shoreline protection


What You Can Do on Your Property





Natural shorelines prevent erosion, filter harmful nutrients, and provide habitat for native wildlife. They also preserve the vistas we come to the lake to enjoy. Learn more about protecting your shoreline here, or find more resources below.



Your "shoreline" is divided into several zones, as pictured here. Read below to learn how you can take steps to protect the natural ecology in each zone.

Littoral: the area of water penetrated by sunlight, where fish and amphibians spawn and feed, birds forage

Shoreline: where water and land meet, between high and low water marks

Riparian: the buffer/barrier behind the shoreline, where natural shrubs and trees hold the bank and filter runoff

Upland: area behind the riparian, where your cottage, septic and driveway are likely located


In the Littoral Zone:

Tamper with natural vegetation as little as possible

Use your dock/ramp as a bridge over weedy areas

Do not add sand to a shoreline, it smothers spawning areas

Leave trees where they fall, unles they are a hazard to boats or swimmers



on the Shoreline

Leave natural vegetation in place

Do not replace the natural shore with a breakwall:
Whether stone, wood, steel or concrete, artificial materials lack the resilience of the natural shoreline and will degrade; breakwalls create a sterile environment where fish, birds and amphibians cannot thrive.

Do not dump sand or fill along the shoreline


In the Riparian & upland

Limit development -- roofs, decks, paths, drives and other hard surfaces --
which shed water, increase runoff and create opportunities for erosion.

Maintain as much natural vegetation as possible

Rather than removing trees to open the view of the lake, trim the under-branches 


Avoid lawns! They attract geese, which can add kilograms of waste per day; grass can also allow twice as much runoff as native vegetation

If you do wish to have some lawn, allow a buffer zone of natural vegetation to grow to 24' high at the lake edge: simply stop mowing this area, and within a year or two, wildflowers, grasses, shrubs and trees will colonize the area

DO NOT use fertilizers or pesticides on your lawn!

Keep flower and vegetable gardens away from the lake 

Leave dead wood and leaves where they fall; they provide excellent filter for runoff


Replant disturbed areas as quickly as possible: eg, plant wildflowers and native grasses over septic tile beds (where shrubs and trees should not be allowed to grow)

Choose permeable surfaces -- gravel or wood chips -- rather than concrete or pavement


If you are interested in restoring your shoreline to a more natural state, please explore the resources and assistance offered by these area organizations: 

Beshore Haliburton 

Coalition for Haliburton Property Owners' Associations

Love Your Lake

The Land Between

Watersheds Canada



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

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