The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations describes coir as the thickest and most resistant of all-natural commercial fibers, making it a great biodegradable option for erosion control. Its strong fibers and low rate of decomposition give coir a key advantage over other erosion control options. Coir offers a variety of erosion control options, including coir blankets, coir geotextile, coir wattle, and coir logs, each offering a different method to help prevent erosion and help to promote vegetation growth.
Protection from Harmful Runoff and Water Flow Reduction
To help control harmful runoff from construction or industrial sites into neighborhood storm drains, companies turn to coir wattle. This long, tubular log-like weave allows water to run through while retaining soil, silt, sand, and possible debris from a site. In a similar way, coir wattle is placed into streams or channels to create a dam-like structure that can be used to control the flow of the water, while also reducing the amount of sand, soil, and debris that the water washes away.
Coir wattles can also be placed in waterways where erosion has caused directional changes. This is often used when heavy floods have altered the waters’ natural flow. In this case, the wattles are used to redirect the natural flow of the water. Currently, coir blankets are placed in eroded areas, and new vegetation can grow and again strengthen the area.
Supporting New Vegetation Growth
When it comes to erosion-prone areas, such as riverbanks, steep slopes, and wetlands, coir blankets provide a stable environment, slowing erosion while providing ideal conditions for vegetation growth. The mesh structure of the blanket provides for soil stabilization, yet it is open enough to allow for seedlings to grow directly through the mesh, without the need for cutting openings.
Because coir naturally retains water, it allows for a moist environment for the seedlings to thrive, all while keeping them safe from potential water runoff and erosion. Coir’s slow biodegradability allows for full maturation of vegetation. Because coir is biodegradable, it does not require removal and after a few years, will biodegrade and provide natural nutrients back into the soil.
Creating a Stable Shoreline or Riverbank
Coir logs are made by the compression of coir fibers into a large cylindrical netting that provides an extremely strong and stable barrier. These logs are often used to stabilize river banks and shorelines. The coir rolls are flexible and can bend and contour to the shoreline, while their strength is designed to withstand the impact of waves of extreme water flow.
When put in place, coir logs work as a barrier from waves and water flow. This barrier allows time for planted vegetation to take root and begin to re-establish a natural bank again, providing natural erosion control. The coir erosion control logs typically last between two and five years and will break down, providing nutrients to the surrounding soil.
Coir is an effective control for erosion due to its strength, adaptability, and biodegradable fibers. Not only does coir mitigate the effects of erosion, but it also promotes healthy plant growth for long-term success.
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