Coastal Property Owner Checklist

This checklist will help you evaluate your property, and determine what steps you need to take to stabilize your slopes and halt erosion (Printer-friendly version of the checklist.)

What landform(s) are located on my property?

(check glossary definitions)

  • Low Bluff (for this publication, < 10 feet)
  • High Bluff (for this publication, > 10 feet)
  • Low Cliff (not generally applicable to this publication)
  • High Cliff (not generally applicable to this publication)
  • Low Bank (for this publication, < 10 feet)
  • High Bank (for this publication, > 10 feet)
  • Beach with Backshore Berms of Sand/Gravel/Cobbles (marine/estuarine)
  • Wetlands (check with County Planning Office)

Property Description and Observations

____ What is the elevation of the house above the
high tide water surface?

____ What is the average angle of the slope face?

____ Do waves reach the toe of the slope?

____ Has the slope face been recontoured or filled?

What are the diameters of beach sediments around the slope toe?(e.g. sand/gravel/cobbles)

What is soil material type(s) of the slope?

Factors Influencing Slope Erosion and Stability

Surface Water Runoff, Wind and Frost Wedging

Can the effects of surface water runoff be visually identified?

  • Rainfall impact erosion
  • Soil rills and gullies
  • Winter freeze-thaw evidence
  • Wind erosion
  • Pipe discharge erosion

What does your property contribute to runoff?

  • Significant upland impervious surface
  • Drainage pipe discharge onto slope
  • Sprinkling/irrigation/hot tub releases
  • Other______________________________

Is there evidence of groundwater in the slope?

  • Seepage or damp surfaces seen on the slope face
  • Active or historical landslides

What are your contributions to groundwater in the slope?

  • Water infiltration areas (roof and curtain drains)
  • Septic system
  • Irrigation systems

____ Is there vegetation on or adjacent to the slope? If yes, where is it and what are the species?

If no, is there evidence of past vegetation?

What happened to it and what were the species?
(check other properties)

____ Is there evidence of vegetation movement down the slope?

Marine Waters

____ Is there a noticable beach width above the high water line?

____ Are wave energies eroding the toe of the slope?

____ Are there coastal erosion control structures along the beach of your or neighboring properties? (e.g. bulkheads)

____ If yes, are these structures causing erosion?

____ Is your property flood prone?

Slope Use

How do you use the slope?

  • Access to the beach (trail/road/stairs/other)
  • Vegetation removal for view maintenance
  • Horticultural/garden areas
  • Waste/debris fills
  • Natural greenbelt including slope crest