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about the programs that provide a healthy Wisconsin shoreland, a system of native plants and trees thriving in and around the shallow water.
resources provided by local communities that offer zoning ordinances to guide development near navigable lakes and rivers.

Did You Know?
Lakes and rivers belong to the state's citizens. See: The Public Trust Doctrine.
The number of homes on lakes of all sizes increased 216 percent from the 1960s to 1995.
See: Development Trends in Northern Wisconsin.

As northern lakes are developed...
Songbirds decrease and grackles, cowbirds and other common species increase.
Green frog populations decrease.
Musky, trout and bluegill populations decrease.
See: Preserving Fish and Wildlife Habitat.

Contact information
Visit our Wisconsin Shoreland Zoning Contacts page to find out who to contact regarding your property.

Safeguarding our shorelands Resources for waterfront property owners

Lakeshore Home

Shoreland property with a good buffer.

This information provided here gives you access to shoreland zoning ordinances and shoreland management.

Laws and regulations

Publication number Publication information
Chapter NR 115 [PDF exit DNR] Wisconsin´s Shoreland Management Program. Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Chapter NR 116 [PDF exit DNR] Wisconsin´s Floodplain Management Program. Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Chapter NR 117 [PDF exit DNR] Wisconsin's City and Village Shoreland-Wetland Protection Program. Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Chapter NR 118 [PDF exit DNR] Standards and Criteria for the Lower St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Wisconsin Administrative Code.

Shoreland management practices

Publication number Publication information
FH-428-2004 [PDF] The Water´s Edge: Helping fish and wildlife on your waterfront property. DNR.
WT-723-2001 [PDF] Managing Wisconsin´s Forested Shorelands - A Landowner´s Guide. DNR.
FH-231-2000 [PDF] Sensible Shoreland Lighting. DNR.
Exit DNR [PDF] Owning Waterfront Property: A Checklist. Wisconsin Environmental Initiative. January 2000.
FR-093-1995 [PDF] Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality. DNR.
WT-821-2012 [PDF exit DNR] Protecting Your Waterfront Investment. DNR.
WT-990-2013 [PDF exit DNR] Impervious Surfaces: How they impact fish, wildlife and waterfront property values. DNR.

Resource issues


Contact information
For more information about this page, please contact:
Shoreland policy coordinator
Bureau of Watershed Management
Last revised: Monday May 22 2017