February 1, 2013 - GREEN BIZ
Creeks naturally want to meander, but in urban settings we try to channelize or control the direction and flow of the water. Channelizing the creek decreases the slope of the banks and increases the water’s velocity, which can cause instability within the creek channel and eventually create pockets of significant erosion, Dietrich says. This threatens a creek’s ecosystem and adjacent infrastructure.
Traditionally, controlling erosion was done with hard, inert structures such as rock or gabion walls — non-environmental friendly tactics known to fail easily and require regular maintenance. “Bioengineering as a solution to erosion has come to the forefront recently because of its ability to use natural plants to help stabilize high erosion areas without sacrificing many environmental benefits that old hard engineering did,” Dietrich says.... http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/learning_from_nature_using_bioengineering_to_save_water_bodies