It’s been a while since we last wrote about the various shoreline classifications designated by Duke Energy for Lake Keowee, so it’s a good time for a refresher. Especially since the moratorium for working in one of these areas, the IMZ, is coming up fast, and may influence some of you who have been considering having dock or shoreline work done on your lakefront property.
Duke Energy is the governing body over Lake Keowee and, as such, maintains a Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) which designates every linear foot of lakefront property into one of several categories, probably a good topic for at least one more blog. The classifications are determined by current use, vegetated cover, habitat value, water depth, substrate, and location, and can have a major impact on the use of your lakefront property. The one we’re concerned with here is IMZ, or Impact Minimization Zone, which is defined as having stable sand, gravel, or cobble substrates.
You can see the color-coded classifications of the shoreline on this cool interactive map.
When applying for a boat dock or shoreline stabilization permit, you may learn that all or some of your property falls under the IMZ classification. If so, there are a number of considerations and restrictions on what size and type of boat dock and shoreline stabilization techniques that you’ll be allowed to put in place. The SMP states that applicants must first try to avoid IMZs, but if that’s not possible, then construction within these areas will have specific requirements such as larger boulders and native vegetation that can be integrated into, as well as above and below the area.
Since one of the main purposes of the IMZ classification is to protect spawning, rearing and nursery habitats for fish, as well as rearing, nursery, and adult habitat for amphibians, reptiles and birds, there is a moratorium on all work within these designated areas annually March though June.
Shoreline classifications can change as the lake water level rises and falls, so once you have an approved permit for an IMZ it’s a good idea not to wait to have the work done lest it effect how you’re able to use your lakefront.