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Information for Shoreland Owners

Shoreland property owners have opportunities and challenges when maintaining views, access, lawns, clearings, outbuildings, and everyday activities. These all have to be weighed with potential damage they may cause to the lake ecosystem and our diverse wildlife habitat. Care needs to be taken to avoid any harmful amounts of phosphorus and unnatural contaminants from reaching the lake. Septic systems kept in good order are most important. A natural shoreline buffer with native plants and deep roots is beneficial for lake health—they offer stability and longevity.

Stewardship Guidelines for Shorelines The importance of shoreland for water quality, breeding grounds for wildlife, aesthetics, and responsibilities of shore owners. Download your brochure.


NH Shoreland Program & the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (SWQPA) Permits, assistance, information, forms, resources and more.

Shoreland Homeowners' Guide to Stormwater Management This is a great resource for shoreland owners covering prevention as well as remedies for erosion issues, permitting requirements. Some topics:

  • Managing roof & driveway run-off to prevent erosion with rain barrels, rain gardens, water bars

  • Wetlands permitting

  • Dock Permitting

  • Construction materials that do less damage

Phosphorus   Too much causes algae growth and when out of control can make the lake toxic for humans, wildlife and pets, as well as an eyesore. Leave a  buffer of native plants on the shoreland where possible as a natural filter and erosion control. Use low-phosphorus soaps and keep fertilizer usage low and away from the lake.

Salt Alternatives to prevent iciness:

Eco-friendly Salt Alternatives for Melting Ice

Septic Systems When near a lake, septic systems need to be kept in good shape to avoid environmental and public health problems. Leaky tanks are a big phosphorus threat and state regulations need to be followed. See NH DES Septic Systems website for applications, permits, information.Clean boats and cars with safe products, as far from the lake as possible to avoid contaminating the lake or creating erosion. 

Native Shoreland Plantings Guide

Vegetation Management for Water Quality
Planting shoreland property with native NH foliage such as blueberries, elderberries, pine and maple trees ensure the lake will benefit from strong plants able to withstand long cold winters. Their healthy root systems stabilize the fragile shore naturally. Native plants also bring more birds, mammals, and insects to the yard, which is helpful for successful pollination, wildlife viewing, and aesthetics. Since soil is a lake contaminant, prevent spills, shield the area you're working in, and mulch afterwards.

Woodland Stewardship in an Era of Changing Climate

Webinars and Videos

Articles and Educational Materials

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