Scaling shoreline restoration to improve nearshore marine habitat for salmon and forage fishes

Researchers study the link between shoreline type (armored, restored, natural) and fish assemblages by conducting surveys and integrating their new data into an existing database to gain insight into this link at multiple spatial scales.

Principal Investigator

Tessa Francis, University of Washington Tacoma, Puget Sound Institute

Co-Principal Investigators

Timothy Essington, University of Washington

Jameal Samhouri, NOAA Fisheries/NMFS

Jason Toft, University of Washington


To fill the gap in knowledge regarding how shoreline restoration affects subtidal habitat and fish assemblages, researchers will conduct fish surveys of restored, armored and natural shorelines. This new empirical data will reveal whether restored and natural shoreline types provide higher quality habitat for fish. The research team will also evaluate how associations between fish assemblages and nearshore habitat vary at different spatial scales by synthesizing their data with existing data from the Beach Strategies database — a highly-resolved dataset on shoreline characteristics — and regional environmental data. Their data will also be incorporated into the Beach Strategies database, which is a valuable tool for analyzing the potential effectiveness of shoreline restoration actions.