Natural shoreline vegetation protects the shoreline from erosion. Woody shrubs on the bank and emergent plants (like bulrush) in the water stabilize the soil with their roots and absorb and dissipate wave energy. If you are lucky enough to have the natural vegetation at your shoreline, keep it! It will continue to protect your shoreline at no cost to you.
The Benefits of Bulrush
The natural "tules" (mostly bulrush) that fringe Moses Lake in undisturbed sites do a lot for our lake:
- Buffer wind and wave action to protect shorelines from excessive erosion
- Roots hold soft sediment in place
- Prevent local invasion by invasives like Eurasian milfoil
- Remove nitrogen from the water to make it less available for algal blooms
- Provide hiding cover for juvenile fish
- Provide organic matter food source for aquatic invertebrates which ultimately become food for various fish species
- Produce a lot of seeds eaten by songbirds & waterfowl
- Staple food for muskrats and other small mammals
- Good cover for upland game birds, water fowl, small nongame birds, and small mammals
- Nesting cover and escape cover for songbirds and waterfowl.
- Nesting cover for heron & egret
Recommended Plants for Shorelines
This chart (PDF) shows species that are native to the area, are especially attractive and/or have good habitat or stabilization value, and are also typically available at retail nurseries.