Shoreline erosion at Bass Lake

Eroded shoreline at Marrison Road boat launch in Summit Township. The Mason-Lake Conservation District is organizing work days on June 18-19 to help restore the shoreline.

The Mason-Lake Conservation District and Summit Township have teamed up to restore the shoreline of Bass Lake.

The shoreline next to the Marrison Road boat launch has been eroding due to many factors, mainly high water levels and wave action. One way to combat these erosion forces is through bioengineered natural shorelines. Simply by using native plants and biodegradable materials, natural shorelines not only protect from erosion but also slow down rain and pollution runoff, deter geese from using lawns, and provide diverse habitat for an array of wildlife.

The Bass Lake project will consist of reshaping the slope of the shore to prevent ice from pushing the shoreline back, then laying erosion blankets along the shore, and placing coir logs (coconut logs) down to protect the newly installed plants. Finally, more than 800 native plants will be planted along the shore, including wildflowers, sedges and rushes. These plants will provide the protection needed for many years to come, as well as provide the public with an aesthetically pleasing view.

Not only will this project benefit lake residents, it will also serve as a demonstration site to anyone interested in natural shorelines.

The conservation district encourages anyone interested in natural shorelines or who wants to spend time outdoors to come volunteer to help with the project. The project dates are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 on Friday, June 18, and from 2 to 5 on Saturday, June 19 at the Marrison Road boat launch.

Volunteers should bring boots, gloves, a shovel, and a garden trowel. A limited supply of tools will be available for those who don’t have them.

Those interested in volunteering can contact Jerry Kass by calling (231) 757-3707 ext. 110 or emailing

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