Shoreline reconstructed with geobag system
Located just southeast of Dallas, Texas, Cedar Creek Lake has long been popular as a recreational and lake home destination. Inspired by getaways including Seaside, Watercolor and Horseshoe Bay, Long
Cove was created by Dallas developer (and local lakefront homeowner) Don McNamara. The community of lakefront cottages, recreation and entertainment spaces now spans more than 1,000 acres, including nearly 6 miles of shoreline.
Like many large reservoirs, shoreline degradation due to fetch and seasonal draw-down is common. Increased frequency of large rain events has also driven up water levels and creates more opportunities for overland flow. These natural factors along with stronger wake from seasonal watercraft traffic quickly erode sediment and vegetation, weakening the shoreline. In some cases, the public and private shorelines of Long Cove lost as much as 30 feet of land. In short, what Cedar Creek Lake and Long Cove are experiencing is common on lake shorelines throughout the U.S. and Canada.
According to Levi Wild, civil engineer of Wild Development, “Rather than utilizing the typical hard armoring solutions, the Long Cove team sought out a green solution that would provide permanent protection, while increasing the aesthetic and natural shoreline habitat.”
Envirolok’s living shoreline approach was a fit for reconstructing a permanent natural shoreline. Through collaboration with Wild and contractor Scott Coleman, of Fireside Environmental, Envirolok proposed a reinforced shoreline using its geobag systems. The shorelines could be reconstructed at a 1:1 slope or less to better receive wave energy. Because of the amount of wave energy, Envirolok’s tan geobag and spike system was embedded and wrapped with geogrid to a minimum depth of 12 inches below the lake bottom at the low water level.
Although it was determined that the system would withstand the lake's energy without hard armoring, the development team chose to place native iron ore boulders at the toe of the Envirolok slope for consistent design theme with other boulder features on shorelines and landscapes that intertwine throughout the community. Fireside Environmental began the shoreline restoration in summer of 2019 and continues to actively work on new stretches. Upon completing each section, reclaimed shoreline areas are sodded with low maintenance grasses, while the Envirolok system is planted with a mixture of native grasses, sedges and wildflowers. In addition to growing in the challenging shoreline environments, the native plantings provide key habitat for a variety of wildlife.