Technical Series Vol. 9
Missouri landowners dealing with streambank erosion problems are searching for affordable and effective techniques that they can use to address existing erosion issues and protect their property from further erosion. This search is complicated because the eroding streambank is often a symptom of a larger problem occurring
elsewhere within the watershed. Consequently, finding an effective erosion control method can be difficult for a landowner unless they receive appropriate professional assistance. The limitations of currently available methods in terms of high cost, difficult installation, or inapplicability to larger stream systems have caused landowners to try techniques that are ineffective and may lead to increased instability.
As a result, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) decided to evaluate five different streambank stabilization techniques. Farm rock toe was evaluated as a potential low cost alternative to a traditional longitudinal rip rap toe project for controlling excessive streambank erosion. The differences between farm rock toe and a traditional longitudinal rip rap toe protection approach are four fold: 1) farm rock toe is made from shot rock (quarry rock not graded out to a specific size) instead of graded out rip rap, 2) farm rock toe is not keyed into the bed of the stream, 3) farm rock toe is not keyed into the streambank at the upper and lower end of the project, and 4) instead of placing each rock, the rock is dumped from the top of the streambank and then adjusted as necessary to fill in gaps. These changes were made to reduce the cost of a rock toe protection approach while hopefully still stabilizing the bank.