Why is bank erosion bad? Is your shoreline up to code?
Aquatic weeds and algae often get the most attention in lakes and ponds. Green, slimy, stringy growth not only obstructs views of the water, but it also prevents us from maximizing our enjoyment of the environment. Fishing lines, boat propellers, and even swimmers can get tangled in the weed growth. Algae creates bad odors and can even produce deadly toxins. Stakeholders may view this as a singular problem, but if you zoom out, it’s one that commonly occurs in waterbodies with degraded shorelines.
Erosion's Effect on Water Quality
Like the dangers created by weeds and algae, eroded, crumbling banks may cause severe harm to anyone spending time around the water. As sediment collapses into the water over time, it can contribute to poor water quality conditions and make your waterbody more susceptible to flooding during heavy rainstorms. Keeping your shoreline healthy and up to code through regular inspections and maintenance is an essential way to support the well-being of your waterbody and the individuals who rely on it.
Shorelines can be an excellent indicator of a waterbody’s age and health. During a site survey, professionals will take note of any steep drop-offs, cracks or fissures, shoreline plant growth, and other details to evaluate the safety and longevity of the shoreline and make projections for present and future needs – some of which may be dictated by local regulatory bodies.
Shoreline Zoning Requirements
Shoreline zoning requirements can vary depending on where you live. Regulations help protect downstream water resources and ensure the property is safe. Some municipalities require permits to cut vegetation or clear trees along shorelines. They can also regulate the construction of docks and other structures around the water. HOAs and commercial properties are typically impacted by these regulations due to the presence of stormwater ponds, which are man-made waterbodies that contain structures to capture and filter pollutants. Understanding local regulations is hard. An aquatic expert can help you navigate the process and select the right management solutions, so you can avoid fines and potential accidents on your property.
Shoreline Erosion Repair
A variety of solutions are available, including rip-rap and coir logs, to bolster or restore lake and pond shorelines. But one of the most effective and aesthetically superior tools is called SOX, a patented mesh material that experts can use to reshape aging shorelines. The SOX is filled with eroded sediment or muck scooped out from the bottom of the waterbody and then contoured and secured to fit the natural shape and slope of the surrounding property. The SOX is not only imperceptible once installed and planted with grass, turf, or landscaping, but it also provides many years of reliable stability. This can be further reinforced with the installation of a beneficial buffer of native plants with deep root systems that hold soil in place.
Stay Ahead of Water Quality Issues with Annual Management
Once your shoreline is up to code, the work doesn’t end. Consistent monitoring is necessary to identify future signs of degradation. Proactive solutions like nutrient remediation, beneficial bacteria applications, mechanical hydro-raking, and aeration may also be necessary to target water quality problems that were triggered by muck and sediment accumulation. Luckily, these responsibilities do not have to fall on the lake or pond owner. Through an annual management program, aquatic experts can provide essential guidance and support on a long-term basis, so that stakeholders can focus on enjoying their water resources to the fullest.
Shoreline Erosion Management
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.