Healthy Shorelines Initiative

Concrete seawall impacts scour effect
This graphic shows what's wrong with seawalls.
Healthy Shorelines make a difference by improving water quality, improving shoreline habitat, reducing erosion and reducing nutrient runoff.
The accepted norm on many of our lakes is to have a mowed lawn up to the edge of a concrete seawall.  Concrete seawalls are not natural. Healthy shorelines (and adjacent lawns) have an abundance of native plants both on the land and in the water, which work to filter pollutants out of runoff, deter nuisance wildlife, stabilize the shoreline, and slow wave action. 
Glacial stone (or rock) seawalls are also an improvement over concrete because they provide stabilization to the shoreline while also minimizing wave action. 
Homeowners often worry that a natural shoreline will look messy, but with proper planning a natural shoreline can be an incredibly beautiful low-maintenance landscape feature without interfering with the view or recreation. 
You can turn your lawn and lakeshore into a healthy shoreline by using methods such as bioengineered seawalls, glacial stone seawalls, lake-friendly landscaping, rain gardens, and rain barrels.
Click on the practices to learn more about each type of shoreline project.
Is a permit required for your project?  Find out on our Shoreline Permitting pages.