Lake Superior Shoreline Vegetation Demonstration Projects for Erosion Control and Bluff Stability
Lake Superior, MN

Grantee: Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and Lake Superior Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Basin Program Funds: $14,700
Non-federal Funds: $8,030
Project Duration: 01/1998 - 07/1998
Status: complete

Problem Statement
Revegetation of the region directly landward of shoreline erosion control projects is required in order to sustain their long-term success. In order to choose the most appropriate woody or other deep rooted vegetation, specific guidelines for selecting Lake Superior facing slope and frontage specific species is required.

Before revegetation.

Final revegetation of several Lake Superior projects has not been completed to date because specific guidelines for species selection have not yet been devised. Issues to be addressed include height, whether species are native or exotic, erosion control capability and potential slope stability, plant acquisition and care. The development of a shoreline vegetation fact sheet will help disperse acquired information.

Four typical Lake Superior vegetation sites were selected, planting plans devised and demonstration planting carried out. The four sites included a flat splash zone directly landward of an existing rip-rap revetment; a steep rock and clay shoreline; a tall slumping clay bank with toe protected by a rock buttress; and a sandy beach back shore area. Detailed planting plans for each site were prepared for spring 1998 planting. Approximately 1,400 trees, plants and shrubs were planted in addition to ground cover and erosion control matting. Investigators also created a fact sheet to guide property owners in the future.

After revegetation.

A total of 880 tons of soil were saved annually. Because the planting formed the final aspect of each site's erosion control program, task specific amounts cannot be calculated for them, nevertheless each planting forms an integral aspect of the final soil saving calculation. It is expected that successful vegetation will result in improved fish habitat and ambient water quality.

The fact sheet, Erosion Control Vegetation for the Lake Superior Shoreline, was printed and made available for distribution to interested property owners.

Contact: Gene R. Clark, (218) 723-4752


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