"This natural buffer of native vegetation between the water’s edge and your lawn has a number of benefits. Greenbelts help reduce erosion by stabilizing the soil and slowing runoff, filtering nutrients, sediments, and other pollution. They also reduce the time and costs involved with maintaining a lawn, provide valuable wildlife habitat, attract birds, butterflies, and other pollinators, and provide a beautiful “frame” for your view of the lake all while buffering sound and increasing privacy. Greenbelts also deter geese who prefer well-manicured lawns with unrestricted access to the water."
A great introduction to "Choosing Plants, Shrubs and Trees for your Shoreline"
The Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership has a helpful website that explains the various planting "zones" for lakeside properties and recommends specific plants for each area and condition.
MSU has published a 70 pg guidebook for property owners wanting to learn how to create natural shoreline landscapes on Michigan inland lakes.
The MI Shoreland Stewards Program offers an online questionnaire for you to assess your property. This survey can help you understand what you are doing well and what might need some improving. The program provides recognition for lakefront property owners who are protecting inland lakes through best management practices on their property.
Certified Natural Shoreline Professionals have demonstrated competency in shoreline and near shore soils, plant communities, aquatic habitats, water law and permitting, wave energy assessment and the methods and techniques involved in designing natural shoreline landscaping and bio-engineered erosion control on inland lakes.
Little Traverse Lake Property Owners Association