Shorelines and Streambanks
Shorelines and streambanks are important and intricate parts of aquatic ecosystems.
Managing these areas properly is important to the health of our lakes, rivers and streams.
Erosion is a significant problem around shoreline and streambanks, not only because the eroding sediment can fill in our water bodies, but also because areas that are wearing away are less stable and more likely to collapse. This is especially troublesome for homeowners that live near a creek.
Minimize erosion and help lake water quality.
Although erosion occurs naturally, human activities may significantly increase the rate of erosion. Removing natural vegetation, increasing wave action from water crafts or construction near the shoreline will all increase the rate of erosion. Before taking action to correct erosion, determine why the erosion is occurring. Without understanding the problem, your actions may be a waste of time and money.
The best method for stabilization is to utilize native plantings. Native plants have a longer root system that provides strong support along the shore. Natural vegetation will also reduce runoff by holding back the water to provide time for it to soak into the ground. Grading large areas of land removes the natural depressions where water can pond and soak in. Carefully landscape your yard, especially along the shoreline, to direct runoff away from the lake.
Consider restoring your shoreline or streambank with the help of PRWD and the Becker Soil and Water Conservation District. Ask about Cost Share Programs with both agencies to receive financial assistance with shoreline restoration.
Rock rip rap should only be used where necessary and never to replace a stable, naturally vegetated shoreline. Rip rap can be expensive and can negatively affect lakes by creating a barrier between upland areas and the shoreline environment. Natural rock rip rap consists of coarse stones randomly and loosely placed along the shoreline. You should contact PRWD or MN DNR staff to determine whether your shoreline requires rip rap to stop erosion. Too often rip rap is placed where it is not required - save your money and help the lake - contact us to help you assess your shoreline.