Be Waterfront Wise

Waterfront Homeowners, strengthen your shoreline to reduce pollution and prevent the spread of invasive species.

Rainwater and melting snow wash over the land carrying contaminants such as dirt, oil and toxic auto fluids, pesticides and fertilizer, bacteria from pet waste and failing septic systems and even heat from pavement into the nearest lake, river or stream. The result — excessive aquatic plant growth and algal blooms, decreased water clarity, flashy stream flows, degraded habitat and shoreline erosion.Waterfront Wisdom, 7 tips for creating and maintaining a beautiful and healthy waterfront

As a waterfront homeowner, you have a special opportunity to help your waterbody stay clean and healthy for both you and your neighbors. Minimizing runoff and planting buffers of trees, shrubs, taller grasses and wildflowers between the shoreline and upland areas that help trap and infiltrate runoff, controlling erosion, managing home yard and animal waste, keeping your septic system working — these are just a few ways you can do it.

Download “Waterfront Wisdom,” our 12 page pdf booklet.

Contact Pam Labadie, plabadie@hrwc.org, if you would like a printed copy mailed to you.

Special Take Action Guidelines for Shoreline Property Owners:

For Huron River Shoreline Property Owners Between Kent Lake Dam and Barton Pond

NaturalRiverZoneMapThe State of Michigan Natural Rivers Program mandates certain development restrictions that are specific to the Huron River. The Huron River and its tributaries are public domain, and are subject to public trust protection. The 1970 Michigan Natural Rivers Act (Act 231) designated the stretch of river between Kent Lake Dam and Barton Pond (27.5 miles) as “country-scenic river.” This Natural Rivers District includes a protected zone of 400 feet on either side of the natural watermark. In this protected zone, development is strictly limited and the natural vegetation strip has been increased. On private lands within the District, zoning also requires extensive building structure and septic system set-backs on both the river’s main stem and the tributaries. In the Natural Rivers District of the Huron River, no new commercial, industrial, or extractive development is permitted within 300 feet of the river or its tributaries.

Huron Natural Rivers District Fact Sheet

Other Recommended Resources

Michigan Clean Water Corps: The Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program. CLMP has been an important component of Michigan’s inland lakes monitoring program for over 30 years, which makes it the second oldest volunteer monitoring program for lakes in the country. The program helps citizen volunteers monitor indicators of water quality in their lake and document changes in lake quality over time.

Michigan’s Natural Shoreline Partnership. MNSP researches, demonstrates, and develops natural shoreline technologies that benefit lake ecosystems. Their mission is to train contractors and landscape professionals about erosion control, educate property owners about natural shorelines, and encourage local and state policies that promote natural shoreline management.

Michigan Lakes and Streams Associations is a non-profit, state-wide organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and wise management of Michigan’s vast treasure of inland lakes and streams. MLSA assists lake, river and stream, and watershed associations as well as individual riparian property owners. 




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