Shoreline Stabilization

Protecting the shorelines and streambanks of the Tennessee River and its tributaries protects water quality, wildlife and natural beauty.

The following fact sheets are designed to help owners of streambank or shoreline property create landscaping plans that not only enhance their property but also protect water resources. Trees and other vegetation help reduce erosion by holding soil in place, protect water quality by filtering sediments and pollutants, provide wildlife habitat and cover for fish and create scenic beauty along the water’s edge.

Each fact sheet is available as a PDF brochure (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Using Native Vegetation

Introduces the fact sheet series and previews ways of using native plants to protect streambanks and shorelines.
View fact sheet in PDF version (487 kb).

Benefits of Riparian Zones

Offers details about riparian zones and their benefits to property owners and the environment. Discusses exotic and invasive species and problems associated with establishing lawns to the water’s edge.
View fact sheet in PDF version (597 kb).

Assessing Your Property

Describes how to develop a base map for documenting your existing site conditions.
View fact sheet in PDF version (591 kb).

Designing Your Landscape

Uses the base map you developed while assessing your property to determine your objectives and develop a riparian restoration plan.
View fact sheet in PDF version (553 kb).

Selecting Native Plants

This list of native plants was selected based on various regions and habitats within the Tennessee Valley region, and they are the most likely to provide aesthetic, wildlife and stabilization benefits to shorelines and streambanks.
View PDF list of native plants (516 kb)

Landscaping Alternatives

Shows three restoration options for one site to illustrate flexibility in meeting property owner objectives.
View fact sheet in PDF version (741 kb).

Understanding Erosion

Gives a nontechnical introduction to causes and effects of erosion along streams, rivers and reservoirs.
View fact sheet in PDF version (464 kb).

Using Stabilization Techniques

Includes a nontechnical overview of options available to stabilize an existing erosion problem.
View fact sheet in PDF version (1.1 mb).

Preparing the Site

Describes three possible existing site conditions and options on how to create a riparian zone.
View fact sheet in PDF version (589 kb).

Planting and Maintaining Your Native Landscape

Describes planting methods for different types of plants and maintenance that will be needed to ensure plant survival.
View fact sheet in PDF version (566 kb).

For general information about shoreline property and public land, send an email contact the Public Land Information Center at