Rising seas, expanding coastal development, and increases in the frequency of extreme weather catastrophes are putting shoreline communities around the world at risk from erosion and flooding (Day et al. 2007; Nicholls et al. 1999; US Army Corps of Engineers [USACE] 2015). Spurred by a widened awareness surrounding the loss of coastal habitats and the deficiencies of traditional erosion control structures, much progress has been made to advance the science and implementation of nature-based approaches to coastal protection (Bilkovic et al. 2016; Currin et al. 2008, 2009; Jones et al. 2012; National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] 2015; National Research Council [NRC] 2014). Researchers, practitioners, and the private sector have developed a suite of alternative techniques for stabilizing shorelines, such as replanting saltmarsh or 12restoring oyster reefs (Berman et al. 2005; Currin et al. 2008; Gittman et al. 2016; NOAA 2015; Piazza et al. 2005; Scyphers et al. 2011). Recent studies suggest that the design of living shorelines (e.g., width of marsh, presence of sill) influences various outcomes, including the abundance of ecologically and economically important fish and invertebrates, water quality, and erosion control (Bilkovic and Mitchell 2013; La Peyre et al. 2013; Scyphers et al. 2011; Toft et al. 2013).