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Advisory Committee Chair

David Littlefield

Advisory Committee Members

Jason T Kirby

Kenneth Marion

Steven B Scyphers

David Steffy

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2022

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Public Health

Abstract

The impoundment of rivers in the southeastern United States has led to the creation of reservoirs that have seen the riparian zone become heavily developed with residential real estate. As the hybrid river/lake systems started forming new shorelines, property owners reacted by attempting to reduce their losses. This has been done in a variety of ways, with the majority falling into the bulkhead category. The use of vertical hard armament has resulted in a loss of ecological function and an increase in erosion of the lakebed at the toe or escarpment. In response to this, the idea was proposed by the USACE that future projects should be of the variation referred to as living shorelines. In order to evaluate a living shoreline technique on a reservoir, a plan was devised to meet the criteria to be the first permitted attempt on an Alabama reservoir. A geotextile erosion sock filled with material that would not float was chosen. To quantify and evaluate the results of this attempt, data was collected on waves, soil type, erosion/accretion, and upland groundwater monitoring wells. A survey to include the socioeconomic opinions of the local waterfront property owners was implemented. Wave data was compared to a coastal site due to available literature on living shorelines referring to coastal shoreline revetment. The results of testing showed that erosion in the horizontal direction was as effective as hard armament, while no significant escarpment occurred at the toe.

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