At a Glance

A waterfront community turns to nature-based solutions to replenish and protect eroding beaches.

Project Description

Located on the shore of the Magothy River, the waterfront community of Cape St. Claire had experienced historic and ongoing shoreline erosion. With the future impacts of climate change in mind, the community sought to replenish and protect its beachfront. Biohabitats was brought in to review all natural resources of the 1500-acre community's landholdings and prioritize restoration opportunities. After conducting topographic and bathymetric surveys, assessing the site's ecological and physical features, and analyzing shoreline recession and engineering, Biohabitats developed several conceptual, and ultimately final restoration designs for two high priority sites.

At Site 1, at the confluence of the Magothy and Little Magothy Rivers and adjacent to the community park and beach, the design aimed to stop shoreline erosion and restore processes that would allow beach accretion. This was accomplished by coupling a headland breakwater with a small groin. At Site 2, 40 reef balls and large trees with intact roots were placed near the outlet from a 4-acre still pond dominated by stormwater runoff. This element created a complex shallow water environment ideal for fish and waterbirds. A battenboard face was constructed along an existing community pier to act as a groin to retain sand entrained in longshore drift to build the adjacent beach and reduce maintenance dredging of the marina on the other side of the pier. Both site designs integrated the removal and management of invasive Phragmites and the installation of native species.



Chesapeake/Delaware Bays


Magothy River

Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Coastal, Community, Conservation, Design & Build, Ecological Restoration, General Contracting, Water


Cape St. Claire Improvement Association & Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay


Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Project Team
  • Sustainable Science
  • Shoreline Design, LLC
  • ER&M