Shorelines are the areas along the edge of a lake or waterbody, connecting the land and water. These areas are important for protecting water quality and provide habitat for many different animals (fish, birds, amphibians, and more). Humans also enjoy and benefit from shore zones for drinking water, recreation, and beauty – and have built homes along shorelines for many years.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Onondaga County is partnering with the Skaneateles Lake Association and Go Native! perennials LLC to offer an educational series focused on shorelines. This series of programs is meant to build upon itself – first, defining and highlighting the importance of shorelines; then exploring the human behaviors related to shorelines, including why homeowners opt for certain shoreline types over others and what other states are doing to encourage natural shorelines; and finally, how to naturalize your shoreline, specifically techniques and native plants to use for shoreline restoration.
The series opened in April with “Introducing Shore Zones – Their Ecology and Management” presented by freshwater ecologist Dr. Dave Strayer from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
This first program defined shore zones and explained why they are important.
This presentation also highlighted the ways humans impact shorelines and shared some general tips to protect shoreline ecosystems.
A recording of the program is available to watch on the CCE Onondaga YouTube page at youtube.com/@cceonondaga/videos.
The next program, “Keeping up with the Joneses – How Neighbors Influence Shoreline Type,” will be on June 21 at 7 p.m. on Zoom.
This presentation will share research-based information on what influences a property owner’s shoreline type.
This event will also explore research about peoples’ willingness to participate in different hypothetical shoreline programs. Additionally, there will be a presentation introducing the Vermont Lake Wise program – an example of an initiative by a neighboring state to encourage natural shorelines and protect lake health.
The series will wrap up on July 13 at 7 p.m. with “Naturalizing your Shoreline” held in the Parish Hall at St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles.
This session will present the importance of naturalizing a shoreline, creating a more sustainable and resilient alternative than hardscaping (presented by Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District).
This event will also cover the types of plants best suited for natural shorescaping, planting strategies, and natural shoreline management (presented by Krissy Boys, Cornell Botanic Gardens).
For more information and to register, visit skanlakeinfo.org/events/shorelines-matter or contact Camille Marcotte, water and ecology educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension Onondaga County, at [email protected] or 315-424-9485 ext.232.