Watershed group’s “blanket” approach to erosion control

photo: Watershed group's approach to erosion control

Members of the Nashwaak Watershed Association install an erosion control blanket on the riverbank. (Joe McDonald/CBC News)

Two of the Nashwaak River’s big issues are warm water and high metal content and a project underway this week is supposed to help with both. Members of the Nashwaak Watershed Association and contractors have been busy rebuilding a section of riverbank south of the old cotton mill in the Marysville area of Fredericton. Instead of the typical way people reinforce their waterfront properties with a pile of rocks, they’re using a bioengineered technique. It’s less complicated and less expensive than the more popular and ecologically sterile rock-wall alternative, the association says.

Jillian Hudgins, the project co-ordinator, said the work begins with a rock toe, a base of rocks placed firmly along the lower part of the riverbank. "We get big spring floods here, ice flowing through, so we need that rock toe to secure the bottom of the river bank. … And then the upper portion of the river bank is covered with a geotextile fabric — an erosion control blanket." Under that blanket are half-metre soil tiers […]

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