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Shoreline Stabilization with Plants by Leigh Fulghum

Bay Village Shoreline Restoration, Fort Myers, Florida

Fifteen hundred feet of shoreline of this lagoon front property were at risk. As a remedy, what some call the "galveston" approach, seawall to water, was estimated at $150,000.00. That did not include environmental permits, mitigation and what- not that comes along.

Fortunately, a soil engineer was head of the Committee. We knew the main erosion was occurring during heavy rain events when water poured off the buildings, built on a high slope with a steep grade, and ran in sheets down the closely mowed slope. Though a mangrove fringe was present and well-tended, mowing up to the fringe was causing wash-out and gaps had occurred in the fringe which as well had become narrower over the years.

My plan for this beautiful community on the bay was based on Southwest Florida Water Management's "Living Slopes Initiative." Total cost was around $20,000, including adding some landscaping and removing unsuitable plants.

As I heard it, the Committee received a standing ovation from residents at the big Meeting, and the shoreline has been declared stabilized.

Properly managed, this plan will continue to catch soil from wind and water erosion, which will widen the mangrove fringe into a green living seawall for the future. At the moment this project is undergoing "Wedelia Removal Iniative," a real job of hand-weeding that has to be done to establish the shore stabilizing grasses and railroad vine.

If your property, small or large, is suffering from shoreline erosion, e-mail Leigh today, before galveston is the only choice left!