Restore the Shoreline

Since shoreline property development started at Sylvan Lake decades ago the riparian zone adjacent to the lake has changed. Government surveys classify much of that zone as “impaired”.  Property owners can help to restore some riparian zone functions by looking critically at landscaping and structures with the goal of improving water balance and reducing nutrient transfer into the lake. Simple actions like not applied fertilizer close to the lake edge, or mowing lakefront lawns that border the lake, are important.

Here’s the proposal:

SLWSS Shoreline Project

Opportunities and potential experimental shoreline sites are limited for a variety of reasons including water depth. However the Sunbreaker Cove SV has AESRD approval for a shoreline stabilization project that might include the use of aquatic plants to minimize erosion.

In general, property owners who apply to AESRD to modify the shoreline are advised to consider those techniques in combination with rip-rap installation.

Resources and advice on shoreline protection are readily available:

Shoreline Modification / Erosion Control

Caring for Shoreline Properties

Onshore measures to conserve water, improve infiltration of precipitation, and avoid erosion from storm water flow can all be applied by property owners:

Stepping back from the Water

The Native Plant Council of Alberta offers advice and cautions on plant selection:

Native Plant Council

Cows and Fish has published a Field Guide to Riparian Plants of Alberta that is available for download.

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