August 1, 2017

Property Owner Information For Shoreline Lake Protection

Living or owning a camp on the shoreline of a lake or pond is a dream of many who live in or visit the Adirondacks and the Northeast.  There are a few practices that can be implemented by property owners to protect their investment, enhance their recreation and protect and restore the water quality of our water resources.

If the shoreline is eroding, Lake shoreline stabilization bioengineering practices that incorporate softscaping and natural material to stabilize banks and reduce stormwater from entering our water resources can be implemented.   This can include encapsulated lifts, coir logs, live stake plantings, and use of trees and natural material.  As some practices need to be anchored below the waterline a permit may be required.   


To enhance and further protect the shoreline from erosion, a shoreline buffer can be planted that incorporates native perennials, shrubs and trees.  These provide additional filtration of nutrients and provide shade for fish species and to help reduce nearshore algal growth. 

To further protect your shoreline, consider a property-wide approach for stormwater control.  The idea is to slow the flow and allow the water to enter the ground as close to where it falls.  Common practices include: rain gardens using native perennials plants, grassy swales, rain gutters, and pervious pavers.  For a detailed raingarden manual please visit:  http://winooskinrcd.org/wp-content/uploads/VTRainGardenManual1.pdf  To learn more about how to manage your lawn to protect water quality visit: http://winooskinrcd.org/wp-content/uploads/Green-Lawn-care-factsheet.pdf

The Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District, which I am the District Manager of, is pleased to announce the initiation of the Lake Iroquois Shoreland restoration project, funded in part through a Vermont Clean Water Initiative Ecosystem Restoration Program grant. The project consists of designing bioengineering practices along six adjacent properties on Lake Iroquois, Hinesburg VT to reduce sediment and phosphorus loading.   

Lake Iroquois a 243 acre eutrophic lake located within Chittenden County Vermont is surrounded by mostly seasonal homes and camps that are progressively changing to year round homes.  The major water quality concern is the excessive phosphorus enrichment. This has caused historic toxic algal blooms and excessive nearshore algal growth.  To learn more about algae visit: http://parnapyc.wixsite.com/avacal-biological  Studies have shown that the majority of phosphorus entering Lake Iroquois is from shoreland erosion and stormwater runoff.  The current lake scorecard rates the lake as in Fair Condition.

During Phase 1 of the project, each site will undergo the VTDEC WSMD Lakewise assessment in conjunction with a thorough site inventory and analysis to identify and assess sources of sediment and phosphorous runoff into the lake. Following the site inventory and analysis phase, the Landscape designer; Dr. Annie White, owner and Principal of NECTAR Landscape Design Studio will develop two design concepts for each of the six properties. The designs will aim to treat stormwater runoff in upland landscape areas, repair eroded shorelines using bioengineering techniques, and restore natural buffers along the shoreline. The landowners will then review the design concepts and landscape visualization sketches and select the concept (or combination of concepts) that best fits their vision and usage of their property. The designer will then complete the final design plans for each of the six properties.

By protecting the shoreline, the property owners and partners are protecting water quality and
property values. 

Projects like this can be accomplished through partnerships with your local Soil and Water Conservation District (if in NY) or your local Natural Resources Conservation District (if in VT) or your local watershed group. 

Corrina Parnapy
Vermont Shoreline Erosion Control Certified
District Manager, Winooski NRCD

Principal Phycologist, Avacal Biological 

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