In 1990, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, in partnership with Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority and Lower Trent Region Conservation Authority, completed a Shoreline Management Plan for the Lake Ontario shoreline to guide shoreline management within their respective jurisdictions.

Shoreline management combines knowledge and understanding of water impacts such as wave uprush, sediment movement, and flooding with land impacts such as drainage, slope stability, vegetation management, stewardship, and land use. Effective shoreline management means that residents, landowners, municipalities and conservation authorities have the information and tools to minimize danger to life and property damage from flooding, erosion and associated hazards along the shoreline; ensure that shoreline development adequately addresses hazards through a combination of public and private management and development alternatives; and, ensure that new development does not impact the environmental features and functions of the shoreline.

Shorelines are forever changing, and the 1990 Plan required updating to reflect these changes. Zuzek Incorporated, out of Waterdown ON, has been retained to update the Plan, providing the necessary scientific and engineering analysis to update the shoreline hazard mapping and provide a report with general recommendations to manage the Lake Ontario Shoreline.

In November 2019, public open houses were held in each watershed to present progress of the Plan to-date and obtain public input and feedback on information presented. From this, the partnering conservation authorities and Zuzek Inc. are gathering comments and responses from landowners, businesses and the community as a whole, particularly those who are affected by the shoreline hazards.

Earlier this month, Zuzek Inc. provided draft hazard mapping for the Lake Ontario shoreline. Both the original 1990 mapping and the draft 2020 mapping are available on the GRCA’s website for review and comment. Visit grca.on.ca, and under ‘Programs and Services’, look for ‘Watershed Management’. From there, simply click on the ‘Lake Ontario Shoreline Hazards Management Plan’ tab and scroll down to ‘2020 Project Updates’ to download and view the mapping.

Comments on the Draft 2020 Shoreline Hazards Mapping will be received until March 6th. Please submit comments to info@grca.on.ca or contact Cory Harris, GRCA’s Watershed Services Coordinator at charris@grca.on.ca or 905.885.8173 ext 226.