What is Shoreline Erosion?
Soils along the shorelines of lakes, rivers and streams are gradually weathered, displaced and deposited by various forces including wind, water, ice, and gravity. Although erosion is a natural process, it can be dramatically accelerated by changes in land use, such as removal of shoreline vegetation. Without the presence of a healthy vegetated buffer, shorelines have reduced resistance against erosion, potentially resulting in a loss of habitat, soil stability and land.
Watch for these Signs of Shoreline Erosion
Leaning or fallen trees, cloudy water, exposed soils, rills or gullies, unsafe areas along the shore, slumping or undercut banks, exposed roots and/ or receding shorelines.
Causes and Types of Erosion
Sheet: The impact of rain or runoff from upland areas moves and displaces soil.
Wave Action: The wearing away of bank materials due to the impact of wave action along the shoreline. May be natural or human-influenced (i.e. boat wakes).
Undercutting: The displacement of shoreline material within the toe/splash zones in which the bank is cut out from underneath, leaving an open gap. Can be scoured out by ice movement.
Slope Failure: Once bank stability has been compromised through loading and/or undercutting, the bank may collapse/slump, washing sediment and debris into the waterway.
Rill/Gully: Periodic drainage paths which extend from inland to the shoreline, cutting into banks and washing sediment into the waterway.
How Can a Conservation Authority assist you in fixing the problem of Shoreline Erosion?
If you are planning to do any work near a lake, river, stream or wetland, you may require approval from a Conservation Authority (CA). Through the direction of your local conservation authority, the project may undergo review and refinement, with specific consideration made for minimizing damage to the natural environment, promoting habitat and protecting the public from flooding. Pre-consultation can identify potential conflicts related to the project design at site specific level. Consult CA staff early in the design process, as they may offer valuable advice, while helping to expedite the approval process. CA staff will help to implement a design and work strategy which eliminates major physical disturbance, maintains a healthy vegetated buffer, sustains stream flow and minimizes sedimentation to the waterway.
How can MVCA Help you?
There are various options available to property owners who have a shoreline erosion problem. We will work with you to ensure erosion reduction and maintenance of a healthy shoreline, while taking into consideration your property’s individual characteristics, such as: access, use and aesthetics. A site visit can be arranged to assess the problem, discuss solutions and obtain a permit by contacting a MVCA Environmental Advisory Planner at (613) 253-0006.