Lakeshore Restoration & Conservation

Lakes are the center of attention in northern Minnesota!

Minnesota’s lakes are just the best! For generations we have looked  to our lakes for rest, relaxation, recreation, and family memories. The  thought of a weekend at the lake stirs up emotions many of us can’t put  into words. Whether you are a regular at a resort, own a cabin or  permanently reside lakeside, you know the value of our lakes.

Lakes  drive much of our economy in the north. We have not only some of the  cleanest lakes in the state, but in the entire country! Our lakes and  rivers are also the source of pure water for many larger cities  downstream.

Unfortunately, many of our waters are in  danger to a host of threats. Some property owners are replacing more and  more of the natural lakeshore habitat with fertilized lawns, larger  building structures, and paved surfaces. These hard or “impervious  surfaces ” do not slow down stormwater runoff. Our lakes are becoming  inundated with runoff filled with contaminants and nitrates that cause  changes to the water quality and the lake’s natural balance.


Stormwater runoff example on a lake lot.

Stormwater falls and begins to collect contaminants from the air,  buildings, and yard space. Impervious surfaces like the roof of a  building (A) or paved driveway/walkways, expedite the flow of stormwater runoff. Slowing runoff with a rain barrel (B) under a downspout not only catches excess water, but is a good source  of extra water for gardens. Broken surfaces like stone or pebble  walkways (C) allow water to better soak into the ground.

Trees and native plants act as a sponge, soaking up stormwater runoff.  Strategically placed rain gardens with native flowers and plants are  helpful for soaking up excess stormwater runoff. The slope along a the  building (D) in the graphic above would be a good location.

People go to the lake to enjoy it. We understand the value of a sandy  beach. But over development of shoreline and the elimination of all  natural shoreline buffers reduces the ability of a lake to protect  itself from contaminants. Removing shoreline vegetation in small amounts  is often permissible, however, we strongly encourage leaving more than  you remove. Maybe the removal of some vegetation at (E) is partnered with encouraged growth in other locations like (F) and (G).

Natural  shoreline buffers can be as simple as leaving a section of no-mow  grasses along the lake, or in cases where shoreline damage has occurred,  newer practices like the addition of Coir Logs can be used.

A berm or shoreline ridge (H) is helpful in limiting direct rain runoff. Sometimes these ridges are created naturally from ice heaves in the spring.

These  buffers not only protect your property from erosion and wave action,  but also provide habitat for fish, birds, and animals. Native shorelines  are essential for the natural cycles that support our legendary  Minnesota fisheries.

Serving all types of landowners