Natural Dynamics of River Shorelines

The natural shoreline dynamics along rivers are greatly affected by currents.  The current of a river can cause erosion along one bank and sedimentation along another.  Also, high water volumes from heavy storms can contribute to rapid erosion along with greater risk of flooding.

Human activity also influences river ecosystems.  Runoff and pollution from upstream impacts the ecosystem downstream.  Physical changes to the river, such as building dams or removing rapids, will change and interfere with the natural shoreline dynamics.  To preserve the natural shoreline dynamics, communities can promote policies limiting development along rivers that would physically alter the river, and can encourage the restoration of natural river dynamics in places where physical changes have already occurred.