The key way to protect your lakefront property is by designing your waterfront to stop erosion, protect water quality, and beautify your shoreline. Soft armoring is an alternative to the use of expensive, hard retaining walls. Soft armoring protects against shoreline erosion, helps to clean runoff, and helps promote wildlife and aesthetics. Two techniques are mentioned below:
1. Natural shorelines
Buffer zones, created from native, beneficial plants, binds the shoreline and strengthens it to absorb wave energy and prevent erosion. Trees and shrubs, ranging in size and type, provide wildlife cover and habitat. Low growing flowers and ground cover, along the water's edge help minimize erosion and stop wave action. A buffer zone with plants of various types and heights helps create a healthy shoreline.
Reducing the amount of nutrient runoff is the first step toward removing noxious algae and invasive harmful aquatic weeds. Nutrients are found in fertilizers, gray water, and nonpoint source pollution. Excessive amounts of nonpoint source pollution run into rivers and lakes can promote algal blooms and harmful aquatic plants. These noxious, harmful aquatic plants reduce property values and cause freshwater degradation. Buffer zones, created with beneficial native plants, help collect excessive nutrients before they enter the water.
2. Riprap and natural stone
There are certain steep slopes around the lake which may need additional stabilization methods. Riprap is an option which helps prevent erosion, provides fish and wildlife habitat, and helps maintain shorelines. Riprap is rock or rubble which is used to armor shorelines. Geotextile fabric is usually placed beneath the riprap to prevent the soil from eroding between the rock. Riprap and natural stone provides good cover for fish and help soften wave energy.
Clean, healthy lake and beautiful shorelines increase property values, and contribute to the economic status of the entire community. It offers not only aesthetic value but provides ecological value as well. By using native, shoreline vegetation, as a buffer zone, lakefront property owners are providing for both human and ecological concerns. In steeper terrain, the additional use of riprap helps protect the shoreline and prevent erosion.