The Shoreline Evaluation Program Prepares for the 2024 Season


The Shoreline Evaluation Program prepares for the 2024 season by visiting the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)

HEATHSVILLE, Virginia, April 15, 2024

In mid-April, the Shoreline Evaluation Program (SEP) of the Northern Neck Master Gardeners will start sending out teams to conduct on-site visits of waterfront properties in response to requests for this service. This will be the twelfth season that evaluation assistance has been offered to Northern Neck residents. SEP volunteers have conducted 374 inspections across the region since

To prepare for their activities in the coming months, team members recently visited the Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS for one of their annual training sessions. The day’s program included both field work at the VIMS shoreline and classroom instruction, led by marine scientist, Karen Duhring, who mentors the group.

Undeterred by a cold wind off the York River and a very high tide, the team was able to study the impact of breakwaters and riprap on wave action, and explore the varied vegetation along the shoreline.

SEP Members, Sue Lindsey, Carol Martin and Katherine McConnell, examine shoreline foliage.

Back in the classroom, instruction included a review of new techniques and materials available to homeowners as they seek protection of their properties in times of rising sea levels, while also helping to enhance water quality in their nearshore waters.

“Waterfront property owners are facing an array of challenges,” said Jeff Evans, member of the SEP Leadership Team. “Not only is the impact of sea level rise increasing, but we are all experiencing more extreme weather, resulting in more erosion and storm water management issues. And, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s annual report card, the state of the Bay still only merits a D+ grade.”

Residents of the Northern Neck can request an on-site evaluation by visiting the NNMG website at, clicking on the SEP tab, and downloading an application and a questionnaire. These should be mailed to the Lancaster office of Virginia Cooperative Extension at 8311 Mary Ball Rd, Lancaster, VA 22503, together with a check for $60. Visits will be assigned in the order applications are received. Homeowners are encouraged to apply early as the number of site visits per season is limited.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Trent Jones at 804-580-5694/TDD*) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.
*TDD number is (800) 828-1120

Founded in 1989, the Northern Neck Master Gardener Association is a not-for-profit organization. Its purpose is to promote and serve the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Master Gardener Program in cooperation with the Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland and Essex County Extension Offices in fulfilling the educational mission of VCE.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.

Northern Neck Master Gardeners –
Virginia Cooperative Extension –
Contact: Mary Beane, Horticulture Program Assistant, – (804) 580-5694