- The Washington Times - Monday, September 21, 2009

CRISFIELD, Md. (AP) | Tim Garner spent $10,000 and four months of his time working on the shoreline of the waterfront property his family has owned since 1994.

Now, more than a year later, plants are more than 6 feet high along the waterfront that is also host to a variety of wildlife.

“You name it, it’s in there: fish, crabs, frogs, minnows, plus everything native,” Mr. Garner said.

He hopes his efforts in the spring of 2008 and his subsequent success will inspire others to restore shorelines around the Chesapeake, which environmentalists say can help reduce erosion and maintain wildlife habitat.

Kevin Smith of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said workshops promoting living shorelines and teaching cultivation techniques have been the most effective way to raise erosion-control awareness.

“The living-shoreline movement is progressing,” Mr. Smith said, adding that it is also sorely needed. “You would be hard pressed to find shoreline in some areas of the state, so we continue to promote shoreline revitalization through these workshops.”

“We had over a hundred people come out, and many of them showed interest in it,” Mr. Garner said about the workshop he helped lead. “People just need to see that someone else has had success, and hopefully, that will get them involved.”

For anyone interested in becoming involved in shoreline revitalization, Mr. Smith recommends first contacting the natural resources department.

Also, a property owner can offer land by easement through a state service, and the state-funded project will pay for habitat restoration work done on the owner’s land. Mr. Garner chose to research preservation techniques and do it himself with his own money.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” Mr. Garner said. “It not only protects the shoreline and provides a habitat, but it stops shoreline erosion and provides property owners a beautiful, scenic view.”

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