The Scott SWCD jumped into the world of online learning with their recent stabilize your shoreline workshop. With abundant success, the workshop covered topic from what causes shoreline erosion, to how to complete your own restoration projects. To view the webinar recording see the bottom of this article.
Shoreline erosion can be a problem for any resident living on a waterfront property. The erosion can come from wave action beating against the waters edge, or through the lack of stabilization with contemporary turf grass lawns. Since Kentucky Bluegrass sinks only inches into the ground, soil is left with little-to-no hook to anchor on. With native plants, root can travel down into the soil up to fifteen feet. The roots hold the soil in place while also providing a barrier to waves, and showcasing the beauty of native shoreline plants.
Native Lakeshore Seedings
There are a multitude of ways to stabilize or restore your natural shoreline. If you live on a lakeshore, are tired of constant yard maintenance, and looking to add more color to your waters edge, a native shoreline seeding project might be right for you. Native seeding projects involve transforming 10-15 feet of your yard into a natural, plant-filled buffer in the area right at your waters edge. These projects involve minimal construction--the most laborious part being the ripping up of whatever vegetation is currently present--and can be done with relatively low-cost.
Seeds or plugs can be acquired depending on a sites elevation and dimensions, and the natural resource specialists at the Scott SWCD office can provide suppliers and equipment recommendations to anyone interested.
Native seedings require some maintenance in the first years of growth to ensure the native plants are establishing properly. But once their roots have been established, usually after year three, the planting will be able to stabilize your shoreline for years to come.
For more large-scale erosion issues, an entire shoreline restoration might be necessary. If soil is washing away by the foot, or if your property's waterfront is excessively steep and prone to consecutive wave action, work can be done to preserve your land. These projects typically take more planning and construction time, but the results cannot be compared.
Shoreline restorations can be done in a couple different ways. If a slop has excess "sluffing" or a very steep edge, reshaping of that bank is the first step. Reshaping involves creating a gradual decline into the water, allowing for wave action to gently slope upward rather then crashing into a soil wall.
In some cases, banks need to be rebuilt from great slopes, and coir logs are used to help add gradual shoreline and additional stabilization. The process of these larger restoration projects involve engineering and calculations to ensure the banks are built to proper standards, so please contact a contractor or our office before you begin this rebuilding process.
The Scott SWCD office constructs everything from full restorations, to simpler native seedings. Projects are always tailored to specific properties, and the technicians at our office are available to provide free technical assistance every step of the way.
Online learning allows for access beyond boundaries and physical constraints. It makes our information available for anyone who is interested in the topic, and it allows for that information to be accessible indefinitely. With the success of this first workshop, the Scott SWCD hopes to expand this form of education into the future. And we wish to thank everyone who participated in this milestone.
Free technical assistance to help design your project and financial assistance for materials and installation may be available!
For additional information, or to begin your own shoreline restoration project, visit our contact us page or call the Scott SWCD office at 952-492-5425.
View the recorded workshop here