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Key Regulation Measures

We encourage use of regulations that meet these 5 key measures. Search our sample ordinances for examples meeting these measures.


Prevent the removal and/or require the installation of native vegetation near dunes and beaches.

Shoreline vegetation can consist of small plants like grasses, shrubs and trees. These are valuable to our streams, rivers, and lakes because they help reduce water pollution by retaining, treating, and filtering surface runoff before it reaches water, keeps soil in place through root systems, which reduces erosion and flooding, and protects wildlife from predators and weather, including hot temperatures.


Minimize the amount of impervious surface in the community.

Impervious pavement blocks waterflow, which contributes to flooding, pollution, and standing water. Permeable pavement or natural lands, on the other hand, allows stormwater to infiltrate into the soil below, which provides the opportunity for water to filter naturally and helps reduce flooding, pollution, and standing water issues. Allowing stormwater to infiltrate into the soil also helps cool the temperature of stormwater runoff, which reduces stress on stream, river and lake ecosystems.


Limit development/redevelopment in floodplains.

Floodplains are lowland areas adjacent to lakes, wetlands and rivers that are that are prone to flooding. By limiting development in these areas, local jurisdictions can help reduce flooding damage and loss to homes and businesses in the floodplain along with reducing pollutants from entering the water systems.


Limit development/redevelopment along the shoreline.

Development along the shoreline contributes to pollution in the water system, including lawn fertilizers that cause algae blooms, which negatively impact ecosystems and make recreational use of the water body a great deal less desirable. Development along the shoreline can also have the devastating effect of eroding of our beaches, dunes, and cliffs. This not only takes away the natural features that are valued by the community, but it can also cause damage or a cause a complete loss of the homes and businesses built along the shoreline.


Limit hardscaping/armoring of the shoreline.

Hardscaping or armoring a shoreline involves the use of physical structures to try limit erosion. However, this approach can have detrimental effects, such as an increase in pollutants, a loss of beauty, and ultimately an increase in the erosion that the armoring was meant to prevent. This short video helps explain the problems associated with armoring.