Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Shoreline management program bridges balance between environment and recreating public

    Shoreline management program bridges balance between environment and recreating public

    Photo By Stacey Reese | Outdoor recreation needs balance with nature on projects with shoreline management...... read more read more



    Story by Stacey Reese 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District

    Balancing the environmental resources surrounding public lands with the desires of the recreating public can be challenging for those tasked with managing this delicate process. The shoreline management plan program is one way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works to maintain this balance.

    With increased demand for outdoor recreation, the need to ensure the habitat of wildlife was sustained became a growing issue. Development surrounding projects and higher visitation gave rise to the need for the balance between resource protection and recreation. This need gave rise to the Lakeshore Management at Civil Works program and policy in 1974 which was changed to Shoreline Management in 1997 to address all shorelines of lakes or rivers where the Corps holds fee simple title to land.

    “Lakes with a shoreline management plan had boat docks on the reservoir prior to 13 December 1974 when lakeshore management was established and policy was written,” said Jeff Knack, chief natural resources and recreation branch for Southwestern Division.

    In other words, if there was private use construction on a shoreline, that lake still allows private use as long as it continues to comply with the shoreline management program policies. If there was no private construction on a lake when the program was implemented there is no private shoreline use permit.

    Tulsa District USACE manages 38 projects across Oklahoma, southern Kansas and northern Texas encompassing a great diversity of environments and recreational opportunities with only eight of those allowing shoreline management. Development of the shorelines surrounding these projects can seem innocent, but in truth can interfere with the surrounding wildlife habitats.

    Allowing all mowing as opposed to having a buffer near the water can upset the natural balance of the ecosystem and cause environmental consequences. While something as simple as mowing near the shoreline or taking out trees to improve a sightline may seem harmless it can limit nesting opportunities for birds or cause erosion.

    How can a boat dock cause any environmental issues? If the dock doesn’t allow for light penetration, shadows create a great hiding place for large fish to prey on smaller fish. The same dock also provides perches for birds to sit and watch for fish. Each scenario creates a possibility of upsetting the balance of nature.

    To preserve ecological and aesthetic characteristics, density of development is limited to no more than 50 percent density level in the allocated limited development areas. This allotment protects the integrity of the shoreline environment for future generations.

    “Known cultural resource sites also play a role in deciding to open a stretch of shoreline for potential dock placement or keep it protected,” said Knack.

    This ensures preservation of historic and cultural aspects of our national heritage which may be around the area are preserved in accordance with eh National Environmental Policy Act.

    Shoreline management plans are specific to the area in which they are located. This safeguards the balance between population and resource use preserving the area for future generations.



    Date Taken: 04.03.2023
    Date Posted: 04.03.2023 15:38
    Story ID: 441865
    Location: EUFAULA, OK, US 

    Web Views: 39
    Downloads: 0