Scientists at the Michigan State University Extension say people with homes near Michigan’s inland lakes commonly “harden” shorelines with vertical seawalls or rubble, according to a release. They say this treatment has resulted in shoreline losses throughout the state.
In response, the extension office is releasing the results of a three-year study comparing different shoreline soil management techniques. The study, conducted at Kellogg Biological Station, found that vegetated, gently-sloped soil lifts work better at controlling shoreline erosion than other common practices.
Soil lifts are usually built in layers on rock bases. Soil layers are wrapped in biodegradable fabric to make them stackable. When new layers are added, they are placed on ones below, in a stepped-back fashion to create a gentle slope.