For many shorelines along the moderate to lower energy areas of Delaware's tributaries and bays, the creation of fringing marshes is an effective, less expensive option for the control of shoreline erosion.

These marshes:

  • act as a buffer from wave energy to lessen the effects of erosion
  • reduce the amount of pollutants entering the water by filtering upland runoff and trapping sediment and nutrients
  • enhance the fisheries and near shore habitat value of an area
  • present a natural, attractive view from both land and water.

With some bank grading, natural vegetation may be used in low energy areas to lessen the effects of erosion. For moderate to higher energy areas with exposed shorelines, it is possible to combine the use of wetlands plantings with low profile alternatives such as rip-rap sills or breakwaters to provide effective solutions.There are some basic guidelines which can help you to choose a technique which will be successful for your shoreline. The following questions and possible solutions may help you to determine your needs.

This combination of Rip-rap and vegetation, at Camp Arrowhead on Rehoboth Bay, can be used to provide effective shoreline stabilization. erode4a.jpg - 49.7 K

Question: Is wave action a factor?

Waves can be caused by wind, tidal currents and boat wakes, and can undercut the toe of the slope, which can then slump and erode. Solutions:

  • Reinforce the toe of the slope with some combination of rip-rap/gabions and vegetation.
  • Regrade the bank and vegetate above or in combination with rip-rap.
  • Limit boat speeds.
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