Did you know?
The loss of natural shorelines and streambanks is the number one threat to water quality. Natural shorelines and streambanks protect the lakes and rivers from stormwater pollution, prevent soil erosion, and provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife.
When you schedule a shoreline or stream bank consultation with the Glen Lake Association, we will listen to your concerns and perform a thorough analysis of your property. Afterwards, we will develop a recommendation for naturalized shoreline or streambank landscaping including design options, referrals to plant material sources, soil preparation and planting suggestions, and mulching and maintenance tips.
Schedule a free shoreline or streambank consultation today!
EROSION CONTROL & SEAWALLS
The shorelines of Glen Lake are by nature’s design an ever-changing phenomenon. Wind, waves, and ice peel away or build-up the shoreline in irregular and unpredictable patterns.
When this happens, riparians may be tempted to install a rock wall or seawall in order to stop erosion. However, these artificial barriers can generate more problems than they solve and are detrimental to the health of the lake ecosystem.
Seawalls remove vital wildlife habitats, do not absorb or filter nutrient runoff from land, and intensify wave energy onto neighboring shorelines causing increased erosion and sedimentation. Seawalls are also very expensive and can be unsightly. Instead, consider lake-friendly bio-engineering alternatives such as coir log installation. If you are interested in learning more about best management practices for erosion-control or wish to remove your engineered seawall, please contact the Glen Lake Association for a free shoreline consultation.
Please note, all shoreline alterations require a permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
LAKE-FRIENDLY STRATEGIES FOR EROSION CONTROL
Follow these lake-friendly strategies along your shoreline or streambank to preserve and protect the the water. The Glen Lake Association is always available to answer you questions, consult with you at your home, or refer you to local contractors.
Avoid Beach Sanding
“Beach sanding” is the practice of creating an artificial sandy beach where one would not naturally occur. This happens when riparians add truckloads of sand to their shoreline or when shoreline plants are removed, exposing existing sand in the process.
So what’s so bad about beach sanding? Artificial beaches act as a racetrack for contaminated stormwater and fertilizer to run directly into the lake.
Once an artificial beach has been created, maintenance becomes an ongoing challenge since the sand tends to wash away and native plants will naturally attempt to reestablish themselves. Water quality is further degraded if homeowners try to eliminate these plants using chemical weed-killers.
If you would like to restore your shoreline or stream bank to its natural state, please contact the Glen Lake Association for a free shoreline consultation!
Use Native Michigan Plants
Native Michigan plants provide the deep root structure necessary for stabilizing a shoreline. In addition, they thrive naturally—without chemical fertilization—and are essential for the survival of native wildlife and fish. Native species will require less care and grow more vigorously, but only if the chosen species match the growing conditions of your site.
Preserve or Establish a Buffer Zone
Wide vibrant strips of native vegetation, shrubs and trees along the shoreline are not only attractive but are an important contributor to water quality. These “buffer zones” can keep huge amounts of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen from washing into the water. The vegetation slows the speed of runoff, allowing sediments to settle out and the nutrients to be absorbed by the plant roots.
Buffers deliver numerous benefits to property owners. They stabilize erodible shorelines, provide privacy, cut winter heating bills by breaking wind velocity, and reduce lake and road noise. A buffer zone also discourages waterfowl from gathering and leaving their “calling cards” on your property. Finally, buffers provide shade which keeps the water cool enough to sustain trout and other cool-water aquatic populations. Native vegetation buffers, in particular, provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife.
Consider Bio-engineered Options to Stabilize Shorelines
In cases where shorelines must be stabilized in order to reintroduce native plants, bioengineered solutions may be appropriate. These may include coir log installation or temporary embankments reinforced by rip-rap. Bio-engineered strategies are great alternatives to permanent installation of rock walls or seawalls and are well worth considering.