Restore/preserve coarse woody habitat near the shore.

The natural rhythms of lake and river ecosystems result in variations in the water level and the state of the shore itself.  When water levels rise, trees and shrubs which have grown up on the shore will be inundated, die, and fall into the water.  The property owner may remove these if they interfere with docks or swimming areas.  However, this downed vegetation should not be viewed as a nuisance. In fact, these materials are a valuable addition to fish and other wildlife habitat, providing protection, food, shelter, and breeding areas for all sorts of creatures from small aquatic insects, to fish, turtles, ducks, and songbirds.  In addition, this woody habitat can help prevent bank erosion – protecting shoreline properties and your lake or river.  You may actually want to encourage such benefits by purposely creating such habitat.

For guidance and information about grants to assist in this and other ways to protect our lakes and rivers, see the Healthy Lakes program.