Innovative Erosion Control Involving the Beneficial Use of Dredged Material, Indigenous Vegetation, and Landscaping Along the Lake Erie Shoreline
PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources
Basin Program Funds:
Preseque Isle State Park, located on the shore of Lake Erie at Erie, Pennsylvania,
attracts approximately four million visitors annually who enjoy the park's multi-purpose
trail, boating opportunities and visiting the Perry Monument. A sand bar that
has developed northeast of the Perry Monument restricts recreational boat usage
in the immediate vicinity.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of
State Parks -- Presque Isle State Park cooperated with the Presque Isle Partnership
to develop an innovative, low cost solution to bay inlet erosion in Presque
Isle State Park. The project team decided to incorporate a combination of riprap,
indigenous plants and landscape architecture to retard shoreline erosion.
Presque Isle State Park, located on Lake Erie's southern shore near Erie, Pennsylvania,
is a major recreational resource used by approximately four million visitors
annually. In addition to some 13 miles of hiking trails, the park offers access
to Lake Erie and is a popular destination for boaters, anglers and bathers.
A significant sand bar, some 300 feet long and 25 feet wide, has developed off
the northeast tip of Perry Monument, restricting recreational boat usage in
the immediate area. Additionally, along Misery Bay the shoreline has eroded
to within 15 feet of the multi-purpose trail.
Project personnel proposed dredging some 200 feet of sand from
the Perry Monument sand bar to use in stabilizing the shoreline at Misery Bay.
The project would leave a portion of the Perry Monument sand bar intact to allow
canoeists and boaters a convenient launch spot.
The team dredged and dewatered approximately 400 tons of
sand from the Perry Monument sand bar. At the same time they placed 24 inch
riprap along the Misery Bay site. When the sand have been adequately dried,
it was spread over the riprap to create a natural dune profile. Native species,
which had been saved from the sandbar dredging, were planted to assist in stabilization.
These included willow, red osier dogwood, silky dogwood and button bush. The
sand was also covered with geotextile made of coconut fibre to protect the sand
from erosion while young plants gain a foothold. Project team members also constructed
wattles from the native cuttings and used fallen willow trees as timber groins
to act as wave dissipaters and stabilize the new sand dune further.
Park staff will disseminate this information via the "Ask DCNR" on the Department
of Conservation and Natural Resources web page www.dcnr.state.pa.us. They also
intend to notify local conservation districts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Natural Resources Conservation Service, county and municipal planners and
other interested groups about the project. It has received coverage in the Erie
Morning News, the Harrisburg Patriot and the July 1998 edition of the
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources newsletter, Resources.
Project personnel estimate the life of the project at 25 years.
Over that time some 594 tons of soil, 5,940 pound of phosphorus and 1,188 pounds
of nitrogen are expected to be kept out of the bay. The project team reached
approximately 75 students and local officials during the project period with
a multi-media presentation and an on-site inspection. In addition, over 300
students will be exposed to the project beyond the grant period.
Contact: Harry Leslie, (814) 833-7424