b'Pond and Streamside ErosionCreeks and streams, like Muddy Creek, Frost Fish Creek and the stream leading to Taylors Pond form the network which drains into our estuaries.They carry runofffrom lawns, fi elds, roads and parking lots that contain pollutants and soil particles.Sediments from runoffand from eroding stream and pond banks can smother aquatic life, clog fi sh gills and cut offthe light needed by underwater plants.We can manage the quantity and quality of water entering our estuaries by using the natural vegetation.Vegetation is vital to both the stability of the shoreline and the health of the water body.Trees and low bushes, as well as large snags and other natural structures, protect the banks from severe erosion.They also make great habitats for many fi sh species and help regulate water temperatures by providing shade.If you live on a pond or stream, always avoid large-scale removal of natural ground covers.As much as possible, leave the banks and channels in their natural unaltered condition.Besides, its illegal to do so under both state and local wetlands protection regulations without prior review and approval by the Chatham Conservation Commission.Its better to maintain a buff er of natural vegetation, as wide as possible along the top of the bank or pond shores.Before you start any work near a wetland or water body, you must call the Conservation Commission for a determination of whether the property is subject to wetland regulations.You will also be able to obtain information about how to best protect water quality.Even thesmalleststream, creek, Controlling Waterfront Erosionor ditch isimportant! Coastal erosion caused by wind and wave energy is a natural geological process and is the primary source of sand and cobble for our beaches, dunes, and barrier beaches. However, we can inadvertently accelerate this process by clearing shorefront areas, altering marshes, and building too close to the shoreline.For controlling coastal erosion, scientists recommend natural vegetative solutions over hard structures like sea walls, jetties, and rock bulkheads. The latter werebuilt to protect against erosion but often have the opposite eff ect because they often do notreduce wave energy and can result in erosion of the beach in front as well as erosion of adjacent properties. Natural structures like salt marshes, beaches, dunes, and vegetated banks are more efficient in dissipating wave action and protecting against severe erosion. When enjoying the beach, look for dune grass. It is the primary protector of our beaches. When water and land wrestle, the water always wins. Walking over coastal dunes or sliding down coastal blu s accelerates erosion.Page 41bluepages.indd 41 8/26/2009 1:52:07 PM'