The Green Shores for Homes program offers 22 credits awarding points organized into four categories and listed in the GSH Guide.
Before being considered for GSH points you need to fulfill four general requirements.
- An existing conditions plan: map existing site conditions and shoreline processes that will affect your project.
- A site design plan: that shows the project in the context of the existing site conditions and processes.
- An environmental management plan for construction: a plan to minimize site disturbance and address sediment and pollutant control on your site.
- Critical and sensitive habitat identification: to avoid disturbing or destroying these vital habitats.
The four categories of credits are as follows:
- Shoreline physical processes – Protect or restoring natural physical processes that are vital to the health of shoreline environments.
- Shoreline habitat – Protect, restore, and enhance aquatic and riparian habitats.
- Water quality – Eliminate the amount of sediment, chemical and organic pollutants discharged to lakes and marine waters in rainwater runoff.
- Shoreline Stewardship – General best management practices that help to support public values of shorelines.
Overview of credits
Category 1: Shoreline Physical Processes
|No Shore Protection Structures: To qualify for this credit, there should be no bulkheads, groins or other shore protection structures on the waterfront property, and none proposed for the foreseeable future.||15|
|Setback/Impact Avoidance: To qualify for this credit, ensure that existing or proposed buildings and other major improvements are set far enough back from the shoreline or bluff crest to avoid the need for shore protection structures over the life of the improvements.||14|
|Bulkhead Removal: To qualify for this credit, reduce or remove any type of hard shore armor (collectively called “bulkheads”).||23|
|Groin Removal: To qualify for this credit, remove groins and any other structures that extend perpendicular to the shoreline (cross-shore) and impede sediment transport or tidal circulation (wherever removal is feasible, and would restore physical processes).||7|
|Soft Shore Protection or Enhancement: To qualify for this credit, construct soft shore protection rather than hard shore protection structures anywhere shoreline erosion control is needed.||17|
|Managed Retreat: To qualify for this credit, move existing buildings inland to help prevent shoreline erosion and adapt to ongoing or predicted shoreline recession.||13|
Category 2: Shoreline Habitat Credits
|Riparian Vegetation: To qualify for this credit, maintain or replant any native riparian vegetation to help conserve or enhance its value and preserve the ecological functions that it provides along the shoreline.||15|
|Trees and Snags: To qualify for this credit, preserve trees, including standing dead trees (snags), on waterfront properties, and particularly in the riparian buffer.||6|
|Invasive Species: To qualify for this credit, remove, reduce and manage invasive vegetation and noxious weeds.||4|
|Woody Material: To qualify for this credit, retain woody material along shores where it naturally occurs.||3|
|Overwater Structures: To qualify for this credit, do not install new overwater structures at a project site, and remove any existing overwater structures. If overwater structures are necessary, design them to be Green Shores friendly.||10|
|Access Design: To qualify for this credit, design or re-design access to the shoreline from upland areas so that it avoids or minimizes environmental impacts on the shoreline area.||3|
Category 3: Water Quality Credits
|Site Disturbance: To qualify for this credit, minimize the amount of clearing, grading, and soil disturbance during construction on the site.||5|
|Reduce and Treat Runoff: To qualify for this credit, minimize the amount of impervious surface area and use low impact development measures where feasible to further reduce the quantity and improve the quality of surface runoff.||8|
|Environmentally Friendly Building Products: To qualify for this credit, avoid using toxic chemicals or chemically treated wood in the construction and maintenance of overwater structures, or landscaping structures in riparian areas.||4|
|Creosote Material Removal: To qualify for this credit, remove and dispose of creosote-treated materials (pilings, retaining structures, beach debris).||4|
|Herbicides, Pesticides, and Fertilizers: To qualify for this credit, do not use synthetic/inorganic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers in routine landscape maintenance.||2|
|Onsite Sewage Treatment: To qualify for this credit, ensure that your onsite sewage treatment system is functioning properly; develop and implement a Septic System Maintenance Plan that minimizes the release of pollutants to downstream receiving waters.||3|
Category 4: Shore Stewardship Credits
|Shoreline Collaboration: To qualify for this credit, work with neighbouring waterfront property owners to design and build common shoreline structures or enhancement measures.||8|
|Public Information and Education: To qualify for this credit, provide opportunities to learn about the Green Shores measures taken on your property.||2|
|Conservation Easement or Covenant: To qualify for this credit, establish a conservation covenant or easement on a waterfront property, or a portion thereof, that protects natural features of the shoreline.||6|
|Shoreline Stewardship Participation: To qualify for this credit, involve your project in an environmental program that benefits shoreline areas.||2|