TWF Launches a NEW Healthy Shorelines Initiative

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 1:10pm

Examples include Glacial stone (or rock) seawalls, Natural shorelines and resurf

The Watershed Foundation is excited to announce the launch of a new program to protect and improve lakes in the Warsaw-Winona Lake community!

The Healthy Shorelines Initiative, funded in part by the Kosciusko County Community Foundation and Kosciusko County REMC, will provide grant assistance of up to $1,000 to homeowners for shoreline projects that improve water quality and shoreline habitat, while reducing erosion and decreasing runoff.

Why shorelines?

The 2010 EPA report on the National Lakes Assessment showed that 44% of our nation’s lakes are in poor biological condition, with poor lakeshore habitat being the biggest problem.  The second biggest stressor was high levels of phosphorus or nitrogen, which cause excessive weed and algae growth when too much enters the lake. 

Many lake associations and residents spend an incredible amount of money treating invasive aquatic plants or “weeds”, which are important to manage once they are established. 

What are healthy shorelines?

Healthy shorelines have an abundance of plants both on the land and in the water

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 or healthy for our lakes. In fact, they disrupt the critical ribbon of life on lake shorelines, create added wave action, and stir up the bottom sediments. Sedimentation is the suspension of nutrients and material in our lakes, which is one of the main reasons for algae growth, green muck and fish scarcity in our lakes.Healthy shorelines (and adjacent lawns) have an abundance of plants both on the land and in the water. Glacial stone (or rock) seawalls are an improvement over concrete because they help slow wave action. Natural shorelines can also be incredibly beautiful and easy to maintain without interfering with recreation. 

Examples of potential projects under the TWF Healthy Shorelines Initiative:

  • stone re-facing of concrete seawalls (pictured)
  • bioengineered seawalls
  • glacial stone seawalls

An informational workshop will be held on Thursday, April 27, to showcase these types of projects.  Workshop participants will receive priority in grant funding. In order to be eligible, the project site must be located on Center, Chapman, Pike, or Winona Lakes, and the applicant must pay at least 25% of the total cost of the project.  Payments will be made as a reimbursement. Applications will be available on the TWF website in mid-April. The application deadline is June 1.For more information and to register for the workshop contact Lyn Crighton at The Watershed Foundation at or 574-834-3242. Visit our Healthy Shorelines page to learn more!