Waterfront Living

Simple Tips.....Lasting Benefits

Let's Enjoy

  1. Natural shoreline - great wildlife habitat.
  2. Small floating dock - low impact; hinged from a stationary platform or deck located above high water.
  3. Septic system far from the shore - reduces water pollution.
  4. Narrow, gravelled footpath - less chance of erosion.
  5. Trimmed trees and adjustable awnings - natural air conditioning with view maintained.
  6. You work less - relax more!
  7. Kitchen compost - improves your soil's quality.
  8. Low-maintenance native plants - provide shoreline buffer.
  9. Building - set back from the shore and in character with setting.
  10. Well-maintained motor - electric, or modern 4 stroke outboard, operated with low wake near shore.

Let's Talk

  1. Bare shoreline - subject to erosion which can be serious and affect your property value.
  2. Solid dock - destroys wildlife habitat, alters currents, causes erosion elsewhere.
  3. Fertilizer spills, chemical run-off and pet droppings - damage water quality.
  4. Paved lane - pollution-laden runoff, including oil and antifreeze leaks from your car, flows to the water.
  5. No shade trees - overworked air conditioner adds to electric bill.
  6. Removal of natural vegetation - more work for you and more runoff.
  7. Collecting lawn clippings - deprives soil of nutrients; try mulching.
  8. Ornamental shrubs - require chemicals and extra work.
  9. Poor fuel management - gas and oil spills from cans, tanks and leaky boat motors are deadly.
  10. Hardened shoreline - eliminates "natural filter", degrades water quality and blocks wildlife access.

The Ribbon of Life

The shoreline, where land, water, and air meet, is a vital edge. Here, plants and wildlife find in abundance the resources they need for life. We, too, rely on shorelines for sustenance. Communities have grown up along the water's edge, and we go to the shore to rest and restore our spirits.

Those of us who live by the water experience its magic every day. Our health, our children's health, and the long-term value of our waterfront property depend on how we care for the shore - the "ribbon of life."

Twelve Simple Steps To Keep Your Paradise Intact

  • Keep the lot well-treed - never clearcut.protect shoreline vegetation; replant areas lacking shrubs and trees with native species.
  • Start a buffer strip by leaving some grass uncut near the water.
  • Build at least 30 meters away from the shore.
  • Give clear instructions to your contractors and monitor their work.
  • Avoid spilling fuels, antifreeze, paint thinner or other chemicals on land or water - clean up fast!
  • Don't use fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides near the water.
  • Use only phosphate-free soaps, detergents, and cleaners in your home.
  • Pump out your septic tank regularly - every two to three years if you have a field system.
  • Extend the life of your septic system by avoiding tank additives and minimizing water consumption.
  • Refuel your boat with care - don't spill a drop. Watch your boat's wake - it causes erosion and is a disturbance to birds nesting on the water's edge!

    Note: Always check local regulations before building or making changes to your shoreline.

Benefits of Shoreline Care

Caring for your shoreline means less work, not more! You will help preserve water quality and safeguard your family's health. You will also help protect the beauty of your paradise, maintaining its investment value. Extra benefits include more time to relax and enjoy!

Available soon - workshops, homesite visits,
plus a handbook and video with more tips and ideas!

The Living By Water Project

Alberta / NWT Office
Federation of Alberta Naturalists
11759 Groat road, Edmonton, Alberta T5M 3K6
Phone: (780) 427-8124 Fax: (780) 422-2663
Email: shorelines@fanweb.ca
Website: www.livingbywater.ca

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