Restore/protect a vegetative shoreland buffer.

A shoreland buffer is a strip of natural vegetation between a lake residence and associated lawns and the lake itself.  Current state law allows an open corridor for viewing and access to the water of 35 feet for every 100 feet of frontage.  Beyond that, a vegetative buffer extending 35 feet back from the ordinary high water mark is required.  So, for example, if a river or lake property has 300 feet of frontage, an open corridor of 105’ is allowed with the remaining 195’ to be covered with vegetation at least 35 feet deep.   

But there are good reasons to include plantings within the access area as well.  Buffers provide many benefits, both to the lake and river ecosystem and to the property owner.  Trees and other native vegetation:

  • Stabilize shorelines and upland slopes, protecting your waterfront property investment from erosion.
  • Provide wildlife habitat.
  • Preserve natural shoreline beauty and the privacy of your home
  • Filter nutrients and sediments from runoff protecting water quality

For more information about the value of buffers and how to create and maintain them, follow these links:  

Protecting and Restoring Shorelands

Washburn County Shoreland Restoration Program

Safeguarding Our Shorelands

Water’s Edge