Riparian Shoreline Management

Riparian Shoreline

Shoreline & Stream Bank Control

Proper management of shorelines and stream banks prevents erosion and protects habitats along waterways and water bodies. Property owners along waterways should incorporate responsible management practices such as:
  • Allow the waterway to cut its own path rather than attempting to constrict it.
  • Do not build buildings near stream banks. There is a setback requirement, and you run a risk of flooding.
  • Do not fill in or dam your creek or stream as this may cause water to back up and cause problems for you and upstream owners, as well as downstream owners if your fill were to fail. Dams or any type of stream obstruction are regulated and require permits.
  • Keep trees and plantings along the banks to slow and filter runoff.
  • Keep walkout basement grades above the potential flood plain levels.
  • Leave fallen trees and logs as these provide an anchor for the bank and habitat for creatures.
  • Maintain a buffer strip of undisturbed natural growth along your stream bank. Many properties are regulated (permit required) or are prohibited from grading or disturbing the land near a waterway due to existing laws.
  • Minimize disturbance of the stream bank and land adjacent to stream banks by vehicles, which disturbs vegetation and exposes soil which may cause erosion and loss of the stream bank.
  • Rip rap may be used to prevent erosion on stream banks but requires a permit.
Riparian Low Water


By following the above guidelines:
  • Erosion will be minimized, keeping a clear and beautiful waterway as well as not damaging landscaping or eating away at the banks of the waterway.
  • Water will not be an issue with buildings too close to the bank as well as not be an issue in basements.
  • Wild animals may find refuge in the trees and natural habitat left by the bank, as well as fish will enjoy the shelter left by fallen trees or branches in the waterway.
  • You will have a pleasing waterfront that you can still enjoy while being conscious of the environment.