As the proper sill for a Living Shoreline, oysters protected the marsh toe during normal tides. The marsh grass roots the bottom sediments in place and captures any damaging runoff from the uplands. There was little erosion when Capt. John Smith made these observations about the clear and fabulously productive waters in the Bay.
The structures are hydro-dynamically designed to break up wave energy, working as a reverse revetment to capture sediment behind it. The oysters themselves have the ability to grow to the MHW mark, creating a wall that will self-heighten as sea level rises, protecting vital marsh.