Once I finally decided that I had to do something I went to the Internet and researched shoreline restoration methods. Basically, other than installing a concrete seawall, there were two main ways to do it, and as it later turned out I selected the wrong one.
First, there was rip wrap – piling up rocks, stones or other materials against the shore and filling in behind with soil and sod. Second, was to lay an Erosion Barrier Bag filled with sand and covered with soil and sod. I foolishly chose the latter for aesthetic reasons. I saw before and after photos of this method and was impressed.
Incidentally, this is what my shoreline looked like in December of 2008. At that time South Florida was in the midst of a prolonged drought. The water level in the lake had never before dropped so low. Almost all of the rocks that can be seen had been uncovered by the erosion – so you can see how much shoreline I had already lost. Add to this the fact that there was basically nothing beneath the grass close to the shore, and it was obvious that I had a big problem in need of fairly immediate attention. In the photo it appears that the lake is shallow, but actually, about five yards from shore it drops off precipitously. The lake is really quite deep.
I found a local company that did the that kind of work, mainly large contracts at apartment or condo complexes and golf courses. Their estimate was a little over $6,500, to be adjusted based on the cost of sand and sod at the time of the job. But they were so busy at the time that they couldn’t do the job until March 2009. The cost was less than I had thought it would be, and I figured it wasn’t going to get too much worse in 2 1/2 months, so I contracted for them to do the work.
I noticed that their estimate did not include the cost to obtain a permit from the city and asked if they expected me to obtain it. I was told that a permit would not be required.
However, knowing how picky and nasty our fair city is about anything and everything I wasn’t totally convinced. I decided it would be wise to check with the city to make sure. I did not want to have to pay some outrageous fine for violating city rules. So that very day I called the appropriate city department and explained in detail what I intended to have done. I was advised that the contractor was correct – no permit would be required. I wrote down the date and the person’s name for future reference if there ever would be a question.
Finally, early on Tuesday morning, March 3, 2009 the job began. First was the delivery of the Bobcat.
Horror story to be continued in the next post – with lots more photos.