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Bioengineering your Shoreline Can Save Money & Improve Water Quality
Bioengineering is defined by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality as “using a combination of native planting and natural, or biodegradable materials to provide shoreline protection.” It also is often referred to as softshore engineering or lakescaping.

Many shorelines use seawalls. These are a hard surface, such as wood, metal or concrete, that is installed to act as a buffer by blocking waves to keep them from reaching the adjacent land. However, the hard surface bounces the energy back into the water picking up soil and sand causing erosion at the base of the wall called “scour.” This “scouring” reduces the stability of the seawall, decreases water clarity and has a negative impact on aquatic plants and animals.

A bioengineered or softshore engineered shoreline absorbs most, if not all, of the wave energy as it comes onto the shore. This reduces both erosion and scour providing more stability to the shoreline.  Native shoreline plants also absorb nutrients and other pollutants in surface runoff keeping them out of the water.



 
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Watercraft Inspectors Protecting Against Aquatic Invasive Species - Lake goers can expect to see a larger presence of watercraft inspectors this summer. The Otter Tail County Board approved the hiring of 30 positions for watercraft inspectors for 2018. The Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force will be doing what they can to fill these positions and prevent the spread of invasive species in the county lakes and rivers.


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