Healthy, functional lake shorelines do more than create picture-perfect views; they are critical to fish, wildlife and water quality. Fortunately, there are many things lakefront property owners can do to learn more about Michigan’s 11,000 inland lakes and the best ways to protect them.
The new Michigan Shoreland Stewards video series highlights several management practices – maintaining native vegetation, eliminating fertilizers and using “soft engineering” – that inland lakefront property owners can use to help prevent shoreline erosion, keep pollutants and nutrients out of the lake, and ultimately protect fish, wildlife and clean water.
In Michigan State University Extension’s six-week “Introduction to Lakes” online course (Jan. 14-March 13), people can enjoy the self-paced format to learn more about lake ecology, watersheds, shorelines, Michigan water law, aquatic plant management and community involvements. The course includes 24/7 access to video lectures, activities, discussion forums and ask-an-expert webinar sessions with professionals from MSU and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. Registration is open through Jan. 8.
Visit the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership website to learn about inland lake shorelines and some simple action steps:
Property owners can take the Shoreland Stewards Survey to see if their property qualifies for the Shoreland Stewards program and get recommendations for a more natural shoreland.
Those who qualify can post signs recognizing their stewardship efforts while promoting the program to lakefront neighbors.
The Michigan Shoreland Stewards Ambassador program – open to everyone, not just lakefront property owners – provides information and resources to help people promote the Shoreland Stewards program in lake communities and be a resource for residents and a liaison between residents and lake groups.
For more information about any of these programs or resources, contact Joe Nohner at 517-284-6236.