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Dealing with shoreline erosion on Lake Simcoe

Year after year, property owners on the shores of Lake Simcoe are seeing their waterfront disappear. It’s a growing issue that’s garnered a lot of attention recently.

According to the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, erosion occurs where ground is exposed to wind and runoff water, detaching loose soil particles. Not only can that soil clog fish gills, destroy aquatic plant habitats and smother aquatic life, the eroded sediment also carries nutrients into Lake Simcoe.

Breaking waves smashing on your waterfront caused from boat traffic is also a leading contributor to shoreline erosion.

To help prevent erosion on Lake Simcoe, you should keep cars away from the shoreline, avoid damming or pumping small streams dry, don’t build on steep slopes and avoid clear-cutting trees and vegetation on the property.

If you notice erosion, immediately stabilize the ground by planting grass and/or shrubs and install filter fabric fences. The use of boulders and armour stone is also an effective method against soil erosion.

To achieve water quality and environmental improvement in Lake Simcoe, as well as Georgian Bay, the Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay Community Stewardship Program provides a holistic program, project planning assistance and access to project funding sources.

Rural, shoreline, cottage and some farm landowners may be able to access support and financial assistance through the program.

Landowners must complete a guide-based, environmental, self-evaluation, submitting a corresponding action plan for the property using one of the approved program stewardship guides, which are provided, free of charge, to program applicants in attendance at the stewardship

Following the submission of the self-evaluation and action plan, program staff may request a visit to the site to verify the project meets the eligibility criteria established for the program. Landowners can also request a site visit to discuss the project.

Even if you are not requesting financial assistance with your Lake Simcoe shoreline project it is imperative that it follows the guidelines set out by the conservation authority. These rules have been put in place to protect the Lake and its shoreline. Don’t jeopardize your property, the shoreline or the Lake by cutting corners. It is to everyone’s benefit that we follow these guidelines and prevent the erosion of Lake Simcoe.

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