Littoral Shelf Maintenance & Installation
Florida is famous for its beautiful wetlands, but these natural treasures are threatened by hundreds of species of exotic plants introduced from around the world.
When it comes littoral shelf maintenance and installation for a lake or pond, Lake & Wetland Management has the experience, expertise, and specialized tools to control invasive weeds and manage wetlands for aesthetic beauty, wildlife habitat enhancement, and governmental mitigation and compliance.
Areas We Serve in Florida
Lake and Wetland Management provides eco-friendly services for littoral shelf planting & maintenance throughout the state of Florida. We provide our professional littoral shelf services to the following areas in Florida:
Invasive weeds such as Hydrilla, cattails, Water Hyacinth, and Torpedo Grass can quickly dominate and degrade wetlands. Lake & Wetland Management offers quick, professional wetland cleanup services to remove and dispose of troublesome weeds, then develops customized, comprehensive management plans to control invasive weeds and manage the wetlands to meet the needs of the individual project.
Littoral Shelf Planting
In addition to removing invasive exotic plants, Lake & Wetland Management further enhances wetlands by installing locally-grown and locally-sourced native Florida plants through its five-acre South Florida native nursery.
We carry a full range of native wetland plants for your wetland preserve project.
Our littoral shelf planting includes a wide array of eye-catching flowering littoral plants such as Golden Canna, Pickerelweed, Southern Blue Flag Iris, Fragrant Water Lily, and Florida Swamp-Lily.
Installing Littoral Shelves
Installation is fast and professional, and when accompanied by a maintenance plan, all plants carry Lake & Wetland Management’s warranty guarantee.
Is your project a small private pond, a community wetland preserve, or hundreds of acres of marshland? Lake & Wetland Management is your waterway management professional and the answer for all your wetland management needs. Our lake management services include:
- Wetland cleanups
- Vegetation Removal and Disposal
- Invasive Weed Control
- Native Plant Installation through our own Native Nursery
- Littoral Shelf Planting & Maintenance
- Eco-friendly Herbicide-free Management Solutions including Mechanical Aquatic Weed Harvesting
- Wetland Management for Governmental Mitigation and Compliance
What Is a Littoral Zone?
The down-sloping shelf of a pond or lake is referred to as the littoral zone or littoral shelf. This is the area that stretches from the high-water mark to the shore and into the area where sunlight penetrates through to the sediments at the bottom of a waterbody. Although the exact definition of littoral zone can change depending on the waterbody, it is generally considered the shallow area close to the shore. Littoral zones can be present in saltwater and freshwater environments.
Sometimes this zone contains plant life, and sometimes it does not. The area within ponds, lakes, and other aquatic environments is key to overall water health. The planted area in a littoral zone is called the littoral shelf. When healthy, it looks like a miniature wetland. The plants in this area help create a healthy ecosystem for fish and birds that are key to maintaining wildlife habitat and water quality.
Importance of a Littoral Zone
The littoral zone or littoral shelf supports a large number of native plants and aquatic life. Because Florida’s aquatic species are so diverse, some plants can survive partially or completely submerged. Others do just fine floating on the water’s surface. Because of this, the littoral zone features soil depths and water levels that support a significantly large amount of various plants and vegetation.
Waterbodies that support a wide variety of native plant species tend to provide more nutrients to the native wildlife. In addition to supplying food to ponds and lake fish, local plants help maintain levels of oxygen and other key elements. The vegetation in the littoral zone is also used by some animals as a habitat or shelter.
In addition to protecting the health of lakes or ponds, the littoral zone can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a body of water. When filled with thriving plants and wildlife, a well-tended littoral zone adds value to the shoreline and the shallows around lakes and ponds.
The littoral shelf consumes phosphorus and nitrogen that can contribute to algae and aquatic weed growth. With proper littoral shelf maintenance, fewer nutrients are introduced into the waterbody, and fewer weeds and less algae will grow. In addition, when located near a flow structure, the littoral shelf helps filter out the minerals and nutrients in water before it leaves the lake or pond.
Littoral shelves also help maintain the shoreline and prevent erosion. The plant roots hold the soil and make the banks more stable and durable, which in turn helps reduce the need for extensive restoration projects in the future.
A balanced, healthy lake with a functioning littoral shelf easily supports healthy wildlife and plants. A balanced lake or pond will need little littoral shelf maintenance and very few chemicals if any. Not only will the lake or pond’s littoral zone be aesthetically pleasing, but its improved water quality will also help keep mosquitos at bay and reduce foul odors exuding from the water. The plants that grow in littoral zones feature purple, white, yellow, or blue flowers that usually bloom all year long. In a healthy lake or pond ecosystem, fish, birds, and wildlife consider the littoral shelf a safe haven and a healthy habitat.
In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, well-functioning littoral shelves create a habitat for wildlife and increase property values.
Because the littoral zone transitions from dry land to the aquatic environment, it responds to natural and human influences and activities in the land ecosystem as well as the aquatic one. And because it is important for many industrial and recreational purposes, the littoral shelf is often drastically affected by human activities that amplify algal and weed growth, nutrient loading, overgrowth of invasive species as well as cause acidification and fluctuations in the water level. This underscores the importance of the littoral zone and littoral shelf maintenance for the health of lakes and ponds.