Water quality preservation goes far beyond best management practices for farms and developed areas within a watershed. In a sensitive system such as Skaneateles Lake, water quality concerns can be addressed along the shoreline and across the lawns leading to the lake. It is important for homeowners to know what they can do to preserve water quality on their own property by implementing erosion-resistant structure along the shoreline, on camp roads and along tributaries that enter the lake.
Maintenance of a lake shoreline by structuring with native emergent plant species can go a long way in preventing erosion. Shoreline plants hold tight to saturated soil and dampen wave energy, resisting erosion to the shore. These plants also provide habitat for wildlife including birds, amphibians and fish while also absorbing nutrients and sediment from yard runoff. Native plants such as pickerelweed and arrowhead can provide a pleasing aesthetic component to a shoreline with bright flowers and lush foliage.
Streambanks of tributaries entering Skaneateles Lake are also sources of erosion and sedimentation in the lake. Unlike shoreline erosion however, streambank erosion tends to happen much quicker and on a larger scale. Erosion can be prevented or mitigated by using biological methods, such as cuttings of willows and dogwood which can root easily and quickly stabilize a bank. Root wads and rock vanes can also be used to redirect water causing erosional problems at the toe of slopes, and also provide extra habitat for stream life.
Aside from the above options, there are many directions homeowners can take to avoid erosion on their property. On June 16th, CCE Onondaga will be hosting our second "Shorescaping" workshop. Attendees will learn about ways to prevent erosion on their shoreline, streamsides and camp roads by utilizing living landscapes.
Glen haven School and Historical Society
7325 Fair Haven Road
Homer, NY 13077