How it works

Green Shores has been created to encourage solutions that treat land in a shore-friendly way. It applies to all types of shorelines in both marine and lake environments – from rock to sand and gravel shores, estuaries to mudflats, rock cliffs to coastal bluffs.

Green Shores is Science-Based

Green Shores designs dissipate wave energy, reduce storm surge and lessen flooding. They also restore habitats, coastal ecology, sediment transport processes and natural areas.

Ratings and certification option

Green Shores is voluntary, incentive-based program similar to green building rating programs such as Built Green™ and LEED™. Shoreline projects receive points for design features from four categories of credits. View our Ratings Guides on our Resources page.

Adapting to Sea Level Rise

Green Shores is also one way to adapt to, and prepare for, rising sea levels.

The images below compare hard armouring and Green Shores soft armouring approaches. The dotted line in the water is 1 m of sea level rise.

In the top image, a barrier like a sea wall is erected. The foreshore is eliminated, and it’s only possible to see over the barrier by climbing up on a platform.

The lower image shows a Green Shores solution for a gravel or pebble beach. In this case, the natural foreshore remains, and access to the beach is preserved.

Hard Alternative with 1 metre sea level rise and storm surge (waves not shown)

Soft alternative with gravel/pebble/cobble beach and 1 metre sea level rise and storm surge (waves not shown)


This design is just one example. There are many different Green Shore design options such as offshore reefs, dunes, vegetation, etc.

See some of our case studies to see how Green Shores has been applied to different projects.