Insights from Maine
How we treat our lake shores has a huge impact on lake water quality.
Folks in Maine realized this long ago and some decades ago established a set of shoreland protection standards. Several years ago people wondered if the standards were effective in protecting lakes.
A comprehensive recent study established that the standards had indeed significantly reduced damage to lakes. They learned that natural vegetated shorelines:
- Resist erosion
- Dampens wave energy
- Absorbs energy of falling rain
- Enables roots to hold soil particles in place
- Slows runoff velocity and catches sediment
Removal of lake shore vegetation is the most widespread stressor to the nation’s lakes.
I have read that 25 percent of Minnesota’s developed shorelines have lawns that go to the water’s edge. We have work to do.