Goat Browsing Services for your Community's Wildfire Protection Plan

Goat Thatching for Sand Dunes

Coastal Erosion and Flood Mitigation


Canadian Shorelines, especially around rivers are extremely productive and energy rich areas. There is a confluence of wind energy and wave energy from open water, with materials like timber, woody biomass and sand constantly driven and pushed up onto the shore. Waves with sand and woody biomass usually break around the larger timber and then drain back into the lake though holes between the wood and rocks. Thatching involves stuffing these holes with straw or goat bedding to form a plug or a filter that allows water to drain back into the basin, yet trapping sand, woody biomass and plastic pollution into this new superstructure forming a sandy lake bank or dune.

By priming these areas with organic material such as straw or goat bedding the timber superstructure can then harvest an extraordinary amount of woody biomass and sand to form a sand dune to reverse coastal erosion and mitigate flooding for little to no cost, especially compared to delivering the same amount of material with an excavator and other heavy equipment.

Goats Browsing will keep the immediate vegetation behind the Sand Dune down allowing for greater "Saltation" (A Process where sand is blown inland from the beach) and expansion of the Dune System.

Straw and Goat bedding stuffed in holes form latticework to filter woody biomass and sand from waves
Straw and Goat bedding stuffed in holes form latticework to filter woody biomass and sand from waves

The first Trial summer 2017

Goat thatch improving lakeshore habitat

2017 Goat Barn Beach

Hazardous waste wood was thatched with goat bedding and straw to provide footing and access to the beach for the goat herd.

2018 Goat Barn Beach

Lakeshore 18 months after initial thatching

Beach Building Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction: 18 months ago this beach was littered with logs and wood.  Thatching plugs drainage holes along the lake.  This new beach bank is 100’ long, 2 feet tall and 8-12 feet wide.  As the level of the bank rises, excess thatch and biomass material are washed down the beach onto lower areas.  Thatching material in these waves help subsequently plug holes further down the beach to accumulate woody biomass and sand.

Main Beach Dune Project

Before video Dec.18 lots of logs and woody biomass on shore

Main beach + 1 bale of straw

First bale tried plugging some holes with straw

Main Beach Dune Project Day 7

Notice the slope of a new sandy beach after only 7 days.  Lack of wood  and steep beach bank indicate the presence of a new 24” Sand Dune.

Main Beach Dune Project Day 14

Good View of Thatching results vs unattended lakeshore

Dune Beach Primed for 2019

The beach is primed and ready for 2019 Wind and Waves.  Happy New Year!

Primed Goat Barn Beach

View of new sand dune from Goat Barn Beach and 2018 thatching.