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A fresh look at shoreline protection: New resources and solutions for strong, natural erosion control on Michigan’s inland lakes

Installed bioengineering project on Intermediate Lake in Antrim County. The individual and cumulative impacts of seawalls have deteriorated Michigan’s inland lake water quality and habitat. Seawalls and hardened shorelines significantly degrade lakes by reflecting wave energy, eliminating shoreline habitat for fish and wildlife, promoting runoff of nutrients and pollutants, and degrading water quality. The most lake-friendly solution to protect your shoreline from erosion while enhancing inland lake water quality and habitat is using techniques called bioengineering. Bioengineering is an all-natural solution that uses plants, appropriately sized rocks, and woody structure to protect shorelines from erosion.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has developed a variety of new resources to assist individuals who want to improve their shoreline and learn more about bioengineering and other inland lake best management practices (BMP). This webinar presents data and examples from around Michigan on the problems seawalls have caused, and the solutions that are available. Five new fact sheets covering low energy bioengineering, biotechnical erosion control, aquatic plants, shoreline woody structure, and soil lifts have recently been published on EGLE’s Shoreline Protection website, and paper copies are also available at EGLE’s District Offices. EGLE has also developed a new shoreline protection story map highlighting bioengineering projects around Michigan. This story map provides pictures, plans, and information on each bioengineering project, and will be continually updated with more information and new projects. If you’re ready to install a BMP on your shoreline EGLE also has example plans on seawall replacements using BMPs, lower energy bioengineering, higher energy bioengineering, riprap, docks and boardwalks through wetland, and shoreline woody structure. More information can be found on EGLE’s Shoreline Protection website and the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership.

Caption: Installed bioengineering project on Intermediate Lake in Antrim County.

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