Thursday, July 2, 2015

Armor your Shorelines & Prevent Erosion!

Shoreline erosion is the natural process of sediment displacement, but too much erosion can be damaging to almost all aspects of aquatic ecosystems, as well as to your property value. Erosion occurs when sediment such as rock or soil is displaced by both natural elements and anthropogenic activities - wind, water, boat wake and construction, etc

Figure 1: Muddy waters of the Lynnhaven River

Signs of erosion include bare soil areas lacking vegetationmuddy water, collapsing banks, and gradual shoreline retreat - all of which lead to decreased water quality and unhealthy ecosystems. See Figure 1 for erosion in the Lynnhaven River. 

There IS a solution to shoreline erosion!

"Living Shorelines"

Living shorelines are Virginia's preffered method of shoreline management (over bulkhead or riprap), and they are a creative and proven approach to protecting tidal shorelines from erosion. They do this by slowing down the erosion process and maintaining a sturdy shoreline. The technique usually consists of filling and grading the bank and planting native wetland plants and grasses, shrubs, and trees at various points along the tidal water lineAlong with the benefits of reducing erosion and property loss, living shorelines also increase biodiversity, improve water quality, and provide an attractive, natural appearance. To learn more about living shoreline benefits visit The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) "Shoreline Site.

If you think your property could benefit from a living shoreline, email Trista or call (757)962-5398 to set up a free consultation appointment at your property. (Living shorelines or other shoreline treatments usually require a permit from VMRC, and will not be ready for construction until the following spring.)

Here is an example of a recent living shoreline project
on the Lynnhaven River



Find more information regarding living shorelines and plans of action below!

For questions, comments or concerns - visit Lynnhaven River NOW or call (757) 962-5398

Blog Composed by Thomas O'Hara - Lynnhaven River NOW Intern

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