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Erosion and Bank Swallows

Photo: Moriah Tanguay

Erosion and Bank Swallows

Photo: Moriah Tanguay

Erosion is a natural process that moves soil, sand and rocks by wave action, intense wind, coastal flooding, or local sea level rise. Several factors, including sediment type, vegetation cover, climate, tides, weather, and exposure of the land to these factors influence the rate of erosion. Erosion is a necessary process that helps maintain coastal ecosystems like sandy beaches, dunes, and wetlands.

For more information visit these websites:

Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Labour ad Justice- Coastal Erosion and Climate Change

Government of New Brunswick- Coastal Erosion

CLIMAtlantic- Erosion (Coastal)

Shoreline hardening

Shoreline hardening involves placing large cement walls or piling large rocks against the land to prevent erosional processes. This not only prevents Bank Swallows from nesting, but it also may prevent the creation of new nesting sites by changing the flow of soil movement. Further, shoreline hardening is expensive to install, and any repairs can be costly. Living shorelines are an effective way to slow erosion while also providing habitat for wildlife. See more in the living Shorelines section below.


Visit this website for more information about shoreline hardening:

Natural Resources Canada

Bank Swallow colony Photo: Megan Hiebert

Living Shorelines

Living shorelines are a natural solution for controlling accelerated erosion by using native plants and natural materials (such as logs and rocks) placed strategically along the shoreline. Living shorelines mimic nature’s way of protecting land (e.g., wetlands and marshes). The best part, they protect Bank Swallow nesting habitat and create habitat for other birds and wildlife. Also, living shorelines get stronger over time as the plants roots grow, holding onto more soil. With climate change increasing erosion and storm strength, some maintenance may be required.

Visit these websites for more information:

 Helping Nature Heal

New Brunswick Environmental Network

Groupe de developpement durable due Pays de Cocagne

Vision H2O

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