Shore Protection

Shore Protection*

As we all know, there is truly a lack of information in Manitoba on how to protect our shoreline. As such, the following information has been obtained from the University of Minnesota, who has provided detailed information on shoreline protection:

Regardless of the natural protection on your shore, the right combination of conditions (such as high lake level and wind direction) can result in a severe wave pounding, and shoreland soil may need additional  protection.

Placement of large rock, usually referred to as rip-rap, is the preferred and most common form of shore protection (see Figure below). Technical methods are available to determine rock size, placement geometry, and elevations to ensure the best protection.

Figure : Proper rip-rap placement (MHW=mean high water, MLW=mean low water).

Potential shore protection alternatives include:

  • bulkheads (retaining walls)
  • gabions (rock-filled wire baskets)
  • articulating blocks (cable-connected concrete blocks)
  • Geoweb matrix (thick, open-cell plastic grid)

A few of the alternatives can be placed by hand.  Some other alternatives, such as railroad ties, are often tried but rarely work. If you have your own idea for a solution, you should seek technical advice first.

If rip-rap is used, crushed or blasted rock locks together better than rounded boulders, but can be very expensive unless it is readily available.

Geotextile fabric is usually placed beneath the rock rip-rap to prevent soil loss through the rip-rap openings. It is easy to place and provides an excellent filter barrier (Figure 4). In order to prevent punctures, plenty of slack should be provided over protruding objects that cannot be removed. A layer of sand or fine gravel can be placed on the fabric for extra protection against puncture. Enough fabric should be laid out so that the rip-rap periphery can be “wrapped” by bringing the fabric up and back down into the rip-rap. This will help hold the rip-rap together as one structural unit. Keep in mind that sunlight will degrade exposed fabric. As an alternative to the fabric, a graded filter layer can be used beneath rip-rap to prevent soil loss through the rip-rap openings.

Sufficient rock must be placed at the base of the rip-rap for toe protection. Excavated toe material must be removed from the lakebed and placed in a non-wetland area.

*this information from the University Minnesota on Shoreline Protection.
URL: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/components/DD6946g.html

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