The Role of Hydroseeding in Erosion Control and Wildland Restoration

Natural disasters, manufacturing accidents, and short-sighted farming practices can leave wildlands scarred, depleted, or otherwise compromised. When wildlands are affected by erosion, infertility, fires, and floods, one of the most useful reparation and prevention solutions is hydroseeding

Because of its efficiency, effectiveness, and affordability, hydroseeding is the go-to method for restoring vegetation when sudden disasters strike or when large swathes of land need restoration. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the role of hydroseeding in erosion control and wildland restoration with two case studies. 

Case Studies

Colorado

In northern Colorado in 2013, a big rainstorm following a wildfire left rivers flooding in the lowlands and homes and roads crushed by rock and mudslides at higher elevations. The damage was catastrophic at all elevations. Erosion control measures were necessary to restore and prevent further damage to the landscape surrounding the cities and towns of Boulder, Lyons, and Longmont.

Starting at the beginning of February, a team of erosion control, construction, and seeding companies worked through the end of March to restore the area. First, the area was sprayed with native grass seed and left to root for a while. Later, crews returned to spray another layer of mulch to encourage vegetation establishment and growth. 

The team did not accomplish this project without obstacles. Working on urgent notice in cold weather and rugged terrain introduced challenges like avoiding hypothermia and freezing equipment pipes. 

The Role of Hydroseeding in Erosion Control and Wildland Restoration
Source: grasskeepers.com

California

Over 200 years ago, in the Humboldt County town of Kenyon, just four miles off the coast of Northern California, marshes were deforested and drained into the Salt River to make use of the land for farming. The long-term result, unforeseen at the time, was the clogging of the river with soil and the disappearance of the native salmon population. 

Several local organizations and companies teamed up to contribute to the restoration of the Salt River ecosystem. Specifically, they restored 

  • A 300-acre abandoned ranch back into marshland
  • The salmon population’s access through the mouth of the river

Much of the marsh was restored by hydroseeding a native blend of vegetation. The team had to battle the challenges of working on land that was rapidly filling with river water as they removed blockages. They also had to work within the time constraints of the tides. As a coastal marshland, water levels rose to unworkable levels every 12 hours. 

Author Bio- Building off over 3 decades of experience from working with his father Jim Mayfield (Mayfield Enterprises, Inc.), James mastered the industry in Foremanship for over 15 years on HAZMAT and Superfund Sites throughout Southern California. Among many other partners, we has worked with Project Navigator, RE Solutions, Crew Grading Inc., WSP, SCS Engineers, TRC Corporation, GeoSyntec, NV5 Environmental, Entact Corp, Waste by Rail, Michael Baker, ERRG, O&M Corp, Largo Concrete, B&D Construction, Xebec, WorkSmart, JLL Enterprises, Mayfield Enterprises, Inc., Arcadis, and more. In addition to being a Stanford-educated Professor with over 30 publications and books in several languages (see Academic Resume), James’ real passion lies in Construction-related Project Management, Environmental Cleanups, HAZMAT, Excavation, and Field Labor. We are also Minority-Owned. James Mayfield is a Native American citizen of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas & Nebraska.

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