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What’s the Best Way to Protect Your Shoreline at Your Lake Home?

protect your shorelines and bluffs

Protecting your shoreline is one of the best things you can do for the future of your lakefront property. When your shoreline erodes, this leads to property loss over time. As you lose property, your property value will go down with it. Thankfully, at Natural Environments Corporation, we have a few methods we can use to prevent this. In this blog post, we’ll be going over them and talking about which method is best depending on your situation.

Three Ways to Protect Your Shoreline 

There are three main ways to protect your shoreline, which include bioengineering, hard armoring, and the hybrid method. Here is a closer look at each one:

1. Biological

The first type is called a biological solution, also sometimes referred to as a living shoreline. That type of method involves using plants and other natural materials to help stabilize the shoreline. The plants’ roots keep the sediment in place as waves wash over the shore. 

2. Hard Armoring  

The second method is known as hard armoring. Oftentimes, this is referred to as rip rap. This method utilizes the installation of stone along a shoreline to help protect it from erosion. We place a layer of filter rock on top of geotextile fabric, as well as toe boulders at the base of the slope. 

3. Hybrid Method

The final method is called a hybrid method. This is essentially a combination of bioengineering and hard armoring. We add some plants to naturalize the shoreline along with some stone, though not as much as rip rap. 

Which Method Should You Use? 

The bioengineering solution is only utilized in low to medium-impact areas, hybrid is used in medium to high-impact areas, and rip rap systems are utilized only in high-impact areas. Whether your shoreline erosion counts as low, medium, or high-impact can be difficult to determine without professional help. 

We recommend calling in a shoreline erosion specialist like Natural Environments Corporation to make sure the right solution is implemented. If you have a low or medium-impact solution installed when your erosion is severe, then the solutions won’t work, and you’ll have wasted time and money. Meanwhile, using hard armoring on a shoreline that doesn’t need it will prevent plants from growing in the areas where the stone was installed. 

Professional vs. DIY Shoreline Protection

While DIY shoreline protection methods sound like a good way to save money at first, it actually leads to a lot of hassle. The main reason is that shorelines in Minnesota are protected by local watershed districts, which have strict regulations. For example, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District has regulations pertaining to preparing the slope, removing vegetation, when rip rap can be installed, types of aquatic plants, and many more.  

You’ll need to navigate these types of regulations and the permitting process, which can be tedious. Professional landscapers at Natural Environments Corporation know the relevant local guidelines and how to navigate permits, saving you time and potential legal trouble in the end. Plus, their expertise can prevent continued erosion due to improper installation.

Protect Your Shoreline Today With Natural Environments Corporation

protect your shoreline

At Natural Environments Corporation, we’re here to fix your shoreline erosion issues. We have 40 years of experience working in many cities throughout Minnesota on shoreline erosion projects. We’re familiar with the watershed districts in each area enough to be confident that the project will go smoothly. Our expert knowledge can help guide you towards the right shoreline erosion solution to preserve both your property and the environment. Take the first step to protect your shoreline by contacting us today





Our landscaping services in Minneapolis St. Paul – Twin Cities include landscape design, retaining walls, boulder retaining walls, stone walls, rip rap, shoreline erosion control, patios, driveways, helical piers and more.


Phone: (763) 544-8002
Email: Contact us