Landscape professionals carrying coir log into Ford Lake shoreline
Installing coir log along Ford Lake shoreline

In the sunshine on May 3, a group of contractors and landscape professionals topped off their Michigan Certified Natural Shoreline Professional Training Course by restoring 100 feet of Ford Lake’s shoreline. Coir logs made of biodegradable coconut fibers were staked in place to reduce wave action and protect the seedlings of native plants. Switchgrass , Bulrush, Blue Flag Iris, Black-Eyed Susans  and other deep-rooted native plants will replace the lawn, and shield the land from continued erosion. JFNew Ecological Consultants worked to design the project along with the collaborating partners Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti Township, the Middle Huron Stormwater Advisory Group and HWRC.

The Michigan Certified Natural Shoreline Professional (MCNSP) program is a function of the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership, which aims to promote natural shoreline landscaping to protect inland lakes throughout the state. This initiative helps landscaping professionals and marine contractors develop skills in bioengineering a shoreline control, which can be used on both private and public lands in place of the traditional steel or stone break-walls.  Natural shoreline restoration can help prevent shoreline erosion, reduce runoff pollution, promote ecological functioning, and provide a more beautiful landscape for people and wildlife to enjoy.

These newly certified professionals will be adding new knowledge and skills acquired through the course to provide natural shoreline restoration services through their businesses.  Over 90% of the course participants expect the new certification to open up new business opportunities for them.

Riparian property owners interested in natural shoreline restoration can contact HRWC for more information.