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______________________________
Groundwater

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
Vegetation

____ 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