click the button located across the top of the help panel to close it. To clear all answers and reset the page, click the "Reset" button floating in the lower left corner of the tool.

Project Partners:

Scroll to top of page