Presentation on theme: "Healthy Lake Workshop Native Buffers & Stewardship Practices June 28, 2014 Eagle Lake Paw Paw, Michigan."— Presentation transcript:
Healthy Lake Workshop Native Buffers & Stewardship Practices June 28, 2014 Eagle Lake Paw Paw, Michigan
Workshop Objectives Learn how to: Improve your lake’s water quality and biological health Increase wildlife habitat Reduce shoreline erosion Discourage nuisance waterfowl Spend less time behind a mower and more time enjoying the lake Get started improving your lake!
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Lake Assessment (NLA) Study “Lakeshore Habitat - Of the stressors included in the NLA, poor lakeshore habitat is the biggest problem in the nation’s lakes; over one-third exhibit poor shoreline habitat condition. Poor biological health is three times more likely in lakes with poor lakeshore habitat.” (EPA, 2009)
The Riparian Buffer Zone- The area between upland and water’s edge. nutrients bacteria chemicals animal waste ashes leaves Think of this vegetated area as the guardian of your lake’s health.
Slows stormwater runoff allowing infiltration Allows some settling out of pollutants prior to reaching lake Provides bank stabilization Deters nuisance waterfowl Improves wildlife habitat – along the shoreline and in the water Increases plant diversity and interest along shoreline Kentucky Blue Grass Root Depth Advantages of a Native Riparian Buffer Zone
Increased runoff/pollution More nutrients (pollutants) entering lake cause more aquatic weed growth Prone to erosion High maintenance (labor, resources) Requires chemical additions Loss of wildlife habitat/corridors Loss of species diversity Lack of interesting landscape Disadvantages of Traditional Lawns
Buffer Zone Basics Shift away from manicured lawns to natural landscapes Think about how much shoreline you are willing to start with…5 feet, 20 feet, 100 feet? Every little bit counts Before After
One bushel of grass clippings can contain 0.1 pounds of phosphorus Enough to produce 30-50 pounds of algae in a lake! Grass Clipping Source: www.newsc.org Residential Phosphorus Loads
Buffer Zone Examples Before After Before After Source: JFNew
K&A Buffer Zone Projects Before After Before After
Creative Buffer Zone Ideas Select rare/interesting species Target specific wildlife habitat Choose specific bloom times Look at natural areas in your region for ideas Incorporate nest boxes into buffer
Source: Wild Ones Tips for Natural Shoreline Design and Acceptance Make plantings look intentional and cared for (plant in “drifts”) Maintain the plantings (remove debris in spring, periodic weeding, etc.) “Frame” the plantings (mowed strips, walkways, fences, etc.)
Source: Chicago Wilderness.org Use a high proportion of flowering plants and trees Add wildlife feeders and houses Incorporate architectural features (artwork, garden ornaments, etc.) More Tips:
Getting Started Don’t be overwhelmed… it’s okay to start small Remember: Every little bit helps Consider how you use your lawn – what area can you convert to a buffer zone? Check on any permitting needs Clear existing lawn and/or landscaping Simply quit mowing the buffer zone or plant attractive native shoreline plants Think of it as any other landscaping project…just using native Michigan plants Maintenance will be required… low maintenance, not no maintenance
Another bonus: Riparian buffers can deter unwanted guests A buffer of dense native vegetation >3 feet high can discourage Canada geese from frequenting your shoreline.
More Healthy Lake Practices: Shoreline activities Septic systems Monitoring (water quality, vegetation, invasive species) Watershed management
More Healthy Lake Practices- Shoreline activities Create rain gardens to capture stormwater – and pollutants. Limit fertilizer use (no phosphorus!) Keep grass clippings, leaves and fire pit ashes out of lake
Shoreline activities cont. Remove pet waste from lakeshore areas Wash cars in areas where water can soak into ground and not end up in the lake Maintain some woody debris (snags, branches) for fish cover, food source
Resources for Information and Materials for Installing Native Riparian Buffers Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Michigan Native Plant Producers Local Conservation Districts Local Wild Ones Chapter
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