Cost Considerations

How much do living shorelines cost?

The cost of a living shoreline project will vary based on a variety of factors. Knowing the size and extent of the area to be improved is important for creating an accurate cost estimate. With the wide array of living shoreline options and each project site being unique, it is difficult to calculate a “standard” linear foot cost for installation. Factors to consider in a project budget include:

  • Permitting and surveying costs
  • Engineering and design of the project
  • Mobilization and demobilization associated with the construction of the living shoreline
  • Accessibility and procurement of materials
  • Annual or bi-annual project monitoring and maintenance

Keep in mind, living shorelines can be completed in phases as budgets allow. For example, a property owner can start a living shoreline project by planting marsh vegetation and add additional materials such as reef balls and breakwaters at a later date, if needed. Below are some general cost estimates for the different living shoreline options typically used along the Texas coast.

Cost Estimates for Living Shoreline Options

Living Shoreline Material Costs Table

*Oyster shell is not commercially available in Texas and must be acquired from an oyster wholesaler. Oyster shell-based living shorelines will primarily be a building option for local governments, community groups, and nonprofit organizations.
** Cost estimates are from 2018-2019.

Example Costs

View the interactive map below to explore costs of successful Living Shoreline projects implemented in Texas. Note that all the projects listed involved Hybrid Stabilization, or Retrofit: Hybrid Stabilization. Soft Stabilization and Retrofit: Soft Stabilization projects may not require the same engineering, material, and construction costs, but the choice of living shoreline type is dependent on shoreline conditions. A Soft Stabilization approach will not work where physical conditions necessitate hard breakwaters.

View larger map.