Shoreline restoration projects are ongoing in the Union County parks system, with Milton Lake in Rahway one of the latest parks to be addressed. Shoreline Restoration projects establishes a “buffer zone” between land and water using native plants.
These buffer zones benefit aquatic ecosystems in many ways, by:
- Providing food, shelter, and nesting sites for fish and wildlife
- Controlling shoreline erosion
- Protecting water quality by intercepting
- Stabilizing lake bottom sediment
A combination of native trees, shrubs, aquatic and herbaceous plants have also been planted along the edges of several lakes. Among the species chosen in recent years are the arrowwood viburnum, black willow river birch, silky dogwoods, blue flag iris, cardinal flower, joe-pyeweed, New York ironweed, ox-eye sunflower, swamp hibiscus sedges and rushe.
While providing natural beauty around the shoreline, the plants and shrubs also help to deter Canada geese because the geese have an aversion to tall vegetation.
The flowers on the plants also attract many important pollinators including butterflies and bees.