Extra careful consideration to lawn care practices on shoreline properties is critical to water quality. A mowed lawn all the way to the water’s edge sends rain runoff carrying fertilizers, pesticides, pet waste, and lawn clippings straight to the water where they can fuel algae blooms that make swimming less enjoyable.
This shoreline would benefit from deep, expansive root systems of native shoreline plants to store nutrients, absorb contaminants, and provide erosion control from wave action and ice buildup.
A vegetative buffer along portions of shoreline can provide season long beauty while helping to maintain a lake’s diverse ecosystem by providing habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.
Invasive plants reduce native plant and animal diversity, destroy critical biological resources such as fish nursery habitat, reduce property values, restrict fishing, boating and other recreational activities, and necessitate public and private efforts to mitigate their spread.
Grasses, wildflowers, shrubs, and trees that are native to this region provide the habitat needs of shoreline wildlife, and require minimal use of fertilizer, pesticide, and additional watering. And, they are beautiful!
Many homes built on lakes in Muskegon County rely on a backyard septic system to manage their household waste. Routine maintenance critical because water conditions near shore may make the system less efficient in treating wastewater. Incomplete treatment can result in health risks for humans and water quality problems.
Shoreline areas - on land and into the shallow water - provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife that live in or near Michigan’s lakes. Northern pike, bluegills, bass, and other fish spawn in the shallow water along the shore. Loons, ducks, sandhill cranes, and other water birds nest along the banks. Wildlife such as frogs, otters, and mink live there, too.
This White Lake property owner has found a way to create an aesthetically pleasing outdoor living space for their family, while maintaining much of the native vegetation along their shoreline.