Shorelines of lakes and streams are subject to erosion from wave action, fluctuating water levels, and bank failure. This affects water quality, clouding the water and depositing sediment on fish and aquatic habitat. Property loss is also common and can advance rapidly from bank failures. Conventional approaches to dealing with the problem usually involve excavation equipment and an engineered solution that can become very costly.
MCH develops shoreline protection plans and builds solutions that make use of natural materials to re-establish vegetation and stabilize shorelines and backslopes. Work can be done on small properties or on extended shorelines of entire lakes.
For steep eroding banks MCH uses EnviroLok vegetated retaining walls to create a stable slope ready for establishing native vegetation that anchors the whole structure to the underlying shoreline. The earth or sand filled bags are woven into wall structure that holds together as a single unit providing additional strength and protection. The EnviroLok wall is then planted with native vegetation that can root right through the bags into the underlying soil substrate. Deep root systems up to 20 feet ensure stability and ongoing shoreline protection.
Soil bioengineering is the use of living plant materials to create a structural function such as shoreline stabilization. The approach initially establishes vegetation and allows natural processes to provide a sustainable vegetation cover overtime. The key to success is the selection of appropriate native species, then harvesting, transporting and planting them in a state they can thrive. Improper cutting or handling can cause project failure by inserting plant materials that will not survive.