Healthy Shorelines for Healthy Lakes

Shoreline Restoration


Your shoreline is unique and so requires a unique approach to good health. Is it rich in vegetation? Do you step out of the water onto grass, sand or rocks? Do you have a retaining wall? Have you noticed erosion and algal blooms? We can help.

Build a Shoreline Buffer

A shoreline buffer is a strip of vegetation (trees, shrubs, grasses, perennials) alongside a lake or other body of water. Buffers are vital to the health of a shoreline. It will:

  • Intercept contaminants from reaching your lake reducing the amount of runoff
  • Reduce erosion
  • Improve water quality
  • Protect wildlife

While a bigger buffer is always better, your shoreline will benefit from a buffer of any size.

How To Create a Buffer


Stop mowing or manicuring and let nature take over. Dormant seeds and seeds carried in from birds and other animals will begin to grow. This will take a while, but it will happen.


Plant trees, shrubs, grasses and/or perennials. This will take more work but less time, and you can design it how you want with some of your favourite plants.

Why to Not Choose a Retaining Wall

Whether you put it in or inherited it from your property’s last owner, it was probably recommended to protect against erosion.

It is now known that retaining walls actually cause erosion.

When waves hit a retaining wall, rather than absorb that energy it deflects the energy to the sides causing erosion problems further along the shoreline and scouring away any sediment and plants near the base of the wall.

If you have a retaining wall in good shape, it doesn’t need to be replaced. Just plant a strip of vegetation along the top of it. This will reduce erosion by holding the soil together and filtering damaging runoff before it enters the lake.

If your retaining wall is in poor shape, you should consider replacing or removing it altogether.

Should you choose replacement, a shoreline buffer will help protect against erosion and filter runoff. If your shoreline is experiencing severe erosion you could consider riprap. Riprap is angular rocks that are placed on the shore at a gentle angle and helps to absorb and deflect waves and wakes. Consider planting willows or dogwoods between the rocks to further protect your shoreline.

But before you do that, make sure you have the necessary permits and approvals. Visit our Permits & Approvals section.

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