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2200 Howard Rd. Petoskey, MI. 49770

© 2016 North By Nature Landscapes

Stop losing shoreline property and restore lost shoreline

February 10, 2017

Plan now to stop losing shoreline property and restore lost shoreline features. Control erosion, enhance your water views and shoreline access by installing a new natural shoreline landscape.


Before - “flanking erosion” caused by waves off the neighboring rock seawall.



After – user friendly natural shoreline and buffer garden.



Concrete and boulder seawalls may be necessary in extremely high energy sites or to meet specific needs. However, natural shoreline erosion control methods can be used to restore lost shoreline features and stop most problems on inland lakes. Natural Shorelines often cost less too. Natural areas are more resilient to flooding, wave and ice action because they typically slope gradually into the water and the trees, shrubs and native plants growing on them “buffer” the lake from storm water run off, and root the native soils into place. Because we have manipulated lake levels with dams, or drainage canals they are not at their natural shorelines. New shorelines are being sculpted by wave and ice action. Homes and structures were often unknowingly constructed in the paths of that process. To re-mediate and help manage the situation, we typically have to excavate and add fill at or below to the shoreline and are required to have a permit from the DEQ. Below is a sample cross section and site plan drawings that are required to be included with the permit application. NBN Landscapes provides full permitting services as needed.



Flattening the slope of a shoreline is crucial. Waves lose energy as they run up the structure, and ice will be pushed up the ramp and ONTO the shoreline.  If the shoreline has a steep slope or blunt face, ice plows into it pushes the soil, rocks and trees and often mounds the debris on shore. The newly exposed soils are now easily washed away, speeding shoreline erosion and compounding the damage.


Natural Shoreline Restoration Site Plan



As you see from this series of photos, natural shorelines are strongly built to begin with. The line of toe stones are being set into the lake bottom.


The existing shoreline is excavated to grade. The exposed soils are then anchored into place by a layer of drain stone. The water from waves breaking onto the shoreline flows back into the lake through this “filter” layer of stone, and erosion is controlled.  The coir logs are held in place by stakes at the ordinary high water mark.













The coir logs are made with coconut fiber densely packed into an outer netting to provide initial structural stability and resist wave and ice action.



The shoreline rip-rap has been installed with the toe stone on the lake bottom locking it into place. The coir log is covered with a thin layer of soil and wood mulch is spread over the back filled soils. The garden is ready for planting.





The shoreline is restored to blend into the neighboring shoreline. It is graded to form a gentle ramp into the lake. The gentle slope allows “walk-in” access along the entire shoreline. As the plants and their underground root structures become established, the entire structure is strengthened.  



Do you have a landscape project that you want to see completed this spring or summer? Call North by Nature Landscapes to schedule your FREE consultation now at 231-340-0446 or visit our website:


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