SLIPP public meetings, August 2011: feature Shoreline Care presentation
Shuswap Watershed Shoreline Care Presentation1
Why are shorelines important?• The shoreline areas of the Shuswap watershed are critical to • A sustainable environment • The liveability of the region • The water quality we depend on for drinking and recreation • Important fish and wildlife populations • The region’s economic opportunities• Shorelines are unique ecosystems that have developed over thousands of years• We all share the responsibility for keeping our shorelines healthy2
What is the shoreline area?• The shoreline is the most sensitive part of the lake• The shoreline consists of: - All areas from the high water level to the edge of the littoral zone (an area of high productivity, approximately 4 to 6 m of depth at low water level)• The shoreline is Crown Land and is a public resource, not private property• Riparian areas (areas within about 30 meters of the high water mark) often include critical vegetation and are part of a healthy, functioning shoreline• Floodplain areas are important for water quality, fish and wildlife habitat and flood control3
What makes a healthy shoreline?Components of a Healthy,Sustainable Shoreline• Adequate, natural riparian buffers/setbacks• Careful planning to avoid damage to critical habitat (wildlife or fisheries) versus• Protection of wetlands and floodplains (water quality buffers)• Protection of drinking water intakes• Good storm water management planning 4
What is needed for healthy drinking water and recreation?Water QualityRequirements• Healthy shoreline vegetation to filter contaminants out of groundwater and runoff before entering the lakes versus• Erosion control to prevent sediments from entering the lakes• Protection of drinking water intakes 5
What do fish and wildlife need?Fisheries / Wildlife LifeHistory Requirements• Spawning Areas (both shore and stream)• Rearing /Foraging Areas• Migration Corridors• Nesting / Mating / versus Wintering Areas• Clean, cool water• Riparian areas, wetlands, and floodplains 6
How are lake shorelines managed in BC?Step 1 • Foreshore Inventory and Mapping – Provides the background information regarding the shoreline.Step 2 • Aquatic Habitat Index – Provides an environmental sensitivity analysis of the shoreline, using existing biological data (e.g., shore spawning locations) and the FIM Database versusStep 3 • Shoreline Management Guidelines – A comprehensive look at types of development and level of risk associated with them.7
Summary of Shuswap Lake• Overall, 57% remains natural• ~43% has a High Level of Impact• ~8.2% with No Level of Impact versus 8
Summary of Shuswap Lake• 2,789 docks @ 6.86/km• 1,529 retaining walls @ 13% of shoreline or ~52,000 m• 1,170 groynes @ 25% substrate modification or ~101,000 m versus• 186 boat launches, 51 marinas, and 120 marine rails 9
How fast is the shoreline changing?Why does this all matter?• Rate of Change on Okanagan Lake was estimated to be between -0.5% and -2% per year• The high rate of change is potentially similar to some areas of the Shuswap versus experiencing higher development rates• The rate is too fast for fish and wildlife to adapt, potentially resulting in significant habitat related population effects 10
Tips for Shoreline CareWhat can you do to ensure healthy shorelines? • Consult with your local government and FrontCounter BC before starting a project near the water as you need to comply with zoning and regulations for your area. Any modification of Crown Land requires approval • Be aware of what’s around you and do your part to protect our watershed • Plant native trees and shrubs and limit vegetation removal • Replace turf with native vegetation in areas within 30 meters of the high water mark. Visit slippbc.com for a list of native plants versus • Keep docks in 1.5 m water depth (when possible) and remove above water level during fall fish spawning or use mooring buoys with helical screw anchors • Limit beach modifications (i.e., removal of cobbles and boulders) and repair old modifications by replacing natural materials • Do not import sand 11
Tips for Shoreline CareWhat can you do to ensure healthy shorelines? • Avoid significant impacts to areas ranked as Very High or High by the Aquatic Habitat Index (available through the Watershed Atlas at slippbc.com) • Use softer erosion control techniques by planting vegetation rather than using vertical concrete retaining walls • Reduce boat wake in bays to avoid erosion and damage to fish and wildlife habitat or young and lower gradient areas that have a higher erosion potential • Follow proper septic tank maintenance and repair versus • Always ask a Qualified Environmental Professional for advise prior to starting a project 12
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