Tips for a Better Environment
1. Septic systems should be in code with local ordinances and properly operated and maintained.
- Do not put household cleaners, paint, solvents and pesticides down the drain.
- Practice water conservation in the home.
- Limit use of antibacterial products.
- Pump septic systems at least every three years.
2. Practice catch-and-release fishing.
- Convert to non-lead based tackle and recycle your lead-based tackle to protect the Loons and other waterfowl from lead poisoning.
3. Keep it natural – restore your shore.
- Buffers prevent erosion and infiltration of nutrients into the lake.
- Buffers should be a minimum of 30 feet.
- Encourage woody vegetation and tall grasses to stabilize the shoreline.
- Slow shore land runoff with gentle sloping and terraced landscaping.
- Reduce your lawn.
4. Prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, such as eurasian milfoil and zebra mussels.
- Check your boat before and after launching.
5. Know your land and lake rules.
- It is unlawful in Minnesota to knowingly alter shoreline, fish habitat or aquatic vegetation without a permit from the Minnesota DNR.
- Upland permits are often required from the city to alter the land. Please check with the city zoning coordinator.
6. Appreciate aquatic plants.
- Aquatic “weeds” are critical life-support systems and filters.
- Cattails and bulrushes are natural water purifiers.
- Rooted aquatic vegetation is a veritable fish nursery.
7. Reduce roofs and roads.
- Roofs, sidewalks, paved driveways increase the amount of water the runs off to land and aquatic environments.
- Use newer more pervious materials for sidewalks, driveways and patios.
- Use rain barrels to catch runoff water for use on lawns, gardens, and planters.
- Build rain gardens to catch and filter runoff water.
8. Be considerate of all lake and land users.
- Part of being a good steward and neighbor is being considerate of everyone’s values.
- Following both state and local laws and ordinances will help to ensure a positive experience for everyone who uses Minnesota’s land and water.
- Operate motorized vehicles on land and water in a sensible and safe manner.
9. Become part of the local decision making process.
- Make your concerns known.
- Support your local property owners or lake association.
- Give money and time to support organizations working to protect Minnesota’s natural resources for future generations.
10. Low impact boating.
- Studies have shown that high speed and high-powered boats, especially in depths of less than 18 feet, have a detrimental impact on water quality, shoreline erosion and wildlife habitat.
- A slow speed in shallow water is safer and much easier on the environment. You also see more.
- A boat with a fifty horsepower motor can stir up the bottom sediment in 15 feet of water.
Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Our Shoreland
The Minnesota Shoreland Management web site provides a wealth of information on lakeshore management and an excellent reference for all land and lakeshore property owners.