Shoreline Stabilization

Eroding shorelines pose a great risk to water quality. Many soils in our area are naturally high in phosphorus – a nutrient that causes lakes and rivers to turn green. Keeping shorelines stabile and in place can keep our waters healthy. There are several tools and options available to property owners that will protect their shoreline. Native vegetation (especially trees and shrubs), willow wattle, coir logs, and even rock rip have been used to protect shorelines. Examples from landowners who have worked to protect their shorelines are shared below:

Shoreline Stabilization Project – Round Lake (2013 – 2014): After receiving a Cost Share Grant from the BSALWMP we were able to stabilize our shoreline on Round Lake with riprap and native plantings. In the spring, we will be adding additional vegetation with native plantings to help with runoff.  The properly sized and sloped rock will hold the bank in place. The deep-rooted native vegetation will slow and filter stormwater runoff.

Eroding Shoreline Before Project Installation
Shoreline After Stabilization

Shoreline Restoration Project – Lake Minnewawa (2013-2014): Years of wave action and winter ice movement had eroded the shoreline.  After research and discussion with the Aitkin County SWCD, the landowners chose a solution which used coir logs (shredded coconut fiber) and a variety of native plants to produce a buffer.  This option fit well with the landowners existing natural shoreline.   
Coir logs can protect the shoreline by providing an edge for waves to crash against. Native plant plugs can be added into the coir logs, or behind the coir logs.

A close-up view of coir logs and native vegetation plugs.
The protected shoreline.

Shoreline Protection Project – Lake Minnewawa (2014-2015): Erosion had resulted in the breakdown and loss of shoreline on this Lake Minnewawa property. The solution combined several tools to restore the shoreline. Coir logs were added at the base of the slope; existing rock was placed on the lakeside edge of the coir log, erosion blanket and a variety of vegetation was added above the coir log to restore and protect the damaged shore.  The Lake Minnewawa Association coordinated the efforts which resulted in a Grant from the Aitkin County SWCD and project implementation by Shelly Larson – Hayland Woods and Minnesota Shoreworks.

The protected shoeline – Rock, Coir Log, Erosion Control Blanket, and Native Vegetation