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 


Points are awarded based on buffer width for sites that follow the guidelines above. 

Category Buffer Width from


Points Points with
Basic 25 ft 2 3
Preferred 50 ft 3 4
Optimal 75 ft 4 5

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.

Other Resources

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