Services for Landowners

Coastal Geologic Services Inc. offers a full suite of services for coastal landowners.  We provide cost-effective solutions that work with rather than against natural coastal processes and the constraints of shoreline regulations and existing land uses. We can also take into consideration implications of sea level rise and climate change.

CGS has worked for landowners for almost 30 years, and continues to provide targeted and cost-effective advice and erosion control design services. We have completed hundreds of assessments throughout the Puget Sound region and are recognized regional experts in Puget Sound beach and bluff processes. In addition, we have literally written the book on how to effectively manage your coastal property, and we regularly teach workshops designed for living on the shore. Read on for more information on the services we provide. 

Typical project stages

Coastal Erosion and Flooding Assessment and Control

CGS offers design services for green, sustainable alternatives to bulkheads that use aesthetic, non-toxic, and shore friendly approaches and materials — for both people and wildlife. These designs minimize maintenance and are typically much less expensive than traditional bulkheads. CGS can help assess erosion and flooding risk to your property through remote analysis and a site visit, then recommend action, create a design, get it permitted, and oversee construction. Realistic site-specific projections of sea level rise enable planning for future generations.

“I want you to know how much I appreciate the work of your staff on the permit application.  Adam’s documentation and presentation to the County was flawless and very professional.”

— Homeowner in Kitsap County, 2016

Bluff Slope Stability Assessment and Recommendations

Bulkheads do not always prevent landslides. (Not a CGS project!)

We have analyzed coastal bluff erosion throughout the region. Our team can evaluate bluff erosion risk and recommend ways to mitigate it. We can often suggest low-cost erosion control actions such as re-routing runoff or planting low-maintenance native vegetation. In more dangerous situations, we have helped property owners to move their house landward. Contact CGS for a professional assessment of your property.

“We’re not going to wonder…is that house going to fall into the water? We know those things are not going to happen because we’ve made good long-term decisions now….”

— Homeowner in San Juan County, 2017

Pre-Purchase Assessments

CGS staff can assist you when buying or selling a coastal home by completing a pre-purchase assessment. This involves a professional CGS staff member conducting a detailed site visit to look for problems and “red flags”. If you are a Realtor, CGS can help you to work with potential buyers to ensure a successful long-term investment.

Our process will address all of your specific concerns, such as potential property loss due to natural hazards. In many cases, we will characterize the threat of coastal erosion, coastal flooding, landslide hazards, tsunami hazards, sea level rise implications, and — in some cases — any evident issues with shoreline structures (e.g. bulkheads or over-water structures). CGS will provide professional, impartial judgement to characterize and qualify the level of risk involved in purchasing a coastal property.

“This very cost-effective review gave us a great understanding of the risks and responsibilities of owning coastal properties.  I would strongly recommend CGS’s services if you are considering investing in coastal properties. “
— Homeowner on Fidalgo Island, 2018

Beach Restoration and Enhancement

Example simplified site plan and section.

CGS is capable of doing all design phases for nearshore restoration and enhancement projects, including restoration identification, design technique feasibility, permitting assistance, design, construction oversight, and monitoring. Beach restoration and enhancement design projects vary based on specific constraints, but a CGS design process typically includes:

  • Plan sheets
  • Specifications
  • Project design report
  • Cost estimate
  • Recommended contractor and subcontractor qualifications to be used for the bid evaluation
  • Construction sequence
  • Recommendations for any additional investigations or reporting

CGS uses many different methods for site investigation, including historical shore change analysis, RTK GPS mapping, total station topography, and structure from motion photogrammetric scanning for surface and orthographic image generation. Click here for more information on our restoration services.

Click on the images below to view before and after examples of beach restoration and enhancement projects.

Shore Protection

CGS has experience with design and construction of the full suite of beach and bluff protection alternatives, from soft shore protection (i.e., beach nourishment, anchored logs and large wood placement, reslope/revegetation) to bulkhead removal or replacement. Depending on conditions at your site, CGS can assess, design, permit, and oversee construction of an effective and lasting shore protection solution.

Browse the images below to view before and after examples of these shore protection strategies in action.

Lake Whatcom Homeowner Incentive Program (HIP)

If you live on or very near Lake Whatcom, there is a new financial incentive to upgrade your property for enhanced Lake Whatcom water quality with the Homeowner Incentive Program. CGS has a HIP-certified designer specializing in shoreline projects, with experience designing and implementing successful shoreline projects using native plants, infiltration trenches, living shorelines, and other habitat enhancement techniques. CGS can help select a local contractor appropriate for your project. We provide unique approaches to ensure the best use of every dollar by providing clear scoping and maintaining a not-to-exceed budget for fees and services with realistic implementation cost estimates.

The HIP program can cover most or all of these expenses. Visit Lake Whatcom HIP or call us for more information.

Other Services for Landowners

  • Sea level rise and climate change assessment, adaptation planning, and design
  • Debris or creosoted wood removal plans
  • Boat basin, dock, and pier services
  • Permitting and coastal project management involving multiple contractors
  • Wave modelling and assessment of sediment transport dynamics
  • Long-term shore change analysis using historical imagery
  • Expert witness services for coastal property litigation