Shoreline stabilization using riprap breakwaters on a Midwestern reservoir

  • Published source details Severson J.P., Nawrot J.R. & Eichholz M.W. (2009) Shoreline stabilization using riprap breakwaters on a Midwestern reservoir. Lake and Reservoir Management, 25, 208-216.


Action: Build barriers to protect vegetation from rising water levels and severe weather

A replicated, site comparison study in 1999–2005 in a reservoir in Illinois, USA (Severson et al. 2009) found that shorelines protected with breakwaters had greater macrophyte richness and cover of than unprotected shorelines. After 2–6 years, protected shorelines supported 75–88 macrophyte species, compared to only 12 on unprotected shorelines (statistical significance not assessed). Protected shorelines had greater macrophyte cover (42–70%) than unprotected shorelines (9%). Macrophyte cover also increased with time since breakwater construction (2 years: 42%; 4 years: 57%; 6 years: 70%). Methods: Between 1999 and 2003, roughly 2 km of breakwaters were constructed along highly eroding parts of the Lake Kinkaid shoreline. Breakwaters were made of limestone riprap, placed 2–13 m from the bank. Macrophytes were surveyed in August 2005, along 199 transects in shallow water (26–78 behind breakwaters of each age; 40 in highly eroding unprotected sites). Surveys certainly included submerged plants, and may have included emergent plants (not clearly reported).

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust