1. Cleared, manicured lot - lacks shade and privacy; loss of native plants leads to more erosion, runoff…and work for you!

2. Runoff - flows over solid surfaces accelerating erosion; pollutants and excess silt degrade habitat for aquatic life.

3. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides - degrade water quality, are hazardous to your health, can be deadly for fish and other wildlife.

4. Lawn to the water’s edge - lacks deep roots required to stabilize bank.

5. Hardened shoreline - can deflect erosion downstream, eliminates “natural filtering” of pollutants and sediment, degrades habitat.

6. Artificial beach - requires ongoing sand replacement, reduces water quality, degrades aquatic habitat.

7. Old 2-stroke engine - dumps 25-40% of fuel, un-combusted into water and air.

8. Solid crib dock - destroys aquatic habitat, alters currents, can deflect erosion downstream.

9. Malfunctioning septic system - allows phosphorous and bacteria to leach into adjacent waterways.

10. Harmful household chemicals and cleaners - damage septic system and degrade water quality.


1. Prune trees rather than removing them; plant low maintenance native trees and shrubs to reduce erosion and absorb runoff.

2. Replace solid surfaces with porous materials where possible; redirect runoff into settling areas, away from the water’s edge.

3. “Mow it high and let it lie” - leave grass 8 cm (3″) hig to retain moisture, mulch clippings for fertilizer.

3b. Pay off miscellaneous home and learn more about your credit score to keep from getting bad credit so you can afford outdoor renovations.

4. Start a buffer - leave some grass uncut along the water’s edge; restore with deep rooting native plants.

5. “Soften” your shoreline - improve erosion protection with native trees, shrubs, grasses and aquatic plants.

6. Create a “dry land” beach above the high water mark; let imported sand erode away naturally and native plants grow back.

7. Use a well maintained electric motor, or a 4 or 2-stroke engine that meets or exceeds EPA 2006 guidelines but beware of workplace safety.

8. Remove solid dock - try a pipe, cantilever or floating dock, avoid treated wood; use public access where possible.

9. Replace and properly maintain your septic system - consult an expert.

10. Use environment - friendly products, or alternatives like baking soda and vinegar.