Mark P. Cencer, P.E., Director of Coastal Engineering Services at KS Associates, Inc., was among the instructors during a new certification program for nature-based shorelines — the first of its kind in Ohio. Cencer, along with environmental engineers at GEI Consultants, have been working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Office of Coastal Management to develop a unique program to certify practitioners in the design and construction of nature-based shorelines.
In 2020, ODNR selected the KS and GEI team to develop design guidelines, specifications, training manuals, and a framework for a hands-on field installation of a nature-based shoreline at the Old Woman Creek State Nature Preserve in Huron, Ohio. The installation of living shorelines is becoming increasingly important for our region’s ecosystem. Unlike hard structures such as stone revetments and concrete seawalls, nature-based shorelines provide the opportunity to restore natural structure and function to Lake Erie’s coastal areas. When implemented correctly, nature-based shorelines prevent erosion, improve water quality, and promote fish and wildlife habitat.
KS Associates and GEI provided technical insight and worked with ODNR to develop this unique program. The course is designed to:
- Help practitioners determine when natural vs. man-made shore protection makes sense.
- Provide step-by-step instruction on the use of native plantings and natural elements such as coir logs and live fascines.
- Include a hands-on day in the field to install a living shoreline along a stretch of beach at the Old Woman Creek preserve.
The first program included two days of classroom instruction on March 2 and 3, 2022, with a brief field visit on day two. A full day in the field installing the living shoreline at Old Woman Creek will take place in May 2022.
Participants receive a certificate of program completion valid for three years, Professional Development Hours (PDHs), and American Planning Association (APA) certification maintenance credit.
ODNR anticipates holding additional training sessions in 2023.