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Shoreline Development Can Impact Lake Health
High water levels leading to eroding shorelines have been front-page news in recent months. Shoreline erosion is a concern for Michigan property owners with homes located on one of our Great Lakes or on an inland lake. While we can’t control how Mother Nature effects our water levels there are steps that property owners can do to minimize shoreline erosion on their property. 

How to Improve Your Properties Shoreline:

· Install a buffer zone- leaving or planting a buffer of natural vegetation can reduce erosion, maintain water quality, and provide habitat for wildlife

· Native plants- leave or plant native aquatic plants to help support lake wildlife and minimize erosion

· Limit turfgrass- turfgrass has shallow roots and requires lots of maintenance

· Minimize impervious surfaces such as concrete or asphalt- this will decrease the amount of run-off containing chemicals from getting into the lake

· Leave fallen trees- fallen trees in the water will provide habitat for fish and wildlife

· Use minimal sand- minimize the size of your sandy beach to allow for more natural vegetation onshore and in the water

· Use bioengineering- also known as lakescaping, is a method using native plants, biodegradable products (biologs or erosion control blankets) and other natural materials (rock) to provide a stable shoreline

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10 Years Later: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill - Researchers at University of South Florida College of Marine Sciences studied the impact the Deepwater Horizon explosion and ensuing oil spill continue to have on gulf fisheries. They found a 50 – 80% fish population decrease near the blow site. And, of the more than 2,500 fish sampled, every single one was found to have some level of oil pollution; the highest levels of concentrations were detected in yellowfin tuna, golden tilefish and red drum.

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