Shoreline vegetative buffers are probably the single most important natural aspect to promoting and maintaining good water quality in a lake, pond, stream or other wetland site.
Proper vegetation management in these key buffer zones allows for the filtration of excess nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen from the water column, as well as from inflowing water runoff from the surrounding watersheds that typically occur after every rain event. These buffers also help to maintain shoreline stability and prevent erosion and sedimentation.
With the right vegetation management services, these buffers also provide good habitats for birds, and help to deter mosquitos by minimizing the habitat for their breeding and providing good habitat for natural insect predators such as dragonflies.
When shoreline buffers on lakes or ponds are allowed to grow three feet tall or greater, and are maintained in such a way that they are dense and thick, they provide a major deterrent to nuisance Canada geese from becoming full time residents to the site.
Without these vegetative buffers, lakes and ponds are much more likely to struggle with persistent algae growth, turbidity, foul odors, mosquitos, geese, erosion, sedimentation, and many other water quality issues.
The best vegetation management strategy for buffer zones includes a mix of aquatic grasses, sedges, rushes, and other beneficial flowering species along with upland plants growing on shore. View some of our recommended plant species. The wider the buffer area the better, but typically a minimum three to five feet of un-mowed, un-trimmed vegetation around the entire shoreline of the lake or pond is ideal.
Many communities do a good job of establishing a buffer, but often fall short in their overall vegetation management within that zone. It is a very common temptation for lake or pond owners and managers to want to cut or trim their aquatic vegetation buffers multiple times per season. By doing so, they are actually reversing the beneficial effects of having the buffer, and in many cases, actually causing more harm to the pond water quality and overall ecosystem then if they had never had a buffer at all.
Example of a desirable buffer.
Shoreline buffers should be allowed to grow three feet or taller.
Buffers prevent nutrients from fertilizers from entering your lake or pond.
Cutting or trimming buffers multiple times in a season actually reverses the beneficial effects of having a buffer causing more harm to the water quality and overall ecosystem.
Buffer management should be performed several times annually to eliminate any nuisance vegetation species.
Good vegetation management includes a mix of aquatic grasses, sedges, rushes and other beneficial flowering species.
In support of our belief that lakes and ponds are a precious natural resource requiring protection, SOLitude is committed to providing sustainable and renewable solutions that maintain ecological balance in the workplace and beyond.
When you partner with SOLitude, a dedicated field technician visits your lake or pond twice a month, leveraging extensive knowledge and training to carefully maintain ecological balance and preserve the appearance of your aquatic property.
Utilizing the latest GPS aquatic mapping technology and our own proprietary lake and pond management software, the experts at SOLitude collect all the data necessary to provide comprehensive analysis and in-depth solutions.