Choosing to live on the shores of an inland lake brings a responsibility to protect water quality that is critical to fish, wildlife, and quality of life for lakefront property owners. Maintaining native vegetation, eliminating fertilizer use, keeping hard surfaces away from the lake, and using soft engineering erosion control techniques are just a few management practices that can help prevent erosion and protect the lake from pollutants and nutrients that cause excessive algae and weed growth.
Those measures are among strategies in a new Michigan Shoreland Stewards video series that focuses on helping inland lake property owners understand what they can do on their property to protect their inland lake. The videos are designed to provide an overview of the program and help people identify best practices to maintain clean, safe water for recreation and wildlife.
The Michigan Shoreland Stewards Program is a voluntary web-based survey designed to:
Allow inland lake property owners to assess their property management.
Encourage property owners to use natural shoreland landscaping techniques.
Provide educational resources to help property owners manage their property for a healthy lake.
Qualifying properties are awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze level of recognition.
Why be concerned?
According to the 2012 National Lakes Assessment, the biggest threat to the overall health of Michigan’s inland lakes is the loss of lakeshore habitat. Shoreline and nearshore habitat was shown to be in poor condition in half of Michigan’s inland lakes, and in only fair condition in another 20 percent. These results indicate that too much clearing of native vegetation for expansive lawns and large buildings, removing aquatic plants, and installation of shoreline structures such as seawalls are having a negative impact on Michigan inland lakes.
What can you do?
If you own lakefront property and are interested in being recognized for your good management practices or you want to see how your property rates, the Michigan Shoreland Stewards Program is here for you!
Take the Shoreland Stewards Survey and find out if your property qualifies as a Shoreland Steward.
Help spread the word: