Geotextiles, Geowebbing

Fabric, mesh, net, etc. made of woven synthetic or natural materials used to separate soil from engineering material (rocks) and add strength to a structure.

Purpose: Matting is used to cover ground and control erosion in high risk areas where other methods will not work, such as extremely steep slopes, above roads or structures, or along stream banks. It is usually used in conjunction with seeding. Geotextiles come in different grades with ultraviolet inhibitors that determine how long they will last in the field.

Relative Effectiveness: No interviewees rated this treatment.  When geotextiles mats are applied over seed and mulch, they are very effective in stopping erosion. Because the cost is very high, they are used only where immediate ground cover is needed; large areas cannot be covered by this method. Geotextiles are particularly effective for steep upper slopes where other materials (seed, mulch alone) will blow off. Material must be anchored securely to remain effective, especially along streambanks.

Implementation and Environmental Factors: An experienced crew is needed to ensure that good contact is established between the fabric material and the ground, and that the fabric is securely anchored. Fabric matting is difficult to apply on rocky ground. Plastic netting on some geotextiles material can trap small rodents and birds. Jute netting does not provide complete ground cover but it has not been reported to trap animals. The complete cover provided by some geotextiles can reduce native plant establishment.