Shorelines are often called the "ribbon of life." That's because they are critical to the ecological health of lakes and rivers. How you manage your shoreline can make a big difference, and best management practices can provide many benefits, such as the following:
- Protect water quality by reducing the amount of nutrients, bacteria, contaminants, and sediments that reach your lake or river
- Reduce erosion and sedimentation that can impact fish spawning beds
- Provide wildlife habitat for native species such as wild flowers, shrubs, birds, dragon flies, and butterflies, as well as frogs and fish
- Deter nuisance Canada Geese that can make a mess and contribute to elevated E.coli in the water.
What Can You Do?
There are many ways to contribute to the health of your shoreline, and the health of your lake or river. Here are some of the actions you can take:
- Maintain existing natural shoreline, including trees and vegetation
- Do not mow the lawn all the way to the water—allow natural vegetation to grow at least 3 metres up from the water
- Plant native shrubs and grasses in your 'no-mow-zone' that have deep root systems to help stabilize the ground
- Ensure your septic system is pumped and inspected every 3 years, and upgraded when needed
- Avoid the use of fertilizer on your lawn, and use natural lawn care techniques
- Obtain permits for larger shoreline projects to ensure best practices in design and construction
- Reduce rainwater runoff by installing rainbarrels, permeable pavers, or a raingarden.
Find out more about actions you can take and the benefits they provide by downloading the Landowner Guide to Protecting Water Quality in the Kawarthas.
- Landowner Guide to Protecting Water Quality in the Kawarthas
- A Shoreline Owner's Guide to Lakeland Living
- The Shore Primer: A cottager's guide to a healthy waterfront
- The Dock Primer: A cottager's guide to waterfront-friendly docks
- Beautiful non-invasive plants for your garden
- SERO Growers List
- Solutions for Shoreline Erosion: A Basic Guide to Bioengineering
- Blue-Green Algae: Background, potential impacts to human health and safety of drinking waterand safety of drinking water