Shoreline management

Shoreline Management

Our Shoreline Management program is organized by the Water Quality Committee. The purpose is to protect our beautiful lake and has four major segments to its focus:

  • Property Maintenance — Suggestions on how to maintain your lake front property, so as not to damage the lake;
  • Cladophora Studies — Measuring the extent of damage to the lake by pollutants entering into the lake from surrounding surfaces;
  • Shoreline Surveys — Analysis of individual pieces of property to reduce/eliminate contaminate intrusion into the lake, by making suggestions on alternations in landscaping as well as septic maintenance.
  • Fertilizer — The Glen Lake Association has recommendations (in order of importance) for riparians who wish to add nutrients to their lawns and landscape.

Score your own shoreline using this survey.

Shoreline Management Plan

The Glen Lake/Crystal River Watershed Managment Plan has been approved by the MDEQ and now meets the criteria for the state Clean Michigan Initiative (CMI) Nonpoint Source Pollution Control program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act.

The plan allows GLA to apply for a variety of Federal and State grants and better defines our watershed priorities and plans for protecting and preserving our unparalleled natural resource.

View Watershed Management Plan

Good setup Panel 2Property Maintenance

The Glen Lake Association recommends that all riparians keep a wide barrier of deep rooted vegetation at their shorelines for edge stabilization, and minimization of nutrient runoff.

This barrier will also discourage water fowl from gathering and leaving their “calling cards” in unwanted areas. Geese, for instance, like low-cut lawns to make sure they’re not being stalked by predators. A taller vegetation strip discourages them from intruding.

The association also recommends riparians ensure that their septic systems are functioning properly so they will not contribute to the addition of phosphorous, nitrogen, and other noxious chemicals into the lake.

The Glen Lake Association has the following recommendations (in order of importance) for riparians who wish to add nutrients to their lawns and landscape:

  • Pump lake water into your irrigation system to irrigate and “fertilize” your lawn and landscape plants. The lake water will naturally contain nitrogen and phosphates for your plants and lawn and the remaining nutrients will leach into your soil and return to the lake via ground water.
  • Do not use any fertilizers at all — either chemical or organic.
  • If you decide to fertilize (ignoring items 1 and 2 above), then consider purchasing “Clean Green” 7-0-0.  This is available at Northwoods Hardware in Glen Arbor and Hamilton’s Agronomy on M-72.
  • If you decide to use chemical fertilizers, then use “Lake Safe” 20-0-20, also sold at Hamilton’s Agronomy.
  • Learn more below in our fertilizer section

If you wish to discuss the maintenance of your landscape so as to preserve water quality, please contact the Glen Lake Association at 231-334-7645.

Cladophora Studies

Traditionally, the Glen Lake Association has performed a regular shoreline survey of both Big and Little Glen Lake. This survey is conducted by measuring amounts of cladophora in the shallow water shoreline areas for the purpose of determining where phosphorous and/or nitrogen enters the lake. It is important to minimize the amount of these nutrients because they cause excessive algae and plant growth, which will affect the water quality.

Cladophora, the indicator species, is an easily identified filamentous green algae that grows rapidly when nutrients are present. By measuring the size of the cladophora patch and estimating the average length of its strands, one can obtain a relative indication of the amount of nutrients entering the lake at a specific location. In this way we can then work with homeowners to determine if there is a problem and affect a solution.

Common corrections for problems:

  • Fix faulty septic system and/or have septic tanks pumped on a regular schedule.
  • Eliminate factors that allow runoff and erosion particularly during storm events.
  • Discontinue feeding waterfowl and create a natural buffer strip to discourage geese and other waterfowl.
  • Naturalize shoreline to create buffer strip so terrestrial plants can absorb nutrients before entering the lake.

Shoreline Surveys

The Glen Lake Association assistdock and lawns a limited number of riparians each year with a thorough onsight analysis of properties for improvement to their landscape and suggestions on septic system improvements.

The results help developed a detailed plan to alter the landscape with natural Michigan plants that will help reduce the flow of contaminants entering the lake. The plan usually includes a scaled layout; suggested plant sources; how to prepare the soil for planting; suggestions on how to do the planting; proper mulching; and short- and long-term maintenance.

Benefits include:

  • Reduced erosion
  • Address waste water issues
  • Provide yard-keeping advice in line with water quality improvements
  • Assess other shoreline issues
  • Address natural nutrient loading issues

This service is often provided to riparians whose property has been identified in a “hot spot” based on the Cladophora studies. The plan also attempts to make suggestions to improve the septic system through proper maintenance.

Each summer, Glen Lake Association biologist Rob Karner works with member riparians, where excessive cladophora is found, to help determine the cause and make recommendations for remediation. If you are in one of the identified hot spot areas, or feel you need help with your shoreline, please contact the Glen Lake Association at 231-334-7645 or cell phone and he will attempt to assist you.

Fertilizer

The Glen Lake Association has the following recommendations (in order of importance) for riparians who wish to add nutrients to their lawns and landscape:

  • Pump lake water into your irrigation system to irrigate and “fertilize” your lawn and landscape plants. The lake water will naturally contain nitrogen and phosphates for your plants and lawn and the remaining nutrients will leach into your soil and return to the lake via ground water.
  • Do not use any fertilizers at all – either chemical or organic.
  • If you decide to fertilize (ignoring items 1 and 2 above), then consider purchasing from the list above.

GLA recommends the following guidelines when selecting fertilizers:

Low-phosphorus or no-phosphorus:
  • Ratio of nitrogen-to-phosphate is 5:1 or greater
Slow-release nitrogen:
  • Natural organic fertilizer or synthetic fertilizer with 50% or more W.I.N. or controlled-release component
  • Free of all pesticides (including herbicides); no Weed-and-Feed
NoFertilizerLawnEarth Friendly Fertilizers Recommended For Lake and River Quality Protection:
  • Brand Name – N-P-K % Slow Release Nitrogen:
  • Corn Gluten Products 9-0-0 85%
  • Espoma Organic Weed Preventer/Lawn Food 9-0-0 91%
  • Fertrell Lawn Fertilizers 9-1-4 or 8-1-8 70% – 85%
  • Lesco Professional Turf Fertilizer 32-0-10 67%
  • Ringer Lawn Restore 10-2-6 76%
  • Scotts Organic Choice Lawn Food 11-2-2 91%
  • Soil Science 5-0–7 High
  • Sustane (Lesco product) 18-1-8 79%
  • Turf Nurture 15-2-7  75%