From the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
RVCA’s Shoreline Naturalization Program has reached a milestone — this spring they planted their 100,000th shoreline plant.
The Shoreline Naturalization Program was established in 2009 to help shoreline landowners and groups create natural, resilient shoreline buffers that protect property from erosion, provide critical wildlife habitat and, improve water quality. The program is geared to waterfront landowners who have wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes within the Rideau Valley watershed. Lake associations, not-for-profits, and stream/creek/river groups are eligible as well.
“It’s been great seeing the program grow over the years. More and more people realize the importance of maintaining natural shoreline buffers. It shows every year with the number of calls we get,” says Meaghan McDonald, RVCA’s Lake Planning/Shoreline Stewardship Coordinator.
There are a lot of benefits to naturalizing your shoreline. Shoreline plants filter runoff that contains pollutants such as fertilizers, soil, road salt, vehicle fluids, pet waste and septic leachate. They improve wildlife habitat by providing food, safe travel areas and places to live. They provide shade over the water, which creates habitat and resting areas for fish. Shade cools water temperatures, which is good for many fish species. These plants are key to erosion protection. They slow erosion processes down by trapping soil in place. They control runoff. Too many soil particles in the water can be problematic for aquatic wildlife by reducing clarity, burying fish spawning grounds, clogging fish gills and limiting aquatic plant growth. A buffer of shoreline plants means less work maintaining your waterfront. All you need to do is prune to maintain your wonderful, water views. Shoreline vegetation also helps with flood abatement. The plants slow down surface water runoff and absorb it into the ground.
You can learn more about the program or sign up for a free site visit at https://www.rvca.ca/stewardship-grants/shoreline-naturalization/shoreline-naturalization-program. You will get a free site visit to discuss your individual needs. And, the program will provide you with a custom planting plan tailored to your property’s specifications. And, the cost of shoreline plants is subsidized.
It’s a win-win situation — you get beautiful shoreline plantings that enhance your property and the environment benefits too.