Karen Terry, Extension water resources educator, talked with Brian Whittemore of ICTV and Itasca Waters about how to best maintain and protect the habitat surrounding your shoreline. Terry was the primary advisor of the Itasca Waters Shoreland Advisors Program, an initiative led by local residents who help lakeshore owners improve water quality through ecologically friendly practices.
Stormwater runoff pollutes local rivers and lakes if the landscape is not designed to capture and hold some of the water on the land. "We need to manage what we do on the land," says Terry, "because that's affecting the water." Letting vegetation grow near the shoreline, instead of mowing your lawn, can soak up stormwater runoff that would otherwise pollute a nearby body of water. Replacing your septic system is another way to avoid negative impacts on your lake.
"If we spend money on protection versus restoration, we can get way more bang for the buck," says Terry.