Due to rapid agricultural/industrial development and mismanagement of natural ecosystems, erosion has been a global issue in achieving sustainable ecosystem management. Degree of erosion is accelerated by various sources covering rainfall, soil texture, gradient of slope, ground cover, and current velocity of streams. Soil erosion accelerated by water, wind, or tillage affects greatly agricultural areas and the natural environment.
In addition to the traditional problems of agriculture-related erosion, erosion control for natural ecosystems has been recently a critical issue. Especially erosion control in the border area between land and lake such as shoreline is critical for achieving sustainability of ecosystems and for obtaining maximum socioeconomic benefit from environmental amenity.
An innovative control for shoreline erosion was successfully carried out in a state park in the lake area. The dual goal of the project was to combine the beneficial use of dredge material, indigenous plants, and landscaping to reduce sediment loading into Lake Erie, and to protect the recreational aspects of Presque Isle State Park. The completed project has resulted in several additional hectares of stabilized vegetation and has decreased soil and subsequent nutrient runoff from entering Lake Erie. The amount of material removed from the Perry Monument sand bar has facilitated recreational boat usage and shoreline fishing in this area.
Through the years, conventional erosion protection techniques at Presque Isle State Park have been both costly and inappropriate for natural area management. Conversely, this economical project (a total cost of $33 000) has provided a natural and esthetic alternative to conventional shoreline erosion protection. While remaining within standard bureaucratic financial constraints, the project affords a valuable example to other parks and recreational facilities in the similar situations with the challenge of minimizing erosion while maintaining a natural appearance, and finding a beneficial use for dredge material.
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