Funded by Ohio EPA Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF) Grant




In 2012, the Village of Hunting Valley installed 400 linear feet of vegetative riprap along the mainstem of the State Scenic Chagrin River to stabilize the severely eroding river bank immediately adjacent to Chagrin River Road. The eroding banks are located on a severe curve in the river where the river’s energy during high flow events carves away soils from its banks. The river bank erosion stabilization project was funded through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Surface Water Improvement Fund and is located approximately 1,000 feet south of the Cedar Road – Chagrin River Road intersection.

The term riprap describes rock, usually limestone of various sizes used to provide erosion control protection along flowing streams and rivers or at the ends of storm water pipes. Riprap is excellent for absorbing water’s energy and dissipating water velocity, but it does not provide strength within the underlying soil, particularly along stream banks. Vegetative riprap utilizes the extensive, fibrous root structure created by shrub-sized plant species of dogwood, willow and viburnum to grow deep into the soils and anchor the eroding soils in place. As the plants mature, soil stability increases as the root structure strengthens and creates a web of interlocking roots. This practice is an effective alternative to rock alone or gabion baskets, which are simply wire cage baskets filled with rock and stacked on top of the soil with limited anchoring and without an accompanying interlocking root structure to strengthen soil stability.

The woody vegetation also provides additional wildlife habitat along the river corridor and shades the water during summer months keeping the water cool for sensitive fish species such as steelhead trout.

This product or publication was financed in part or totally through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency under the provisions of the Surface Water Improvement Fund. The contents and views, including any opinions, findings, or conclusions or recommendations, contained in this product or publication are those of the authors and have not been subject to any Ohio EPA peer or administrative review and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred.