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Lake Protection Series


Lakes and lakeshores are valuable resources for Vermonters and Vermont’s native plants and animals.   Scientific studies have shown that healthy lakes need healthy shores and watersheds.  We don’t always think about lakes and waterways as we go about our daily lives, but there are simple ways that you can protect Vermont’s waters and lakes for years to come.  Our Lake Protection materials can show you how to enjoy living on the water and protect the lake environment at the same time!   To learn about other available resources, browse the Quick Links section.

Lake protection

#1 Introduction to the Lake Protection Series (pdf 1 MB)                                                      

 Learn about water protection and resources available to Vermonters.

lounge chairs by a vegetated bank on lakeshore

#2 Only You Can Save Your Lake (pdf 285 KB)

Lakeshore condition has a direct connection to the overall health of a lake.  As a lakeshore property owner, your choices do affect the long-term health of your lake in ways you may not realize.   Here is an overview of things you can do for the sake of your lake.
kayak on lakeshore

#3 Go Wild! Plants and Plantings on a Lakeshore (pdf 3.8 MB)

Lakeshore vegetation, often called a buffer, represents an important defense against water pollution.  It also provides habitat for wildlife in the lake and on the shore.  Learn how you can incorporate a new buffer or enhance your existing vegetation to provide great benefits for your lake and for you.

small lakeshore camp

#3B Stabilization Measures for an Eroding Shoreline (pdf 1.3 MB)

Water is constantly moving and healthy shorelines are naturally resistant to erosion.  We tell you about simple, lake-friendly erosion controls that can also be less expensive than many of available options. 

Row of rocks

#4 Lakeshore Septic System Basics (pdf 520 KB)

 Water and waste down the drain is not out-of-sight, out-of-mind when you live on a lake shore.  Protect your lake’s water quality and learn how to take good care of your septic system.

person checking a septic system

#5 Preventing Driveway Erosion (pdf 1.6 MB)

Driveways and gravel roads are a source of water pollution when rainfall and snowmelt flows across them.  On a lakeshore, it is particularly important to keep erosion from driveways to a minimum.


#6 Conducting a Survey of a Lake Watershed (pdf 1 MB)

The health of the watershed, which includes all land draining to the lake, has a big impact on lake water quality.  Understanding the overall condition of the watershed is an important step to protecting or restoring a lake.

section of a topographic map

#7A Starting and Running an Effective Lake Association (pdf 586 KB)

As an individual lakeshore resident, you can make a lot of positive changes for the sake of your lake, but it’s great to know that you are not alone in your efforts.  A lake association can provide critical mass for bigger projects and strengthen your message in the community.

Lake association

#7B Funding Your Associations’ Good Work (pdf 651 KB)

 Finding money to support your cause isn’t an easy job but we can help you improve the quality of your grant writing efforts as well as share some creative ideas tried by others.

Creative funding

#8 Connecting with Local Schools (pdf 1.1MB)                                                                                

Lakes can support so many educational experiences – science, writing, math, and art, just to mention a few.  Connecting a child with their local lake can be the start of a life-long love of the outdoors.  We have resources to help you make it happen.

Educational experience

#9 Erosion Control During Construction    (pdf 527 KB)            

Construction activities can have a direct impact on your lake and its waters.  There are simple things that you can do to reduce erosion and keep soil from leaving the construction site.


rock lined ditch


Quick Links

Lake Shoreland Best Management Practices (pdf,384 KB)

Lakeshore vegetation and buffers

ANR Riparian Buffer Guidance

The Ecosystem Restoration Program (formerly ‘Clean and Clear’)

Don't "P" on Your Lawn: Tips for green lawns not green lakes (pdf, 116 KB)

A Compendium of Vermont Lake & Pond Association Projects (2002-2007) (pdf, 145 KB)

Vermont’s Watershed, Lake and River associations

The Vermont Watershed Grants Program

Lake Shoreland Protection Bylaw – model zoning regulation developed by the VT League of Cities and Towns  (pdf,267 KB)

Protecting Vermont’s Lakes Through Shoreland District Zoning – guidance from the VT League of Cities and Towns (pdf, 559 KB)

VT DEC Watershed Management Division 1 National Life Drive, Main 2  Montpelier, VT  05620-3522  Tele: 802-828-1535   Fax: 802-828-1544

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