Restore Shoreline Buffers
R2Restore Shoreline Buffers
5 points possible
Why this matters to the lake?
Shoreline trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants buffer and protect the lakes by acting as a sponge, allowing absorption and infiltration of stormwater runoff. Buffer strips or ribbons of vegetation along waterways catch sediments, nutrients, and other pollution before water reaches the lake. The deep root system of trees and shrubs holds soil in place stabilizing the shoreline, preventing erosion from wave and wake action, and absorbing water and nutrients. In addition, shoreline buffers can enhance privacy, filter noise and block wind, and attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Furthermore, an established buffer can create a barrier against nuisance species such as Canada geese. Vegetated shoreline buffers create habitats that are vital to terrestrial and aquatic animals native to the lake.
- Restore ecosystem services of shoreline buffers that surround Lake George by planting native vegetation along the shoreline
- Improve water quality by increasing infiltration and pollutant uptake
Restore a healthy buffer by following prescribed guidelines. The number of native plants from each category (i.e. trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants) depends upon the size (total square feet) of the area to be restored.
Shoreline buffer restoration guidelines include:
- One (1) 1.5” caliper canopy tree, one (1) 4’-6’ understory tree, or (1) 4’-6’ evergreen tree per 20 linear feet of shoreline
- Per 250 square feet (25-foot x 10-foot)
- Seven (7) to eight (8) 24” native shrubs
- Sixty (60) to sixty-five (65) plugs or one gallon perennials and grasses at 18” on center
- Native seed mix may be used for ground cover as per recommended seed rate
Points are awarded based on buffer width for sites that follow the guidelines above.
|Category||Buffer Width from
For all projects, proposed phasing plans must meet the following requirements:
- Phase One: 50% of proposed restoration area at time of development.
- Phase Two: 25% of proposed restoration within two-year period.
- Phase Three: Remaining 25% within five years.
Note: On a case by case basis, the restored buffer area may be increased to compensate for unrestored buffer area being used for lake access (dock, access path, etc.). This credit is only applicable for restoration of shoreline buffers where none existed before a development project. For a shoreline with an existing buffer, refer to credit P3.
Include the following information with application:
✓ As part of the Proposed Site Plan, show the delineation of the shoreline, dimensions of the proposed buffer, and a planting plan to restore the buffer with a detailed plant list.
✓ Provide covenant if applicable.
- “Preliminary List of Species Native Within the Adirondack Park” Adirondack Park Agency
- The FUND for Lake George Do it Yourself Water Quality Guide
- "Native Plants for Shoreline Buffers." The Lake George Association in New York. Web.
- The Buffer Handbook, Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
- Planting Design & Plants Database – United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Wetland Planting Guide for the Northeast United States. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America.
Existing Regulatory Guidance/Requirements
Town of Lake George Specific Regulations ~ 175-43. Site and lot considerations. The Town of Lake George (N.Y.). (1970). The Town of
Lake George Zoning Ordinance. Lake George, N.Y: The Town.
Town of Queensbury Section 179-8-040 Shoreline Buffers