Benefits of a Natural Shoreline

The illustration and information below is from the Rideau Valley Conversation Authority website.

Water Quality Protection

Surface water runoff contains pollutants such as:

  • Fertilizers (nutrients) & pesticides
  • Soil particles (sediments)
  • Road salt
  • Vehicle fluids (gasoline, etc.)
  • Others (pet/livestock waste, septic leachate, etc.)

These pollutants result in:

  • Algal blooms & excessive weed growth
  • Loss of recreation opportunities (swimming, boating, etc.)
  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat
  • Overall contaminated watersources
  • Potential contamination of drinking water sources

Erosion Protection 

Soils along the shorelines of lakes, rivers and streams are gradually weathered, displaced and deposited by various means including wind, water, ice and gravity. Although erosion is a natural process, it can be dramatically accelerated by changes in land use such as the removal of shoreline vegetation.

  • Without the presence of a healthy vegetated buffer, shorelines have reduced resistance against erosion, potentially resulting in a loss of habitat, soil stability and land.
  • Excess sediment in the water caused by erosion can be problematic for aquatic wildlife by reducing clarity, burying fish spawning grounds, clogging gills and limiting plant growth.
  • Natural, vegetated shorelines help prevent erosion because the roots of trees and shrubs trap soil in place, stabilize the bank and help to absorb wave energy


Click on the link below to find out more about ALL of the benefits of a Natural Shoreline!