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Each shoreline has inherent biophysical capabilities and limitations. Key physical characteristics indicate which ecosystem processes formed and maintain each shoreline type and its ecological functions. It is helpful to classify shorelines into different types based on these physical characteristics. (Rule citation)
Classification provides for a better understanding of how the different shorelines types were formed and how susceptible a given shoreline segment is to impacts from various uses. Because shoreline ecological functions are created and maintained by the flow of water, material (i.e. sediment, large woody debris) and organisms, we may infer the condition of the shoreline by identifying the source, transport and end point of these flows and the extent to which they are interrupted or remain intact.
These classifications are a first step in dividing the shoreline jurisdiction into management reaches based on localized processes. Subsequent steps will firm up these reach breaks and establish environment designation boundaries.
Back to Task 2.2.2: Characterize shoreline functions
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