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Shoreline Restoration Project – Using Native Plants to Control Erosion and Beautify the Lakeshore

Shorelines properties are unique places to live, offering closeness to nature and providing great recreational opportunities. Because we use shorelines for access, recreation, and to frame our view of the water, our shoreline vegetation has often been altered drastically from its natural state.
  • SHORELINE PROJECT:
    Project area before restoration
  • SHORELINE PROJECT:
    Project area after herbicide application
  • SHORELINE PROJECT:
    Preparing the seedbed
  • SHORELINE PROJECT:
    Biolog and erosion blanket in place
  • SHORELINE PROJECT:
    Plugs installed though erosion blanket
  • SHORELINE PROJECT:
    Completed installation
  • SHORELINE PROJECT:
    Project area less than 1 year after installation
  • SHORELINE PROJECT:
    Project area less than 1 year after installation
  • SHORELINE PROJECT:
    Project area less than 1 year after installation
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Project Overview

Shorelines are subject to wave action, ice heave, temperature swings and fluctuating water levels. Turf grass is shallow rooted, does little to protect or stabilize a shoreline, and allows runoff to degrade water quality. Rip rap may provide stability, but it provides no wildlife habitat. Native vegetation is deep rooted, absorbs runoff, protects against erosion and improves habitat.

The site of this shoreline project was vegetated with turf grass to the water’s edge. It was also subject to ice heave, which created very noticeable mounding and would often tear the sod apart. Previous attempt to rip rap had failed, and the rock was removed.

PRI’s approach to this site was to recreate a natural, flexible shoreline using coconut fiber rolls and erosion control blankets. These products are completely biodegradable, but last several years while native vegetation establishes. Native plants were introduced using a combination of seed and seedling plugs. Low growing grasses, sedges, rushes and wildflowers were used to protect the view.

Native plants were a key to success for this project. The diverse array of grasses and wildflowers used on the project create unique colors and textures that change with the seasons, and a tiny, yet important piece of habitat was created for fish, amphibians, birds and more. The deep roots of native plants provide stabilization of the soil and protection from ice damage. Most importantly, it has restored a sense of connection to nature for the homeowners, as they nurture their unique native shoreline.

For more information on shorelines, visit the shoreline page in our resource library.

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Prairie Restorations Inc.
Princeton Headquarters
31646 128th Street,
Princeton, MN 55371

Ph: 763-389-4342
Email: info@prairieresto.com