PO Box 990
1895 W U.S. Highway 2       
Grand Rapids, MN
Mon-Fri: 8am to 4:30pm Closed on Weekends
           (218) 326-5573
call itasca swcd 218-326-5573

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The Itasca County Shoreland Guide provides basic information about good lake stewardship. You will learn ways of managing your property that will protect water quality by: (1) curbing pollution at the source and (2) reducing, capturing, and cleansing runoff before pollutants reach the lake. Included in the guide is information on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) that can impair recreational enjoyment and impact water quality. Specific local and state rules and regulations related to shoreland living and development will also be covered.

Shoreline Guidebook cover image


Shorelands typically contain important habitat and erodible soils, which present a high risk to surface water pollution if not anchored with natural deep-rooted vegetation. Many of these areas are highly sensitive to development. Shoreland standards are designed to accommodate development around sensitive water bodies in a sustainable way - reducing impacts on water quality and preserving the natural character of the water body.

Technical assistance is available for shoreland management such as:

  • Shoreline and stream bank stabilization such as rock riprap and bioengineering
  • Lakeshore alterations including tree plantings, diversions, and filter strip establishment
  • Reestablish or create a more natural shoreline by planting native shoreline species
  • Design projects for shoreline management

Itasca County Soil and Water can assist up to 50% of the landowner shoreline management project total costs. Cost-share assistance may be available depending on funding and the nature of the project.

Not only are natural shorelines beautiful, they are critical in stabilizing the shoreline from the damaging effects of erosion. Natural shorelines also create a buffer between your yard and the lake. That natural buffer helps keep the lake water clean by filtering out pollutants before they have a chance to reach the lake. Natural shorelines also create critical habitat for fish and wildlife that a manicured lawn cannot provide.

Landowners wanting to implement changes to their property near lakes, streams, and wetlands, should check with your local permitting and zoning authority for:

  • Variances
  • BMP’s
  • Permits
  • Ordinances

Restore Your Shore!
Shoreline Alteration

Landowners wanting assistance with shoreland management and projects can contact our staff.

Austin Steere, Projects Coordinator

The Itasca County Coalition of Lake Associations (I-COLA) started the Shoreland Stewardship Award Program to recognize lakeshore owners who have implemented outstanding shoreline management practices within Itasca County. The purpose of the award is to recognize as well as promote shoreline conservation practices on area lakes. Award winners are chosen annually by the Shoreland Steward Award Committee, and presented with an award honoring their commitment to conserving the county's water resources. Award winners also receive recognition at the Itasca County Fair, at a County Commissioners meeting, and on ICTV. The Stewardship Award program is funded through I-COLA, and administered by I-COLA as well as the Itasca SWCD. If you have implemented any new shoreline conservation practices or have been maintaining an exceptional shoreland conservation practice on your property or may know someone who has been contributing to shoreland conservation practices and would like to share the success story please contact us.

2019 Shoreland Steward Award Winners

  • Jan & Larry Baldwin

    Jan & Larry Baldwin

    Installed in 2018, 200 feet of shoreline was protected from wave erosion by bio-logs and native plantings on Deer Lake.
  • John Davis

    John Davis

    Installed in 2016. 45 feet of shoreline was protected by bio-logs and native plantings on Deer Lake.

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