Building Natural Shoreline​s
Custom fabrication of geotextiles for shoreline erosion control
"We will be part of your team to fabricate custom solutions for site specific problems."

Handling

​Innovation

Facilitating the process from the job site.
Top filled geo tube rim. 
Using industrial sewing for manageable components saves on material and labor.

Utilization and Control of Aquatic Plants

Erosion controled swimming beaches protected by aquatic non-invasive garden beds.
Working to combine bio-engineering and erosion control with geotextiles to build gradual beaches in site specific areas having high water energy. 
Experimenting with biodegradeable and geotextiles materials to establish aquatic plants in areas not suitable for minor permits.

LAKE MICHIGAN SHORELINE EROSION HISTORIC SOLUTION

   Realizing not everyone who owns lake front property on Lake Michigan, had the experience of trying to dig a hole to China on the beach as a young person. If they had, I doubt I would see so many dollars spent trying to protect the lawn at the top of the dune with some type of construction. In the same way as digging my hole on the beach, and watching it fill with water and more sand collapsing in from the rim, Lake Michigan Shore Erosion occurs from mother natures digging, called SCOURING. Digging a hole with a shovel on the beach is a perfect scale model if you want to gain an appreciation for shoreline erosion on a sandy Great Lakes beach.
   Since we are going back in time, lets re-introduce some language that is historically common on this subject. In addition to SCOURING we also have NOURISHMENT. And again, this is not new information. Scouring occurs when the return water from waves encounters in-coming waves. The water has to go somewhere. As young children, or parents with young swimmers wanting to brave the waves, we had to hold on to hands to get past the torrent deep river just off shore. That river carries NOURISHMENT SAND , if you can trap it. OR, it digs a ditch at the base of your unstable sand bluff. It becomes a giant child with a giant shovel digging a hole on the beach. The erosion first occurs in the water just off shore.
In the past, JETTIES were the most common approach to interfere with the off shore scouring. This was also popular with property owners realizing that having access to a beach was good for the soul and property values. Seawalls also worked but the shallow shore in front was lost. Hardening off a beach with a barge load of big boulders shipped in from another state is very affective, very expensive and very permanent. The discouraged will say there is nothing that can be done if the water continue to rise. With six to eight foot waves making it to shore last Autumn, it would be hard to convince them otherwise. Its not just the water level that is the problem. It is also the wind that is becoming stronger. However! Would if the big wind driven wave could not make it to shore. Would if you could make that 6 to 8 ft wave break 25 ft out and tame it into “safe for children” when it gently reaches the shore?
   Well, it was already done in the recent history of the 80’s, or the last time the water level reached the high mark. Woven sand filled Geotextile reefs and jetties were used to break waves and to trap sand. And it worked great. I know because my company made them. But the system was vulnerable to damage from waves carrying rip rap. The solution at the time was to pump them with cement. Now, I am no engineer. But in the same way as a rigid sea wall looses sand in front, any rigid flat surface will cause water to scour around it. It is critical to reduce the water energy along the surface. Using cement ‘beached wales” on the beach seems to toe up the bank, but what does cement cost now? And what value do you place, or want to protect on your BEACH front property?
   At that time, my company came up with an affordable alternative hoping to stop the “cement brigade”. It was really quite simple. Geotextiles come in many types and strengths for all engineering challenges. By incorporating two layers of two types of geotextiles having specific engineering characteristics, we created a system resistant to rip rap damage. The inner layer is a non woven type commonly used in earthen damns. The material is compressed VS bonded, so the fibers will migrate to the damaged area when water and soil pass thru. The non woven types are also very impact resistant especially when housing sand. The outer layer is a woven material like the old models, but it is “callendered”. Calenders are big heated rollers that cause the cross members in a woven geotextile to warp giving it better resistance to unraveling. These are now called Mono filaments. Upon testing, it was also observed, the two areas of damage did not align. Upon impact the material would slide and the two damaged areas were too far apart for sand to easily escape. What is also key, and occurs at the surface, is permeability. Two layers of an engineered permeable soil stabilization material, that is housing sand, absorbs far more energy at the surface than cement, or a rigid straight wall. Small waves can be observed dissipating on top instead of washing off. This reduces the energy in the return water that causes scouring. And though this is not a permanent system, in the unlikely event a bag in an entire system is damaged enough to loose sand, it is less complicated and affordable to be replaced. Geotextiles will last 20 years in water or soil with a normal pH range. The material exposed to the sun can be treated with an environmentally friendly UV inhibitor (sun screen). If the water goes down, cut the tops of the bags off for a sandy beach with a stable base. If the water goes up, add more groins to extend the beach.
   Fast forward to now. My company was fabricating manageable sections of non woven grotextiles for a marine construction company using sand encapsulating to build a natural shore. I discovered the system I developed back in the eighties was not common knowledge. I guess that history should have been recorded. OR, Marine Construction wants to offer more assurance that comes from a bigger more expensive (one thousand per ft) project. I can appreciate having invested into heavy equipment. Dredge Excavating sand from off shore into geotextile bags would only require a few people and a dredge excavating pump. The Piranha is considered the most user friendly for the “Do it your selfer”. It can move 10 to 40 cu yards of material per hour depending on type of material , elevation and distance. A lateral pumping of sand from a short distance off shore would not labor a Piranha Dredge Excavating Pump. Standard size Erosion Control Geo Jetties 25 ft long with x 15 ft cir would fill in aprox 1 hour each. The lake bottom areas being dredge will quickly close up as sand in less than 15 ft of depth will move in the off shore currents creating sand bars.   

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