Sustainable Lakeshore Development : Integrating Lakeshore Ecosystems into the Urban Environment
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This project is meant to explore sustainable lakeshore design ideas within private and public community property that share a common water body resource. A community surrounding a water body forms a social-ecological system and relies on the vital natural resource for economic development and to sustain life (United Nations Conference,1992). According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (2009 The Water’s Edge), lakeshores have become overdeveloped as people migrate from the city to the natural environment. An overdevelped lakeshore includes any nearshore alterations that damage or destroy important fish and wildlife habitat that includes native vegetation, bottom materials, and natural debris. Overdeveloped lakeshores can’t support the wildlife habitat, fish, and clean water that attract people to the environment in the first place. Current management practices still do not address harmful development around the common resource and the lakes continue to be polluted, primarily through contaminated stormwater runoff (Henderson, 1998). The results of this research will help communities adopt sustainable design practices to revitalize the ecosystem of an overdeveloped lake with natural vegetation. “Sustainable design meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (United Nations Conference, 1992). Sustainable design alterations must protect human health and well-being, economic vitality, and environmental health. Detroit Lakes, Minnesota is a community of 8,000 residents that surrounds Detroit Lake. This project will propose an urban design plan with an emphasis on restoring wildlife habitat. It will encompass public and private property with the overall goal of creating ecosystem resiliency in the lakefront environment for the future environmental, social, and economic stability of the community.