Erosion occurs on flat land as well as slopes. Sometimes it is undetected, one grain of sand at a time, and sometimes it occurs after a heavy rain when a hill or dale drains off to the sea in one fell swoop.
Either way erosion is destructive to the land we live on as well as marine habitats where sediment-enriched runoff chokes aquatic life.
You can prevent erosion on your own property in a few ways:
Make sure that the soil on your property is vegetated. Ground covers, for example, protect soils from surface erosion. Deep-rooted plants such as natives and acacias hold larger portions of soil together.
Mulch areas that are not planted to prevent surface erosion.
Instruct landscape maintenance crews not to “blow” unplanted areas. further eroding the topsoil there. It is best to allow leaf litter to remain in bare areas.
Control the water on your property. Rain hitting roofs will come down in sheets, eroding the soil around the foundation of your house. To prevent this, install rain gutters with adequate downspouts.
Kick your automatic-sprinkler habit or at least manage it. Too many homeowners are systematically watering already moist soils. Water only when needed to support your plants.
Make sure your sprinkler system is not eroding your soil. When the rate of water applied exceeds the ability of your soil to absorb it, runoff occurs and so does erosion.
Time your sprinklers to go on and off in increments that allow water to be absorbed – not to run off the surface in sheets taking your topsoil with it.
If there is “dirt” in your gutter, sweep it up and throw it back on your property. It could add up to a hill after a hundred years or so.