Landowner Tip – Erosion Control Mulch

April 15, 2022

Erosion Control Mulch (a.k.a. Erosion Control Mix or ECM) is not your ordinary bark mulch. ECM is a specialized mulch product made of wood fragments, partially-composted bark, gravel, sand, and stone. It is much heavier than other mulches and the elongated fibers of varying sizes are able to lock together and stay put, even on steep slopes. ECM is a versatile product with endless applications for controlling erosion on your shorefront.

Like most mulches, ECM also retains moisture, controls weeds, and improves the soil as it decomposes. It can be used to stabilize footpaths and walkways, establish functioning shoreline buffer zones, stabilize steep slopes, cover and protect bare or compacted soils in common areas, or simply to cover any exposed or bare soils on your property to prevent them from washing into the lake.

For more information about ECM and how to install it, see Maine DEP’s Homeowner Factsheet.

  • Local suppliers of ECM in our area include:
  • Native Notions, Belgrade – 314-9538
  • Castonguay Excavation, Livermore Falls – 491-8128
  • Taylor Construction, Wilton and Chesterville – 491-5517
  • Larry and Sons, Monmouth – 933-2321
  • RA Webber and Sons, Harpswell – 504-6075
Here are some example ECM applications completed by 30 Mile’s Youth Conservation Corps:


Installing ECM on a worn pathway is one of the easiest ways to protect soils and prevent erosion.

Common Areas

ECM can also be used to cover and protect soils in common areas where it may be difficult to establish vegetation.

Buffer Plantings

Adding ECM to your shoreline buffer projects provides an instant “duff” layer, so your newly-planted buffer zone can effectively capture and filter runoff from your property.

Photo Credit: Josh Robbins (Banner)