How do I repair shoreline erosion by my home?
While there are some methods of shoreline restoration that can help repair shoreline erosion, prevention is always the best approach. Preventing shoreline erosion from affecting your property is much easier and more affordable than repairing it.
If you are planning to build near a shoreline keep the following in mind:
- Make sure to keep your structures at least 100-200 feet away from the shoreline. (This is a conservative estimate, with water levels continuing to rise, you may want to stay even further away.)
- Do not remove natural vegetation or rock along the shoreline. The root systems of natural vegetation help hold soil in place and prevent erosion from happening.
If you are currently facing a shoreline erosion emergency, there are ways to repair shoreline erosion and protect your property.
What are useful erosion control solutions?
Erosion is unfortunately not an easy problem to solve. There are many causes and methods of combating it — but choose wrong and you might end up worse off than you started. Here are some methods of shoreline restoration and erosion control for property owners on inland lakes and the Great Lakes.
Great Lakes – Erosion Control Solutions
Seawalls are any type of hard “wall” structure, typically made of concrete or stone, installed along the shore to redirect wave energy and prevent the full force of waves from hitting the shore and causing natural erosion.
Although Seasonal Concepts does not build or install metal seawalls, we do team up with contractors who do. Our sand blower trucks and conveyor trucks allow us to easily supply the sand and backfill material needed when these seawalls are installed.
These types of sandbags help in emergency erosion control situations like those currently occurring along the Great Lakes. They are rather quick to deploy, and are a good temporary solution until a steel seawall or rock revetment can be installed.
Seasonal Concepts chooses not to install these types of sandbags, but we do team up with contractors who do!
Seasonal Concepts is able to supply sand and fill these types of sandbags quickly using our sand blower trucks.
Woven Geotextile Sandbags & Tubes
Geotextile sandbags and tubes can be used as a barrier to reduce wave erosion. These products are made from a strong, eco-friendly woven fabric, are usually filled with a combination of sand and water, and can help protect shorelines and rebuild beaches.
Geotextile sandbags and tubes are a cost effective and durable solution. These products are normally viewed as a temporary measure, but are proven to last and perform well. They can be quickly installed to create revetments and breakwaters, protecting existing seawalls and sand dunes. Geotextile sandbags and tubes work by reducing a wave’s energy before it hits the shore, which slows erosion.
Seasonal Concepts is able to supply and fill geotextile sandbags and tubes using our sand blower trucks.
Rip Rap & Rock Revetments
Rip Rap is large native rock, or sometimes recycled crushed concrete, which is used to help prevent shoreline erosion. Rip rap can be pricey, but it’s a great long-term solution and is environmentally friendly.
Rock revetment is a natural way of absorbing some of the impact from the water and large waves that come crashing to the shore. Revetments are structures made up of large, varying sized rocks and stone that are formed near the shoreline to help prevent erosion and shoreline loss.
Rip Rap and Rock Revetments can be used to create seawalls that are better able to absorb wave energy.
Seasonal Concepts is able to supply, deliver, and install sand needed during the construction of seawalls using our sand blower trucks and stone slinger trucks.
How do I prevent erosion from getting worse?
Lakeshore erosion can be a very frightening, dangerous, and expensive issue for homeowners living along Lake Michigan and other Great Lakes.
Lakeshore erosion happens because of natural forces (both aquatic and terrestrial) as well as human influences. These human influences are often misguided attempts at erosion control which end up making the situation worse for homeowners and the environment.
We have a comprehensive article on Shoreline Erosion if you want to learn more about some of the causes of shoreline erosion.
The best ways to prevent lakeshore erosion are the natural methods. Natural vegetation creates root systems, which help prevent shoreline erosion by keeping sand/soil in place. Removing native plants will cause shoreline erosion to worsen. If vegetation has been removed, replanting the appropriate plants, such as dune grass, is a great solution to help with stabilization.
Another highly effective method is Rip Rap natural rock. Natural rocks along the lakeshore help absorb wave energy rather than redirecting the wave energy which can cause the situation to worsen.
Since vertical seawalls are at an unnatural angle, they are unable to absorb wave energy like sloped solutions.
If you already have a vertical seawall, there are ways to reduce its impact on the environment while also fortifying it against continued erosion:
- As parts of the seawall fail, replace them with natural rock and vegetation.
- Install rip rap in front of the seawall to absorb wave energy and create a more natural slope. The natural slope will help animals move between land and water. It also helps create a thriving ecosystem that can grow.
- Add vegetation to any rip rap.
- Use native plant life in your landscaping and try to stay away from unnatural lawns.
These simple changes can improve the effectiveness of your seawall, and reduce the negative environmental impact which can cause erosion in your area to worsen.
Inland Lakes & Streams – Erosion Control Solutions
Compost Filter Socks and Natural Vegetation
We can help you repair stream banks and shorelines the natural way. Our shoreline erosion control system uses compost filter socks, which are organic, vegetated, quickly installed, and require no heavy equipment or excavation for installation. This system allows vegetation to grow from the inside out to create a natural anchor between the bank and the stabilization system. This system is also completely customizable, and many vegetation options are available.
A very effective (and natural) method of landscaping erosion control is the use of cover plants. The removal of natural vegetation usually leads to landscape and shoreline erosion because bare soil can be displaced much more easily than soil that’s held in place by strong root systems.
Some of the best plants for bank stabilization are native grass, and other grass varieties like vetch, wheatgrass, or rye. These plants have root systems that help keep soil in place. Thankfully, these pants are not only great for preventing erosion, but pretty beautiful!
You can also plant trees for bank stabilization. Tree root systems are very effective at holding soil in place. When looking for the right vegetation to add to your property, make sure to do your research. Plant cover is natural, and fairly inexpensive, making it a great soil erosion solution.
What methods of shoreline restoration does Seasonal Concepts offer?
Seasonal Concepts can support your erosion control strategy by providing sand supply, sand delivery, and sand installation for your project. Our sand blower trucks can blow stone and sand up to 400’ and our stone slinger trucks can convey sand, stone, and soil up to 80’.
We also use Compost Filter Socks for inland lake and stream erosion control – repairing stream banks and shorelines naturally through reestablishing native vegetation.
We also offer erosion control services that support projects such as:
- Vegetation Establishment
- Sediment Control
- Slope Protection
- Stream Bank and Shoreline Stabilization
- Vegetated Retaining Walls