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Lake Bank Erosion Management Plan

Monday, January 4th, 2021

The Plantation Community in Venice, Florida originated in 1980 on more than 1,500 acres of land and today has more than 2,400 residential homes and two championship 18-hole golf courses. The community has 62 man-made interconnected lakes that serve as stormwater drainage, flood control, and irrigation. After 40 years, the approximately 22 miles of shoreline are all in various states of erosion. The Plantation Management Association (PMA) hired Johnson Engineering to perform a comprehensive study of all the lake banks and stormwater management features and develop an all-inclusive management plan for the community for the next 20 years.

A critical component of this project hinged on how to assess the entire development and the miles of lake bank. A conventional survey would have taken months for the field work needed and the data would be static and not easily reviewable to reference for assessment.

Our team developed a plan to conduct a drone survey using our in-house commercial drone pilot to conduct a 4k High Definition (HD) video. This recorded video provided a living reference of the lake banks and the ability to quickly assess and review the areas, allowing for direct comparison of future stages of the lake banks.

Our investigation uncovered various underlying causes of lake bank erosion such as the initial design, soil conditions, lake bank slope steepness, mowing management, wind/wave action, overland flow, and gutter downspout point discharge, among others. We developed a color grading map to graphically show the current state of all the lakes, along with various short- and long-range erosion management strategies, as well as real budgeting and action plans for correcting the issues over the next 20 years.

This successful project can become the template for all large track developments with large stormwater management systems, with multiple lakes and various stages of lake bank erosion. As these developments come to maturity, there is a constant balancing act between owners and management boards trying to address owner complaints and concerns. The drone method proved to save considerably on the budget and provided a working solution for the volunteer boards responsible for addressing issues for the developments.

For more information, contact Chris Beers, PE, PSM, at [email protected].