2022 Waterfront Report | A Steward Of The Shoreline

By Alyssa Morrison |

Whether enhancing your waterfront property to enjoy your beach or preparing to sell, with the luxury of waterfront living also comes
incredible ecological responsibility. Waterfront living often means becoming a steward of the shoreline, the tidelands, and your wildlife neighbors. But what does that entail?


Whether a home sits on a Puget Sound beach, a high bank, or even a cliff above it, there are steps to take to make sure you are protecting your home, while also responsibly taking care of the sea and its wildlife just outside your
door. Much of that has to do with the relationship between the homeowner and their shoreline.

Stewardship of a waterfront property goes hand in hand with protecting your home and creating a safe environment for you and the sea to thrive. As a longtime resident, you may notice how your waterfront changes over time. Taking photographs of your shoreline from the same location seasonally, as well as after major storms, will provide you with some additional perspective on how this gradual change is taking shape over time and help you better understand what you need to do to protect your home. Such assessments can be done through these casual observations, however, your real estate advisor can connect you with professionals who understand the goal of maintaining the natural environment and protecting your home, as well as the sea.

While bulkheads have been a popular solution to protecting waterfront property along the Sound, many have sought to replace them with elements designed to be more functional and attractive, all while providing more protection for the natural environment. These shoreline techniques can be as effective as bulkheads at protecting property, but they also preserve and/or mimic natural shoreline characteristics. When necessary, hard armoring the shoreline to protect your home should be done as high up the beach as possible.

As a waterfront steward, you can design a natural shoreline that protects your home and echoes the natural environment—native vegetation is exceptional in its ability to hold soils together, stabilize slopes, and absorb rainwater. Good design practices include small-scale planting, much of which can likely be done without professional guidance. However, if erosion is a concern, a professional is recommended to consult on adding things like drainage to your garden.

Preparing to market your waterfront home sale is a unique endeavor—you are not only putting your home on the market but a whole lifestyle. Waterfront living comes with a natural environment that may include wildlife by land, air, and sea, from soaring eagles to deer, otters, and oysters. Natural beaches and shores are appealing to buyers, and, when thoughtfully cared for, are most cost-efficient to maintain. Your shoreline is one of the most valuable natural assets when marketing your waterfront home. You are searching for its next steward.