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Shoreline Protection

Shorelines are a critical and sensitive link between land and water. The land and shallow water that meet at the water's edge provide a nursery for the wildlife in the waterway. Here, fish spawn, aquatic insects find mates, waterfowl nest and turtles scramble ashore to lay their eggs. When development destroys the vegetation that feeds and protects this shoreline nursery, all living things in the water are affected.

A dense strip of natural vegetation is an important buffer that filters rainwater that runs over the surface of the land. Shrubs, trees, grasses and wildflowers all play an important role in removing sediment from this surface runoff, and promoting its percolation into the soil - further cleaning the water and recharging groundwater supplies.

A thick network of roots from a variety of waterfront plants helps to keep shoreline soil on land where it belongs, not in waterways. Soil eroding into waterways contaminates spawning beds, which reduces fish populations.

Think of your human neighbours too! Our survey of residents found that the number one priority is to protect our natural shoreline for appearances as well as nature.

Consider the following points for your shoreline:

  • Allow the shoreline to return to its natural state, or plant native species or flowers, grasses and shrubs;
  • Aim for a naturalized area extending at least 10 meters back from shore;
  • Avoid hard barriers such as concrete walls and gabion baskets. If possible, remove retaining walls;
  • Limit shoreline alteration to no more than 25 percent of your shoreline;
  • Shoreline vegetation also helps to protect water quality; and,
  • Manicured areas act like hard surfaces when it rains. More than 50% of rainfall can run off straight into the lake along with fertilizers, pesticides, pet waste, etc
Our Results
  • Acquired over 50 per cent of the Lower Oxtongue River for permanent protection, including 6.5 km of shoreline.
  • Preserved one mile of natural shoreline and 47-acres of forest at Port Cunnington.
  • Partnered with the Ontario Heritage Trust to be the steward of the 100-acre Pyke property near Brown's Brae.
  • Recognized more than 30 building owners with plaques for heritage property protection.
  • Encouraged the Township to create a Heritage Committee of Council to encourage protection.
  • Rescued the Bigwin ferry from a sunken mooring in 1991 and conducted feasibility studies to transfer to the current Navigation Society for restoration.
  • Established the Harriet T. Weaver Memorial Trust which funds two bursaries each year to assist one student from each of Bracebridge and Huntsville high schools to help pay for their first year of university or college.
Dr. Cathy Charles Stay-at-home Spring Bird Count, weekend of May 9
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The wherever-you-are butterfly, damselfly & dragonfly challenge, July 11 weekend
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Annual General Meeting of Members - by Zoom, Wednesday August 19 5:00pm
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Contact Us

Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 81
Baysville, Ontario
P0B 1A0