NY Sea Grant publishes native plant guide for local shoreline property owners


Native plants for bedrock shores, including these red cedars along Lake Ontario at Henderson, New York, must be able to survive harsh winds and winter ice, and be able to root in very shallow soils. Photo: Roy Widrig, New York Sea Grant

OSWEGO, N.Y. (WWTI) — A local program is helping property owners “pick the right plant for the right place, right purpose.”

New York Sea Grant has published a free guide titled “Working with Nature: A Guide to Native Plants for New York’s Great Lakes Shorelines.”

The freely accessible 24-page guide was written by New York  Sea Grant Coastal Hazards and Processes Specialist Roy Widrig, and offers nature-based alternatives or improvements to harder structures such as concrete.

Additionally, the guide features a list of 41 species of trees, shrubs, grasses, ground covers, vines and perennials that survive in a shoreline setting.

According to Widrig, the ultimate goal of this guide is to revitalize the state’s Great Lakes’ freshwater shorelines.

“Reestablishing natural, stable shoreline slopes and transition zones from lake to upland areas rehabilitates habitat for native birds, fish, mammals, and insects while beautifying the waterfront,” stated Widrig. “It can aid in controlling shoreline erosion, and improve drainage and water quality.”

Working with Nature: A Guide to Native Plants for New York’s Great Lakes Shorelines is available on New York Sea Grant’s website. Print copies are available by calling New York Sea Grant’s Oswego office at 315-312-3042.

Funding for the guide was provided through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund under the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act.

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