Closing Keynote: Coastal Resiliency and Habitat Restoration through Living Shorelines

Keith Bowers


     Our coastal and nearshore areas serve as critical habitat for a wide variety of aquatic and riparian species. These species and the ecosystem functions that support them are under threat from overdevelopment, pollution, urbanization and sea level rise. Living shorelines are gaining traction as a viable natural alternative to harden infrastructure, buffering floods, reducing erosion, storing carbon, and enhancing habitat. Through a series of case studies, this talk will review the benefits of living shorelines, describe design and construction techniques and highlight lessons learned.

     For nearly three decades, Keith Bowers has been at the forefront of applied ecology, land conservation and sustainable design. As the founder and president of Biohabitats (, Keith has built a multidisciplinary organization focused on conservation planning, ecological restoration and regenerative design. His work has spanned the scale from site-specific ecosystem restoration projects involving wetland, river, woodland and coastal habitat restoration to regional watershed management and species conservation planning, to the development of green infrastructure and urban ecology planning for cities throughout the country. Keith is also the founder and partner of Biohabitats’ sister company: Ecological Restoration and Management, Inc., ( ER&M provides professional installation and management services for restoration projects throughout North America. Recently Keith served on the Board of Directors for the Wildlands Network (, a national organization focused on restoring, protecting and connecting North America's best wild places and on the Board of Directors for the Society for Ecological Restoration (, twice as its Chair. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and is a Professional Wetland Scientist. He holds a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from West Virginia University and an honorary degree from the Conway School of Design. .