Signs of Shoreline Deterioration

Maintaining a strong shoreline is important for the local ecosystem, but soft and living shorelines are not immune to damage from weather and time. Recognizing when it's time to restore your shore-side property can be difficult, so what should you keep an eye on to ensure you keep up with the needs of your waterfront?

Signs Your Soft or Living Shoreline Needs Restoration

Erosion and Loss of Vegetation:

  • Indicator: Noticeable loss of vegetation or soil erosion along the shoreline.
  • Implication: Erosion compromises the stability of the shoreline and reduces the protective function of vegetation. Restoration is needed to reinforce the shoreline and replant native vegetation.

Decline in Biodiversity:

  • Indicator: Reduced presence of native plants and a decline in wildlife activity.
  • Implication: A decrease in biodiversity indicates an imbalance in the ecosystem. Restoration involves reintroducing native plant species to support local wildlife and restore the ecological equilibrium.

Freshwater Level Changes:

  • Indicator: Evidence of fluctuating freshwater levels causing increased flooding or changes in lake level.
  • Implication: Changing water levels can impact the health of soft or living shorelines along lakeshores. Restoration efforts may involve adjusting vegetation types or implementing measures to adapt to evolving lake conditions.

Storm Damage:

  • Indicator: Visible damage, such as uprooted vegetation or shifted sediments, after storms or extreme weather events.
  • Implication: Storms can disrupt the natural balance of a soft or living shoreline. Restoration may be necessary to repair damage, replant vegetation, and reinforce the shoreline against future storm impacts.

Altered Hydrology:

  • Indicator: Changes in water flow patterns, such as increased sedimentation or altered tidal movements.
  • Implication: Altered hydrology affects the overall health of the shoreline ecosystem. Restoration efforts may focus on reestablishing natural water flow patterns and sediment dynamics