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Shoreline Erosion: Meeting the Velocity, Meeting the Volume
Flooding at Ogden Dunes
Ogden Dunes, IN, is a picturesque town to the west of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Also bordering the town is an area water manager James Kopp describes as a “long lake, more like a swamp, about a mile long and 3 to 4 feet deep with a varying width.”
At a narrow end is Ogden Dunes, where three years ago there was so much rain that 18 inches of water covered the road for four days. The town used sand dikes as a temporary structure to control the water.
“The Indiana Department of Environmental Management [IDEM] didn’t like that, so we had to come back and do something else,“ notes Kopp. Shoresox—a biodegradable berm filled with organic material such as cornstalks—were chosen to deal with the problem.
“We put the Shoresox along the edge and dug the edge out a little bit to give us a better water’s edge or barrier and put the socks in,” says Kopp, adding that the town also planted vegetation in the Shoresox.
The installation process entailed using a backhoe to dig down 20 inches and put the Shoresox along the banks. “We built it up with the material we took out to make it straight and give it some water depth on the other side,” says Kopp.
The cornstalk material in the Shoresox helps absorb water and prevents it from channeling, allowing it to puddle and sink into the sand.
“After it rains, everything’s gone in about 20 minutes,” Kopp says.
In addition to the Shoresox, the town planted wildflowers in the area, funded by a $10,000 grant.
The Shoresox have held up well, notes Kopp. “We had to get something that IDEM would accept,” he says. “They had experience with this. It seemed like the best solution for our application.”
Author: Carol Brzozowski writes on the topics of technology and industry. “Erosion Control Magazine”