4.6 Shorelines and Streambanks

Goal 6 - Shorelines and Streambanks

Preserve the natural appearance of shoreline areas and minimize degradation of surface water quality which can result from dredging operations.

Discussion

Eroding shorelines and streambanks contribute to the degradation of water quality.  Native vegetation can effectively stabilize these areas, filter runoff for sediment and other pollutants, and provide habitat.  Restoration of shoreline and streambanks on Lake Minnetonka Classen Creek, and the other lakes, streams, and wetlands within the subwatershed is a key strategy for meeting this plan's goals.

The key areas identified in this plan for conservation activities include buffer zones adjacent to streams and channels.  In some cases these buffer zones are riparian or flow-through wetlands, and those wetlands have been identified as key conservation areas.  Where streams and channels flow through upland areas, conservation of native vegetation within these zones would also increase or maintain infiltration rates; decrease or maintain runoff rates and pollutant conveyance to water resources; and help minimize erosion.   Restoration of lakeshore would have the same benefits.  Sustaining or improving water quality and ecological integrity is necessary to meet District goals as well as to meet state and federal nondegradation, water quality and biological integrity requirements and to prevent the need for future TMDLs.  

Desired Outcomes: Stable streambanks and shorelines to supplement other goals.

Metrics:  Stream Visual Assessment Protocol (SVAP) in Classen Creek.

Goal 6.1 - Lake Minnetonka

Promote shoreline restoration and shoreline buffer creation as methods to help meet pollutant loading reduction and ecological integrity goals.

Actions

  1. Conduct shoreline and streambank vegetation surveys to identify current shoreline status and to identify locations where restoration may be desirable and feasible.
  2. Restore degraded streambanks on Classen Creek to achieve a Stream Visual Assessment Protocol mean score above 5.0 and on other streams to stabilize streambanks; reduce pollutant loading, erosion and sediment transport; and increase habitat.
    1. Periodically update the Classen Creek stream assessment to assess current stream condition and ecological integrity.
  3. Promote native vegetation over structural shoreline stabilization in District policies, regulations, and programs.
    1. Provide education and training opportunities, technical and planning assistance, and demonstration project funding to LGUs to assist them in restoring shorelines and buffers on public property such as parks and open spaces.
    2. Develop and distribute written material to shoreline property owners explaining the benefits of shoreline restoration and buffer creation to the reduction of pollutant loads and creation of shoreline habitat and providing design, plant selection, installation, and maintenance advice.
    3. Develop a small grant program to provide financial assistance to property owners desiring to restore their shoreline or plant a buffer.