NORTHWOODS REGIONAL NEWS: Florence County, Forest County, Langlade County, Marinette County, Menominee County, Menomonie County, Oconto County,  Shawano County

Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance surveys Shawano Lake shoreline for erosion risks

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Aboard a pontoon boat in Shawano Lake, a slow-moving survey was conducted Wednesday morning.

“There are over a thousand different properties around Shawano Lake,” Emily Henrigillis, Watershed Coordinator for the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance explained. “Each one takes one to three minutes, so it’s definitely slow going.”

The representatives from the Watershed Alliance looked at the property along the shore for erosion and runoff risks.

“We’re hoping to improved the water quality out here,” Henrigillis explained. “[the shore is] a buffer between the land and the water, so we really need to make sure we have a nice, strong one to make sure nothing bad is getting into the waterways.”

It’s an issue they say property owners along the shore should be concerned with.

“[they are] people wanting to spend time on the lake and spending a lot of money to live on the lake,” Kelly Reyer, Outreach Coordinator for the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance said. “They definitely care about the lake.”

However, those property owners will not be forced to make changes.

“Everything we’re doing is voluntary for shoreline property owners,” Henrigillis said. “So we’re just here to share options of what they can do.”

One of those options is adjusting landscaping practices.

“We’ve seen a lot of manicured lawns,” Henrigillis said. “That’s what we see, and that doesn’t slow down the runoff at all. By adding native plants to your shoreline, you can help get that runoff to sink into the ground before it actually hits the lake.”

The surveyors hope that property owners will take heed of the tips.

“They have the opportunity and the responsibility to have a positive impact on the water,” Reyer said.

The survey is expected to take about three weeks to complete.

The boat used to conduct the survey was donated by American Marine.

A report will be written based on the findings and will be delivered to the DNR.

For more information on the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance, click here.

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