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Transforming a Coastal Bank

Over the past couple of years, Crawford Land Management has been working on a bank restoration project that has not only improved the stability and integrity of the bank, but also improved wildlife habitat on and adjacent to the bank in a sensitive coastal ecosystem. Read on to learn how this project was designed and implemented and to see how it’s doing now.


Another component of this bank restoration included the removal and treatment of invasive vegetation on the bank and in the adjacent upland. Invasive plants can wreak havoc on native ecosystems, disrupting the delicate balance that sustains biodiversity. Invasive vegetation was treated when the coir logs were installed, and the bank will continue to be maintained for a couple years to ensure they’re effectively eradicated.


This project began with the goal of improving the stability and integrity of a coastal bank abutting a tidal river in Chatham. We employ the use of coir logs which are constructed with interwoven coconut fibers and bound together with biodegradable netting. As highlighted in our previous blog, found here, these organic, biodegradable logs serve as a natural defense against erosion and shoreline degradation. Our staff designed a robust fiber roll array that worked with the pre-existing form of the bank to restore natural processes, and our field crews installed the coir roll array less than a year later.


The transformation continued with a focus on revegetation. It’s not just about removing the invasive vegetation; it’s about giving native plants the space and opportunity to thrive. Our staff designed a planting plan that would re-establish a native maritime plant community that would support the functions of this unique coastal ecosystem.


This project has been maintained and monitored for the last couple growing seasons, and we’re so pleased with how it’s performing. The coir rolls are supporting the bank and preventing erosion and scour, invasive vegetation has been controlled, and native species are even starting to naturally colonize along with the plantings CLM installed.

As we celebrate the success of this bank project, it serves as a reminder of the positive impact that thoughtful conservation efforts can have on our environment. CLM’s commitment to preserving and restoring natural habitats is not just a job–it’s a dedication to the well-being of our environment and the landscapes we love. Each project we are fortunate enough to work on tells a unique story. This transformation has been a story of resilience, restoration, and the enduring beauty of nature!


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