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6 Shorelines Shorelines The shoreline of your waterfront property is called a ribbon of life because it is where 90 percent of all lake and river life is born raised and fed. Natural shorelines support cattail pickerelweed and reeds that provide habitat for fish nesting birds mammals and insects. Plants at the waters edge help filter nutrients and prevent erosion. Underwater logs and rock piles allow fish to rest feed and spawn while providing protection from predators. In these ways healthy shorelines help to protect valuable recreational resources and are part of a healthy lake ecosystem. Unfortunately not every shoreline demonstrates these features. Erosion Shorelines erode due to various forces natural wave and wind action ice movement from freezing and thawing and human activities such as altering the waterfront with lawns docks and breakwalls. When soil is exposed and vegetation is mowed to the waters edge the stabilizing effect of root systems is lost exposing the soil to the power of waves ice and surface runoff. Sediment carried away by wind or waves reduces the size of waterfront properties and damages shoreline habitat by burying spawning beds and reducing water clarity. Hardened Shorelines Despite their popularity in some areas natural erosion cant be prevented by concrete shore walls or sloped rock. Both of these measures are expensive and temporary fixes. Major storms ice damage and the effects of time eventually cause them to fail. Hardened shores in one place may also deflect wave and wind energy and cause more erosion problems at neighbouring shorelines. Naturalized Shorelines A naturalized shoreline is generally considered the best multi-purpose approach to protecting the lakes edge. Maintaining or planting a buffer zone of native vegetation along your shoreline will slow erosion provide food and shelter for fish and wildlife species and protect your property and investment. Best of all naturalized shorelines mean less work and more time to enjoy the lake Roots from shrubs and trees absorb wave and ice energy stabilize soils and prevent erosion Plants along the shoreline slow surface runoff and filter contaminants before they reach the lake Shrubs and trees discourage Canada Geese preventing goose poop and nuisance interactions with these birds Naturalized shorelines provide food and shelter for fish and wildlife species. KawarthaConservation