New York Sea Grant publishes native plants guide


New York Sea Grant has published "Working with Nature: A Guide to Native Plants for New York's Great Lakes Shorelines" to help public and private property owners select the right plant for the right place to revitalize freshwater shorelines.   

The guide, which is accessible at, offers nature-based alternatives or improvements to traditional "gray" structures such as concrete seawalls, steel sheet piles and rock rip-rap. 

Large woody debris is buried within a barrier beach and anchored in place with wood stumps and root wads to stabilize a cobble beach in Wayne County.

Roy Widrig, coastal hazards and processes specialist, authored the 24-page guide that includes a list of 41 species of trees, shrubs, grasses, ground covers, vines and perennials with the preferred shoreline setting for each. Detailed photos and ideal growing conditions accompany each plant on the list. 

"Re-establishing natural, stable shoreline slopes and transition zones from lake to upland areas rehabilitates habitat for native birds, fish, mammals and insects while beautifying the waterfront, and it can aid in controlling shoreline erosion, and improve drainage and water quality," Widrig said. 

Print copies are available by calling New York Sea Grant's Oswego office at 315-312-3042. Waterfront property owners in need of erosion management expertise can request Widrig's assistance via