Restore your Shore A natural shoreline protects not only the plants and *animals that depend on the important ribbon of life between land and water, it also protects your enjoyment of the lake. When too many plants, including trees, are removed on the shoreline, erosion is likely to occur. The resulting sediment pollution can lead to the following: -the cost of treating drinking water is increased -swimming is less enjoyable -the plants that aquatic creatures depend on are destroyed because sunlight is blocked -fish spawning beds are covered and eggs are destroyed -the small aquatic creatures that are food for fish are destroyed -boats become stuck in deeply sedimented channels *At least 80 percent of all animals will use the shoreline area for food or shelter during their lifetimes.
The good news is that even the most disturbed shorelines can be rehabilitated and there are many resources and programs to help.
One such program is the Natural Edge program https://www.muskokawatershed.org/programs/the-natural-edge/, offered through the Muskoka Watershed Council. Shoreline owners who participate in this program are provided with the following: -a free site visit by an expert in shoreline restoration and native plants -a customized re-naturalization planting program for your shoreline property *50 native plants -fibre pads to deter grass from growing around new plantings -tree guards for all deciduous trees -mulch for your wildflowers -plant care guide, habitation creation guide and wildflower garden guide * If a shoreline owner wishes to follow through with the planting guidelines of the expert, there is a one-time fee of $250.
Many property owners on Lake Vernon have taken advantage of this program and their expertise to renaturalize their shorelines. In 2019 and 2020, the Environment Committee of Lake Vernon worked with the owner of Gallaugher Island to help with planting and the renaturalization of the heavily eroded toe of the island, with the assistance of the Natural Edge program. If you are undertaking a planting project and want some help, please feel free to reach out to the Environment Committee for volunteers by contacting Anne Lindsay at email@example.com.