Shoreline Health

Shoreline Health

One of the key findings of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 National Lakes Assessment was that lakes with poor shoreline health 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. Disrupted shorelines correlate to poor 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.

Read the 2012 National Lakes Assessment results.

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.

Permeable Driveway
Permeable pavers on a driveway allow rainwater to better infiltrate the ground

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.

Shoreline Garden
Shoreline Garden – Courtesy Minnesota DNR

Aquatic plants

Aquatic plants provide an important habitat for fish, amphibians, and other wildlife, and their root structure helps stabilize sediment. They also absorb nutrients that create cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms, such as phosphorous.

Pistia Stratiotes
Pistia Stratiotes – Commonly called, “Water Cabbage,” or “Water Lettuce”

Decrease wake from boats

Strong boat wakes can damage aquatic habitat along the shoreline, and can erode beaches and lakefront property. Minimizing the wake produced while boating can help to slow erosion.

Learn more about shoreline protection:

Maintaining a healthy shoreline habitat starts with shoreline erosion control.

Nurseries and contractors in southern Wisconsin

ContractorLocation (WI)Native Plant Nursery ServicesShoreline Restoration ServicesRain Garden Services
Aspen Garden & LandscapeMadison
Barnes Inc.Madison
Bee Balm Wildscapes*Madison*Native garden design and planning
Blue Iris LandscapingMadison
Daniels General ContractorsMadison
Dixon Shoreline LandscapingPortage
Gnarly OakOregon
Good Oak LLCMadison
Meister’s K&M Tree and Landscaping Inc.Lodi
Minnesota Native LandscapesOnline Only
Plant DaneMadison
Prairie MoonWinona
Prairie NurseryWestfield
Tallgrass Restoration LLCMilton
Two FernsMadison
UW-Arboretum Native Plant SaleMadison

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