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  • Jodi Eberhardt

Reduce Shoreland Erosion

If your shoreland is eroding away, stabilizing the shoreland will be necessary to reduce

erosion. Possible causes may include:

• fluctuating water levels,

• increased wave or wake action, ice pushes in the spring, or

• loss of natural vegetation to hold the soil in place.

Rip rap and retaining walls are usually not the best choice for stabilizing shoreland erosion.

They can negatively impact the lake by creating an unnatural barrier between

upland areas and the shoreland environment that destroys vegetative transition areas

and eliminates critical habitat for many species. Retaining walls deflect wave energy

back to the lake instead of diffusing it, which can undercut the base of the wall and

cause increased erosion at the ends making the water more turbid. Neither rip rap or

retaining walls will prevent ice ridges from forming—rock cannot withstand the up to

30,000 pounds of ice pressure per square inch. Natural shoreline vegetation is the best

protection from both wave erosion and ice heaves, and it’s less expensive and longer


Each shoreland situation is different. Consulting shoreland landscaping professionals,

the DNR Area Hydrologist, or the Soil and Water Conservation District is encouraged to

determine the best solution for your shoreline erosion situation.

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