Question:Are fluctuating water levels a problem?

erode7.jpg - 51.0 K Fluctuating water levels such as those which occur on tidal shorelines may make it difficult to get vegetation established or keep natural banks stabilized.


  • Where regrading is not necessary, stabilize the toe of the bank from the full range of tidal action by some combination of rip-rap (such as a low-profile revetrnent) and/or suitable vegetation.
  • When regrading, allow the fluctuating water levels to help create a stable slope during construction. Also, observe the range of rise and fall of the waters when planning the planting scheme for your site.
  • Choose vegetation that can adjust to fluctuating water levels.

Question:What should you plant?

The growing season is an important factor in deciding when to plant. Spring is the best time to plant because it gives the plants an entire growing season to become established and take a firm hold. For plantings such as dune grasses, planting is done over the winter months to allow at least one good freeze during dormancy. For tidal marsh areas such as the Inland Bays area, the grasses that are most commonly planted include smooth cordgrass planted in the intertidal zone, and saltmeadow hay planted above the mean high tide. These grasses are adapted to a wide range of salt tolerances and form a protective matting as the waves roll over them. Other grasses and plants may also be used in more freshwater areas.

For planting in dune areas, American beachgrass is most commonly planted. In addition, disturbed areas above the beach are planted. The type of grasses used vary according to the site. All grasses should be properly fertilized.

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