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Which Shoreline Approach Would Work for My Property?

Result: Bioengineering

Using natural features like logs and plants in place of, or in addition to, traditional structural protection provides a natural aesthetic and may provide ecological functions to fish. Bioengineering approaches will allow you to continue to protect your yard and home from erosion, while improving lakeshore habitat for fish and wildlife.

Several wetland shrubs and trees can be planted by staking clippings from mature plants into moist soils. Willows, cottonwoods, and dogwoods can all be planted this way. Combinations of partially buried clipping bundles (fascines) and stakes can be also be used. As these plants grow, their roots stabilize the shoreline. King County provides more information on live plant staking.

Shoreline plantings

Design: The Watershed Company,
Photo: City of Seattle

Design and Photo: The Berger Partnership

Logs can can be strategically placed to provide functions similar to a traditional bulkhead, while creating a more natural look. Logs should be anchored into the beach, using cables or by partially burying them, to prevent them from drifting away during storms.

Root wads provide an especially high habitat benefit.

Logs should not extend out into the water to a depth of 2' or more to avoid creating habitat for predatory fish.

Other Lakeshore Approaches to Consider

Want more information? Check out the guidebook: Green Shorelines: Bulkhead Alternatives for a Healthier Lake Washington.