Ohio Coastal Design Manual

October 2020

Ohio Coastal Design Manual

Promote better projects along the coast that balance the use of Lake Erie as a shared natural resource along with property owners’ need for lakefront erosion protection and the benefit of access to the lake.”

The Ohio Coastal Design Manual is put out by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources office of Coastal Management. This manual focuses on design and engineering principles of constructing coastal structures for erosion control. It provides a comprehensive overview of best practices for structure design. However, it is not too overwhelming for the general lakefront property owner. Even though this manual is geared towards engineers, surveyors, and contractors, it can serve as a great resource to bridge the gap between landowners and these experts. It is ideal for the development of a common language and knowledge basis. The highlights of this manual are the design images of erosion prevention structures.

Design and picture of a beach lakeward armor stone revetment for erosion protection. Photo credit: Ohio Coastal Design Manual

What’s in it?

Ch.1 Site information

This chapter talks about site considerations such as habitat, wave patterns, shoreline characteristics, geology, etc of the lakefront area that may be helpful for the landowner as well as coastal engineers to understand preexisting conditions of the area.

Ch.2 Site surveying requirements

Chapter 2 is most targeted towards site surveyors who are looking to assess the site, collect field data, and prepare applications. Information in this section includes parcel boundary determination, topographical and bathymetry surveying, post-construction surveys, etc.

Ch.3 Design fundamentals

This chapter describes the basic design considerations that are foundational to most shore protection structures. It talks about water levels and wave heights, provides design drawings and calculations, as well as standards and specifications. This information is important when developing a common language between engineers and property owners.

Ch.4 Erosion control structures

Chapter 4 is one of the most useful chapters for a lakeshore property owner. It can help lay down the first layer of technical detail to get an understanding of coastal design. It discusses different types of erosion control structures, their design types, function, and construction to maintenance regime. Additionally, example design and case studies provide calculations, survey examples, and design suggestions for different types of erosion control structures. Some of these structures include variations of sea walls and stone revetments.


This manual is created for experts in the field of coastal management such as contractors, surveyors, engineers, those who are working on the construction and development of the structures themselves. It is also useful for lakefront property landowners to understand what goes into coastal erosion prevention and to develop a common language. It may also be useful for municipal staff and decision-makers when it comes to coastal protection and erosion control.

Decision support

This manual can be used to determine particular design criteria for shoreland protection projects to ease the stress of erosion on beaches, bluffs, and lakefront property. Surveyors, contractors, and engineers can use this manual to standardize their practices. Property owners can use it to understand what the different design considerations are as well as build a foundation of technical information. Lastly, decision-makers, municipal staff, and others who may be responsible for public outreach or engagement on coastal issues can use it to make informed decisions and accurate explanations surrounding erosion prevention strategies.

Link: Home to the Coastal Design Manual.