Did you know that a natural shoreline is best for lake health? A natural shoreline reduces runoff and captures pollution before it enters a lake.
A buffer against wave action that erodes soil
Spawning areas for bass, crappie and other fish
Habitat for birds, butterflies, turtles and frogs
Consider restoring your shore to its natural state! Not only will you protect your shoreline from erosion, but you'll also reduce pollution entering the lake and create an oasis for wildlife.
A natural shoreline is a habitat with a diverse mix of plants near and within the water. Native plants maximize benefits such as capturing runoff, filtering pollution, and providing habitat for wildlife. Deep roots of native plants also hold soil in place and use up nutrients that would otherwise cause algae blooms. A natural shoreline creates a buffer between land and water that reduces erosion from wave action.
Modifications to a shoreline such as placement of riprap (rock), re-grading or movement of soil, creating a beach, and installing a retaining wall triggers the District's Rule F and requires a permit from the District. Not sure if the work you want to do requires a permit? Please email Mat Nicklay.
Native aquatic plants provide valuable services in protecting lake health. They shelter young fish and other small animals, reflect heat to keep water cooler, absorb water pollution, provide food for ducks and other birds, and so much more! Because of these benefits, the Minnesota DNR regulates aquatic plants. If you want to control or remove aquatic plants, you will most likely need a permit. Learn more from the DNR Aquatic Plant Management Program.
Apply for a Shoreline Restoration Grant
The Watershed District offers generous cost-share grants for shoreline restorations! Property owners are eligible for a grant of up to 75% of the project cost up to a maximum dollar amount. For individual homeowners, the maximum is $5,000. For non-profit organizations such as homeowner associations, the maximum is $20,000.Learn more about grants
Score your Shore
A tool developed by the DNR to help shoreline property owners assess the state of their shore.Score your Shore
Restore your Shore
A collection of DNR resources to help you restore your natural shoreline, such as solutions to common problems, plant guides to help you choose the right plants for your shore, and step-by-step guides to help you complete your project.Restore your Shore
Determine your Ordinary High Water Level
Permits are required for work done below the Ordinary High Water Level (OHWL) of your shoreline. Contact your local DNR Area hydrologist to request info about your property's OHWL.Request a Survey
The DNR provides Info sheets discussing common shoreline alteration projects.Learn More
Canada geese can be pests in a backyard, and scare tactics such as pinwheels and scarecrows only work for so long. Looking for a long-term solution? Restore your shore! The tall and thick vegetation of a natural shoreline discourages Canada geese from strolling into your yard.
General questions or questions about grant money for a natural shoreline restoration? Email Liz Forbes.
Shoreline work or permitting questions? Email Mat Nicklay.
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In February 2021, we partnered with the Minnesota DNR and Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District to host a webinar about Lakeshore Management. Topics covered include why healthy lakeshores are important, best management practices, and how to choose the right practice for your lakeshore.
This short animated video from Anoka Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) provides a great overview of the benefits of a natural shoreline.