How healthy is your shoreline?

The biggest threat to Michigan’s inland lakes is the loss of nearshore habitat. In the U.S. EPA’s National Lake Assessment, half of Michigan’s lakes were rated as poor, with another 20% as fair, for lakeshore habitat. Only 10% were listed as having problems with nutrients. Key causes of problems for the lakes include high-impact development practices, like removing native plants on the land and in the water, creating excessive impervious surfaces (buildings, driveways, sidewalks) and creating seawalls. Studies have shown that loss of shoreland habitat harms all manner of life: birds, frogs, salamanders, turtles, insects, fish and more.

The Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership helps protect and restore quality habitat by promoting and implementing lake-friendly practices and sound development policies. It is designed to:

  • Recognize lake property owners for using best management practices to protect their lake.
  • Encourage property owners to use natural shoreland landscaping techniques and erosion controls.
  • Provide educational resources to help owners manage properties in ways that sustain lake health.

How does your shoreline measure up? You can take a free online survey to rate their management practices. The Rate Your Shoreland Survey offers Gold, Silver and Bronze designations for property management practices that helping protect the lake. It’s an education survey that walks you through best practices that cover your entire property, from the water to the upland area where your home or cabin stands. Find out more at https://www.mishorelandstewards.org/.