Waterfront Ground cover

Asked July 24, 2020, 3:23 PM EDT

We have a summer home on a bay of a river. The four feet or so of the shore get littered with debris from spring high water. I was wondering if there is something I could plant that will prevent erosion, is tolerant to being under water for a while every spring, is reasonably attractive, and (hopefully) can be walked on. This is Upper Michigan, so it must tolerate cold winters.

Marquette County Michigan

1 Response

Hello and thank you for using Michigan State University Extension for your ask an expert eXtension shoreline protection question.

You can get some inland lake information for upland activities that can help without a permit at the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership website. Lakes are discussed, but much can also be applied to a stream. Go to https://www.mishorelinepartnership.org/. They have a tab that lists native plants appropriate for shoreline restoration projects. Also listed are specially trained contractors that specialize in that work.

Protecting your river bank shoreline from erosion will require a permit. I encourage you to have a conversation with EGLE before embarking on any stream erosion control activities. Find your district office here: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/wrd-district-offices_345311_7.pdf

They will be happy to discuss with you the details of any erosion control project.

Get more information about EGLE Water programs here: https://www.michigan.gov/egle/0,9429,7-135-3313---,00.html