Shoreline Erosion Risks & Repair Strategies

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The Safety and Financial Risks of Shoreline Erosion and How to Avoid Them

The health and safety of a waterbody aren’t solely tied to the water itself, but also hinge significantly on the condition of the shoreline. Deteriorating shorelines often put unnecessary stress on an aquatic ecosystem, as well as the people responsible for maintaining it. Erosion is a natural process, however, human activities like recreation, urban development, and poor landscaping practices can expedite the deterioration.

It’s essential to identify erosion and intervene as early as possible to limit these risks:

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1. Decline in Lake Health

Eroded sediment brings unnatural and unhealthy quantities of pollutants and nutrients into the water. Eroded sediment may also form a layer of bottom muck that diminishes the water-holding capacity. This can heighten flooding risks and exacerbate evaporation concerns during times of drought, especially if the waterbody is used for irrigation.

2. Safety/Liability Risks

Visitors and residents, landscaping crews, and individuals fishing or launching boats can be injured if shorelines collapse. These accidents could result in severe consequences or imply negligence for the property owner or manager.

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3. Loss of Property Value

Erosion shrinks lot sizes and contributes to the loss of precious waterfront property. As water encroaches on homes and buildings, it can jeopardize the structural integrity of foundations, decks, and fencing, and may lead to a depreciation in property value. Other assets like sprinkler or irrigation systems and stormwater equipment can become exposed and damaged.

Be Proactive and Protect Your Shoreline with Vegetative Buffers

The consequences of erosion can be severe, but through proactive management, they can be limited or avoided. One of the simplest and most cost-effective solutions is to maintain a vegetative shoreline buffer. Native plants and grasses established around a lake or pond’s perimeter can help reduce the effects of erosion by slowing runoff, filtering excess nutrients, and stabilizing the bank through complex root systems.

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Ensuring all stakeholders are well-informed about signs of erosion, particularly overlooked indicators like turbid water and exposed pipes or root systems, is also crucial. Early detection allows experts to correct issues before they escalate. However, severely eroded or hazardous shorelines may require reconstruction.

Repair Erosion Damage with Bioengineered Living Shorelines

Experts can implement modern bioengineering techniques to rebuild a living shoreline. This involves reshaping the eroded shoreline using a knitted geotextile mesh that is filled with sand or soil and then secured to the stable part of the bank. After installation, native plants can be planted through the mesh or sod can be placed on top. The roots will penetrate through the material to anchor the system, creating a beautiful living shoreline, and offering years of stability. With this method, several feet of waterfront land may be restored to a property.

Don't Ignore Shoreline Erosion Damage

The risks associated with shoreline erosion should not be underestimated. Erosion that is left unaddressed can leave property owners and managers with financial and liability problems. No matter the current condition of your shoreline, now is the time to take preventative action.

Repair Erosion Damage with Innovative Solutions

Call us at 888-480-5253 or complete the form below to connect with an aquatic management expert.

SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty and preserve natural resources.

SOLitude’s team of aquatic scientists specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management programs. Services include water quality testing and restoration, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, shoreline erosion control, muck and sediment removal and invasive species management. SOLitude partners with homeowners associations, golf courses, private landowners, businesses and municipalities. SOLitude Lake Management is part of Rentokil, a leading business services company, operating across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

For more information, visit SOLitude Lake Management at solitudelakemanagement.com, and connect on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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