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.