River restoration is a process that helps restore degraded riverways and improve biodiversity, benefiting both wildlife and people. It can involve many different techniques. Coir-based erosion control is superior for long-term river restoration due to many reasons, as compared to traditional river restoration techniques.
What are some traditional river restoration techniques and why is coir erosion control a better choice?
River Channel Modification or Alteration vs. Coir
Channel restoration or modification is one of the most-used ways to deal with river degradation. Modifying river channels can lead to better habitats for plants and animals that live in the river corridor. However, people should exercise a lot of caution when practicing this method because it can lead to flooding and excessive erosion, among other damages, particularly when it is not well planned.
River channel modifications can affect how the river dissipates its energy through its channel. This, in turn, affects the velocity of the river, the size and volume of sediment distribution, water surface elevations, scour, and river turbulence.
Working with the existing river by installing coir barriers around the banks of the river can be a better and cheaper choice, and ultimately, healthier for the entire surrounding ecosystem.
Construction of Rip-Raps vs. Coir
Rips-raps are stones that are systematically arranged alongside the riverbank. The arrangement of the stones is done in an intersecting manner, and this helps to protect the riverbank from erosion and washouts. These structures are ideal in situations where the sections of the riverbank are confined or when there is a threat to the substructure near the river. But how do rip-raps compare to using coir logs?
Coir is less prone to being distributed than stones. Coir can be placed underground and plants planted on top. Coir-based erosion control is more attractive and appears natural due to the foliage that grows above the coir logs.
Using Bush Layering
Bush layering is another simple and frequently-used way to restore a river. Bush layering involves placing branches on the riverbank with the aim of controlling erosion. As the new plants begin to sprout from the branches placed on the riverbank, the roots act as anchors to hold the soil, and this helps in preventing soil erosion. While bush layering works for many cases, coir is a nearly-universal solution that can provide a longer-term and lasting solution to erosion control needs.
Hopefully, the above comparisons help you identify some possible solutions to different river restoration needs and why coir is the superior choice. A qualified erosion control expert, such as BIO-D® Erosion Control, should be consulted when the need arises for this type of project since these projects can be sensitive to many environmental conditions.