Loving Your Lake – 10 tips for keeping your waters clean and healthy– forever
By Steve McComas, Published: August 1, 2005
People have a remarkable affinity for and attraction to water, so more and more of us are moving to the lake or dreaming about it.
Maybe you have dreamt about a place on the lake for years, and you’ve finally found it. Or you’ve had a place on a lake for years and love it. But you have noted with concern the increasing amount of development that’s happening.
How can you ensure that the lake you love remains beautiful and healthy for generations to come? You can show your love for your lake by incorporating these 10 tips into your lake life.
1. Buff up the buffer.
A lakeside buffer is a growth of unmowed native vegetation from the shoreline extending to upland areas. Before people started building around lakes, all lakeshores had natural buffers. Some of these natural aspects have been lost, but they can be restored.
Grass mowed down to the edge of the water is not a true buffer. Although it provides groundcover, it is not effective for filtering pollutants in runoff water, and it’s poor wildlife habitat. For a vegetative buffer to be effective, it should span a minimum of 15 feet from shore, but 25 feet or more is recommended.
How does your buffer measure up? If you would like to experiment with a buffer to see what it might look like, leave an area unmowed along the lakeshore and see what grows. There, you’ve done it. You have installed a buffer. You can also modify it in the future by planting other native plants into it.
For tips 2 through 10, see the original article by Cabin Life Magazine.