Suttons Bay Residence

Suttons Bay, MI

Solutions Provided

Natural-Shorelines Icon - Inhabitect
  • Natural Shoreline – Bioengineering techniques provide the owner with a natural shoreline that’s filled with native plant materials. The diversity of these plants provide support to pollinators and other creatures living within the land/shallow water habitats along this unique parcel.
Ecological Landscaping Icon - Inhabitect
  • Ecological Landscape – We chose plants that are native to this region and will eventually help to hide the seawall. Each plant was selected for its ability to work harmoniously with the surrounding landscape and to provide the owner with an aesthetic they desired. We also selected plants for their ability to create pollinator habitat and the “wildlife mounds” provide multiple access points for animals trying to reach the shoreline.
Inhabitect Consulting
  • Design & Consulting – Due to incredibly destructive waves and ice push, the homes on this parcel were in very real danger. The owner went to great lengths to protect his hillside with 25+ foot deep piling, millions of tons of rip rap, and highly technical geo-web applications. Inhabitect worked with the property owner to develop solutions to soften their shoreline with native vegetation, above and below the seawall.

Project Description

Large rip rap was placed at four locations along this hardened break wall to soften the appearance and performance of this shoreline. Topsoil was placed over the boulders, to fill the voids, and then the surface was vegetated native seed and brush bundles, also known as fascines. These stone structures will decrease wave and ice push damage to the steel wall but more importantly they allow for wildlife movement – above and below the wall. In some locations, the bulkhead stands 5 to 6 feet higher than the grade of the beach.

There was immediate evidence of wildlife movement over these mounds, thus resulting in a successful example of how natural shoreline and bioengineering techniques can be used in high energy applications – even the Great Lakes!