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Natural Shorelines on the Lake

by Charlotte Poole

With Michigan’s abundance of inland lakes, waterfront property is important to its owners, the health of the lakes, and the wildlife they support. The shoreline and shallow water areas of a lake provide essential habitat for many fish and wildlife species.

Overdeveloped shorelines cannot support fish, wildlife, and clean water. High-impact lakefront landscaping with concrete or metal seawalls and lawn to the water’s edge creates problems for the lake ecosystem. Rainwater carries lawn fertilizer, pet waste, leaves, and grass clippings into the lake, which can promote algal growth and the seasonal blooms that cause “green water”. Plants with shallow roots, including grass, allow the shoreline to erode easily. Perfectly manicured lawns attract nuisance wildlife species such as geese.  

If Riparians would devote as little as 10% of their lakefront property to a more natural shoreline which might contain such things as rocks, native plantings, short grasses, and ground covers to only name a few, our lake would be healthier and shoreline erosion would be controlled with less wave action.

To learn more about Michigan’s Natural Shoreline Partnership, which educates lakeshore property owners, trains contractors and landscape professionals, as well as conducts research and development with new technologies that benefit lake ecosystems, please visit the MNSP website. Begin to educate yourself about this ongoing project which would benefit Magician Lake, improve its ecosystem, and help to preserve the declining stewardship of our lake. 

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