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Healthy Lake Workshop Native Buffers & Stewardship Practices June 28, 2014 Eagle Lake Paw Paw, Michigan.

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Presentation on theme: "Healthy Lake Workshop Native Buffers & Stewardship Practices June 28, 2014 Eagle Lake Paw Paw, Michigan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Healthy Lake Workshop Native Buffers & Stewardship Practices June 28, 2014 Eagle Lake Paw Paw, Michigan

2 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!

3 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)

4 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.

5  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

6  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

7 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

8 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: Residential Phosphorus Loads

9 Buffer Zone Examples Before After Before After Source: JFNew

10 K&A Buffer Zone Projects Before After Before After

11 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

12 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.)

13 Source: Chicago  Use a high proportion of flowering plants and trees  Add wildlife feeders and houses  Incorporate architectural features (artwork, garden ornaments, etc.) More Tips:

14 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

15 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.

16 More Healthy Lake Practices:  Shoreline activities  Septic systems  Monitoring (water quality, vegetation, invasive species)  Watershed management

17 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

18 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

19 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

20 E-newsletter Different topics on how to protect your lake Unsubscribe at any time

21 Thank you! Please feel free to contact us. Patty | Mark | (269) 344-7117 | Questions?

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