Shoreline and Shallows Conference: Increasing Habitat, Reducing Threats

The Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership’s 2017 Shoreline and Shallows Conference returns to Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center on Thursday March 9th, in East Lansing, MI.

Shoreline restoration project using live stakes and coir bundle to slow the rate of soil erosion and repair the natural shoreline. | Photo by Beth Clawson
Shoreline restoration project using live stakes and coir bundle to slow the rate of soil erosion and repair the natural shoreline. | Photo by Beth Clawson

As a part of the 2017 Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week at Michigan State University being held on March 4-11, the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership will again be hosting its biennial Shoreline and Shallows Conference. The title of this year’s conference is “Increasing Habitat, Reducing Invasives.” Featured topics will help those interested in managing their lakefront property in an environmentally friendly manner. This includes information about the lakefront property recognition program, Michigan Shoreland Stewards Program, as well as the Wisconsin Healthy Lakes Program. Finding data on Michigan’s lakes with the MI inland lakes habitat viewer, dealing with invasive and nuisance plant and animal species along shorelines, fish habitat, and new products for bio-engineering erosion control will also be presented.

The day will open with a review of the Michigan Shoreland Stewards Program presented by Julia Kirkwood, MDEQ, Water Resources Division; followed with a presentation about Wisconsin’s Healthy Lakes Initiatives and BMPs by Patrick Goggin, Lake Specialist, University of Wisconsin – Stephens Point, Rhinelander, WI. After that Sue Tangora, Section Manager, Forest Health and Cooperative Programs and Christina Baugher, Fisheries Biologist, MDNR will focus on Invasive species with Invasive Plant Species Control Options and Invasive and Nuisance Animal Species Prevention and Control; followed with: Fish Habitat and Accessing Information About Your Lake, by Joe Nohner, Inland Lakes Habitat Analyst, MDNR. The final presentation of the day covers New Products for Bioengineering Structures by Brian Majka, Senior Professional at GEI Consultants.

The conference is planned for Thursday, March 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Early bird registration is $45.00 per person ($50.00 after Feb. 24, 2017). Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Pesticide Applicator Recertification seminar credits in Category 5 (Aquatics) have been requested for this conference. The conference flyer and full agenda are available on the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership website. Registration for the program can be found at Institute of Water Research website. Contractors, state and local governments, educators, non-profit organizations, lake suppliers, native plant growers, landscape designers, and lakefront property owners will all benefit from attending this program. For more conference information, please contact: Lois Wolfson at or 517-353-9222.

Last year nearly 120 people attended this conference from around the state to participate in what some called a “natural shorelines movement.” Shoreline and coastal habitats protect people and the environment. Stable shorelines resist flood and erosion, improve wildlife food and habitat; and protects water quality. This results in improved recreation opportunities. More information about shoreline protection is available at the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership website.

To learn more about invasive organisms and invasive aquatic plants visit the Michigan State University Extension website. Natural Resources educators who are working across Michigan to provide aquatic invasive species educational programming and assistance. Locate an educator through MSU Extension’s “Find an Expert” search tool using the keywords “Natural Resources Water Quality.”

Did you find this article useful?