Shoreline Protection Program

The Superior Stewards Shoreline Protection Program is a shoreline assessment and educational stewardship program that supports private landowners in planting native vegetation to enhance shoreline and riparian zones, rehabilitate and maintain healthy shoreline habitat, provide erosion protection, and improve water quality.

Qualified participants may be eligible to receive up to 100 native plants along with an individualized planting plan and planting installation support by LRCA staff.  Once plants are installed, however, it is the landowner’s responsibility to maintain the new vegetation.

The Shoreline Protection Program is focused on lands within the Thunder Bay Area of Concern to address fish and wildlife related to beneficial use impairments and is funded by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

What is a healthy shoreline or riparian zone?

Taking care of the 10-15 metre buffer between lawn and lake, river, or stream can make all the difference to the health of the watershed.  Native shrubs and trees root deep into the soil and hold the bank in place, stabilizing the water’s edge against wave action and use by wildlife.  These plants also help filter runoff that flows off our driveways and roofs and into our water systems.  Vegetation along the water’s edge also creates a corridor used by the wildlife born, raised, and fed in these habitats.  Rivers, streams, and lakes can also be a major traffic route for the spread of invasive species; by planting native species along the water’s edge in your backyard, any invasive species that come along will meet resistance as they try to establish and compete with the flourishing native flora along your shoreline.

You can still enjoy your lakeside or riverbank while naturalizing it; in fact, we believe you will enjoy it even more once there are butterflies and birds dancing around in your backyard!  Vegetative shorelines will discourage geese and prevent unwanted algae buildup.  You can incorporate seating, a dock, or even a campfire pit into your revegetation plans too!  Here is an example of a planting plan at a lakeshore property, and another for what a planting plan could look like if you live alongside a river:

Browse the following resources along with the rest of the Superior Stewards webpage to begin to conceptualize what a natural landscape could look like along your shoreline or riverbank.


Watch our information session recording:


Viewing the information session is required as part of the application process.

When you’re ready, apply to the Shoreline Protection Program using the links below:



Questions and completed application forms, along with site photos and your shoreline/streambank sketch can be emailed to

Picture this: A gentle slope rolling down to the water’s edge, beautiful flowering shrubs and native plants frame a trail leading to the water. Amongst the blossoms butterflies dance from flower to flower, the water’s edge in your backyard alive with bird song and rustling leaves. Earth worms and bees burrow into the layer of debris, branches, and leaves covering the soil, and young fish bask in the shade offered by trees towering over the shallow water. Now THAT’s a beautiful backyard.