Assisting lakefront property owners and their consultants with planning and designing coastal erosion control measures along Ohio’s Lake Erie shore is the goal of the Ohio Coastal Design Manual – First Edition. The print and online versions of the Coastal Design Manual, demonstrating how to best apply coastal engineering and surveying designs and standards along Ohio’s coast, were recently released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Office of Coastal Management.

“Our goal is to highlight the proper design and construction of safe, sound and successful erosion control and lake access projects along Lake Erie,” said Office of Coastal Management Chief John Watkins. “It is our hope that by using the processes and design examples in the Coastal Design Manual, landowners along the lake will be able to meet their needs for erosion control and lake access while achieving a balance with the natural resources along and within Lake Erie.”

Engineers, surveyors, contractors and lakefront property owners should find the manual a valuable resource for planning and designing coastal projects. For the lakefront property owner, the manual can be a means of better understanding the design, surveying and construction processes that go into a successful project, Watkins said. Following the guidance in the manual will lead to well planned and designed projects, which in turn will hopefully expedite the regulatory authorization processes from local, state and federal agencies.

While the Coastal Design Manual includes technical language and calculations needed to illustrate proper surveying, design and construction methods, the manual is written in a manner that enables most readers to understand and follow the content. The First Edition covers typical erosion control measures and access structures, and will be updated through development of a second edition anticipated to be released in 2013. The second edition will cover additional types of coastal structures such a breakwaters, piers, boating access structures and beach restoration methods along Lake Erie.

The Ohio Coastal Design Manual’s four chapters follow technical designs and processes used by coastal engineers and surveyors around the world. However, the information is tailored to fit the specific wave, water and sediment conditions along the Ohio Lake Erie coast. Example calculations, drawings and tables simplify complex coastal design parameters to allow standard designs to be fitted to the Lake Erie coast.

Office of Coastal Management staff is working with the Ohio Coastal Training Program to develop trainings to teach professionals and members of the public how to use the design manual. Those trainings are tentatively scheduled for this fall. The Ohio Coastal Design Manual can be viewed online and downloaded in its entirety, by chapter, or by design example drawing online at:

A companion to the Coastal Design Manual is the Lake Erie Shore Erosion Management Plan (LESEMP) which is an online and print tool that addresses the variable conditions along Lake Erie and describes which types of erosion control are best suited for specific locations and conditions along the lake. The LESEMP identifies the types of structures or controls that would function best along a section of the shore, and when coupled with the Coastal Design Manual shows how those structures should be designed and constructed. Completed chapters of the LESEMP are also available online at:

The Office of Coastal Management’s mission is to achieve a balance between the use and preservation of Lake Erie’s coastal resources, in collaboration with our partners, by effectively administering the Ohio Coastal Management Program.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at

Jim Park, P.E., ODNR Office of Coastal Management

Patrick Ernst, P.S., ODNR Office of Coastal Management
419. 626. 7980

Jason Fallon, ODNR Office of Communications
614. 265. 6842


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