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shoreline development

Impact on Lake & Wildlife Health

Landscaping and construction which alter the structure of your natural shoreline allow pollution to enter our lake and threaten local wildlife populations.

Learn more on this page about the composition and function of natural shorelines, the current state of Koshlong's built shorelines, and county regulations designed to protect this vital area. Then visit our Good Practices page to learn how you can mitigate the impacts of development.  

You might be surprised to learn that your SHORELINE, the area where land and water meet, is likely the richest and most complex natural environment you will ever encounter. You might think of your waterfront as the place where you gaze out over the water, where you have a dock or pier and keep a collection of boats, or where you climb in and out to swim. But the jumble of stones, plants, shrubs and fallen branches is so much more: it provides habitat for fish, amphibians, insects and birds; it forms a complex web holding the bank in place; and it fends off the impacts of wake, waves, ice, and rain runoff. This area is the glue between riparian zone of the land, and the littoral zone of the water.  

The RIPARIAN ZONE, the land closest to the shoreline, contains a thick layer of trees, shrubs and grasses that stabilize slopes, control erosion, absorb rainwater, and filter contaminants. This vegetation provides habitat for many birds, insects and small mammals, and prevents up to 90% of runoff from entering the lake.

The LITTORAL ZONE, the shallower areas of water where sunlight reaches the bottom supports 90% of aquatic wildlife and 70% of land-based wildlife. Here, aquatic plants and downed trees act as the lungs of the lake, converting sunlight into food for fish, amphibians, insects and birds. This area also provides vital shelter and breeding/spawning ground. 

You can read more about the structure and function of waterfront zones in The Shoreline Primer, a resource from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Learn about the important role of natural shorelines at BeShore. Then watch this informative video from the Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners Associations.

Thanks to KLA member Rob Horsburgh for his photograph of Wallace Island used as the background photo throughout this site

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