Shoreline Habitat

Shoreline Habitat

One of the key findings of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies’ 2010 National Lakes Assessment was that lakes with poor shoreline habitat are three times as likely to be in poor overall biological condition than lakes with good quality shorelines. By preserving the shoreline, landowners are also protecting the value of their property as disrupted shorelines are negatively correlated with water clarity, which is an intrinsic indicator of the value of a lakefront property. Additionally, shorelines provide crucial habitat, food, and protection for fish and other aquatic inhabitants. Through stewardship of the shoreline, you can impact the overall quality of a lake.

Impervious surfaces

Impervious surfaces can increase the amount of water runoff into the lake. They negatively impact the water quality by accelerating erosion, increasing algae growth and lowering populations of aquatic species.

Buffer Strips

Buffer strips are a zone of native vegetation between the lake and the lawn that protect water clarity. By filtering water before it reaches the lake and helping to hold soil in place, buffers contribute a great deal to the lake ecosystem.

Aquatic plants

Aquatic plants provide an important habitat for fish and amphibians and their root structure helps stabilize of sediment. Moreover, they absorb nutrients that create algae booms such as phosphorous.

Decrease wake from boats

Strong boat wakes can damage aquatic habitat by the shoreline as well as erode it. Minimizing the amount of wake produced while boating can help to slow erosion.

Learn more about shoreline protection:

Maintaining a healthy shoreline habitat starts with shoreland erosion control.
  1. The three types of reactive shoreline control: vegetative, manipulative and structural 
  2. Shoreland Property Owners Guide 
  3. Shoreline Stabilization Guidelines
  4. Dane County’s Water Resource Engineering Division’s information on erosion control.