Love Your Lakes program offers free reports to help protect water quality and lake health in Oliver

Help protect lake health

Shoreline property owners on Tuc-el-nuit Lake near Oliver can now download their free shoreline assessment reports, with property-specific suggestions on how to protect water quality and lake health.

The Love Your Lake program, run by the Southern Interior Land Trust, has collected information by boat to assess current shoreline conditions and determine voluntary suggestions that each property owner may choose to take to protect their lake.

"Every report details the current condition of each owners’ shoreline," SILT director Al Peat said. "Our voluntary suggestions will help the owner take action themselves to protect the health of their lake and help to combat the negative effects of climate change on their property."

Tips include how to reduce the likelihood of unwanted algae and aquatic plants.

"A lot of property owners don't necessarily make the connection between how the management of their property may affect the water quality in front of their property," Peatt said.

"This ties that together in a very positive way and provides opportunity for the land owner to
look after their own interests rather than relying on the government to fix the problems after the damage has occurred."

SILT is worried about the continuation of natural vegetation, whether that's native vegetation or planted landscaping, as larger homes can build hard engineering on the shorelines to protect those properties, and there are other more environmentally-friendly methods that are cheaper and as effective.

Property owners on Tuc-el-nuit Lake have been mailed a letter from the Love Your Lake Program with a unique download code for them to access their free property report. Peatt is hopeful the tips, which
are not mandatory, will be taken to heart and implemented as the win-win tools that they are.

"Most lakefront property owners don't want shrubs and trees obstructing their views," Peatt said. "Our suggestions are geared toward plants that are native, will help birds and pollinators, that can be used to frame views, to stabilize the shoreline, and the best part is not only are they beautiful but they can be pruned low so that the view can be maintained and enhanced ... This is a method to jumpstart voluntary stewardship that will benefit all residents in the valley."

Love Your Lake reports are available to Tuc-el-nuit Lake shoreline property owners now, with letters to arrive in the mail soon.

Reports from previous years for shoreline owners on Okanagan Lake in Summerland, Skaha Lake, Vaseux Lake, Twin Lakes and Trout Lake are also available. If any shoreline property owner needs help to access their free report they can reach out to Peatt at [email protected]

The program operates with the help of donors, and anyone wishing to learn more or to donate to the Southern Interior Land Trust may click here.

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