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Water: Lakes

Lake Shoreland Protection Resources

Clearinghouse for Information on Lakeshore Protection and Restoration

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 National Lakes Assessment finds that lakes with poor lakeshore habitat are three times more likely to be in poor overall biological condition than lakes with good quality shorelands. Scientists looked at the amount and type of lakeshore vegetation, such as grasses, shrubs, and trees, in making their assessment of lakeshore habitat conditions. This shoreland vegetation protects the lake from the effects of polluted runoff, stabilizes the soil along the lake’s edge, and provides habitat, shelter, food, and cooling shade for fish.

But a natural lakeshore does more than help the water quality of the lake and the quality of the its habitat; it helps the value of property along the lake, and it’s good business. Lakefront property generates millions of dollars in revenue. Studies show that when water clarity decreases, so do lake property values. Increasing development pressures are putting our lakes in peril. Many lakeshore property owners unknowingly harm their lakes by replacing natural lakeshore vegetation with lawns, clearing out submerged logs and branches at the water's edge, cutting down trees to get a better view, importing sand to make artificial beaches, building docks, and "armoring" the shoreland with concrete or wooden bulkheads.

This resources page provides practitioners links to key resources to protect and restore fragile lake shorelands and to promote better lakeshore stewardship by property owners.

For more information about lake shoreland restoration and/or protection, contact Anne Weinberg (weinberg.anne@epa.gov).

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

This page provides links to non-EPA web sites that provide additional information about lake shoreland protection. You will leave the EPA.gov domain and enter another page with more information. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of information on that non-EPA page. Providing links to a non-EPA Web site is not an endorsement of the other site or the information it contains by EPA or any of its employees. Also, be aware that the privacy protection provided on the EPA.gov domain (see Privacy and Security Notice) may not be available at the external link. Exit EPA Disclaimer

Lake Shoreland Protection Resources

Featured News and Resources

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EPA Lakeshore Outreach Products

Use the Lakes Awareness Publications Order Form (PDF) (1 pp, 175K) to request these items:

Lakeshore Management Education Products
( Guides, Fact Sheets, Manuals, Reports, Newsletters, Pamphlets, Brochures, Books and Articles)

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Lakeshore Management Information for Property Owners

Fact Sheets
  • Landscaping at the Water's Edge: An Ecological Approach
    This book authored by University of New Hampshire's Cooperative Extension for landowners and landscapers explains how our landscaping choices impact surface and ground waters and demonstrates how, with simple observations, ecologically-based design and low impact maintenance practices, you can protect, and even improve, the quality of our water resources.
  • Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality
    This book represents six years of research and the collaborative efforts of Carrol Henderson, DNR non-game wildlife specialist, Carolyn Dindorf, award-winning soil and water conservationist, and Fred Rozumalski, highly acclaimed landscape ecologist. Learn techniques to prevent lakeshore erosion, restore wildlife habitat, wildflowers and clean water.

Landscaping, Lawn Care, Native Plants and Rain Gardens

Social Marketing Resources

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State Lake Protection Programs 

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Model Ordinances and Laws for Lakeshore Protection

Local/County Ordinances
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State Laws

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Lakes Meetings and Training Calendar

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Multi-Media Resources

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Social Media

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Other Lakeshore Information

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