Insights from Maine

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.

Darby Nelson

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