rb lib bulkhead 4 071013The crumbling bulkhead of the Red Bank Public Library, at right above, is slated for replacement with a new one, rather than a living shoreline. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Back during the summer of 2014, in a controversial decision reported here on redbankgreen, the Red Bank council opted to rebuild a bulkhead along the Navesink River-fronting property of the borough public library — a move that disappointed proponents of the more environmentally friendly “living shoreline” approach.

How’s this for irony? Nearly two years later, the historic library building on West Front Street plays host this Saturday to representatives of the American Littoral Society, who’ll make a presentation on the many benefits of living shorelines in an age of climate change and increased erosion risk.

Scheduled to run for two hours, the informational session begins at 11 a.m. with a short video produced by the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance on the effects of climate change, specific to the communities of the Jersey Shore.

The littoral society’s Zack Royle will follow up with a discussion of how naturally harmonious living shorelines can protect resources and improve coastal resiliency. The program will also include a Q&A session with a panel of professionals who are involved in various aspects of coastal resiliency work, from projects to policy.

From the society’s press release:

Coastlines are facing growing threats from rising sea levels and increasingly intense storms. Traditional protections, such as bulkheads and seawalls, not only carry high maintenance costs, but may not be the best tools for countering new threats.

Besides being aesthetically pleasing, living shorelines typically reduce erosion by dissipating wave energy and stabilizing upland soils. They also provide habitat and settlement substrate for aquatic wildlife, and improve water quality. Living shorelines help maintain a healthy coastal ecosystem that is also more storm resilient and resistant.

Light refreshments will be served. While the event is free of charge, reservations are recommended, and can be made by emailing or calling (732) 291-0055.