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Shorelines and Water Quality

Shoreline design has a tremendous effect on water quality.

Types of shorelines include:

  • Seawall (metal or concrete wall).

  • Riprap (large stones).

  • Natural shoreline (native vegetation).

Problems with seawalls include:

  • Cost.

  • Erosion of adjacent shorelines.

  • Unaesthetic.

  • Prevents turtles from exiting lake to lay eggs.

  • Provides no habitat for wildlife (loss of intertidal zone).

  • Loss of natural shoreline vegetation reduces water quality by removing the shoreline’s ability to filter excess nutrients from runoff.

The benefits of natural shorelines are many:

  • Provides habitat for essential fish and wildlife species.

  • Prevents erosion with deeply rooted plants.

  • Discourages nuisance wildlife like geese.

  • Improves esthetics with attractive plants.

  • Prevents rainwater runoff from carrying fertilizer, leaves, and grass clippings into the lake and causing algae blooms.

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