Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

220 attend shoreline events

About 220 people attended two public information open houses on shoreline management

About 220 people attend two shoreline management open houses 

Videos, posters, other information materials from meetings are now posted online

Approximately 220 people showed their interest in the local shoreline by attending two shoreline management public information open houses in June of 2017. The events took place in Zurich and Thedford and were hosted by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). 

Staff members answered questions at mapping stations and displays. The ABCA staff shared information on topics such as water quality issues and community actions to improve water quality; Lake Huron water levels; the effects of a changing lake for cohesive bluffs and dynamic beach systems; how average annual recession rates are measured and mapped along the shoreline; current local and provincial policies; and how lakeshore hazards such as flooding and erosion are determined in the current Shoreline Management Plan (2000).

Attendees also heard presentations from Dr. Robin Davidson-Arnott, Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph, and coastal engineer Fiona Duckett, M.Sc., P. Eng., of W. F. Baird and Associates Coastal Engineers Ltd. Davidson-Arnott presented on shoreline processes, climate change impacts on the Great Lakes, and shoreline protection. Duckett spoke on types of shore protection that can be considered and about development of policies and procedures for review of applications for shore protection structures along the shoreline. Baird and Associates is updating the Considerations for Shore Protection Structures document which was prepared in 1994. 

Links to professionally-videotaped videos of the presentations (when they were presented to the ABCA Board of Directors in April and May) are posted on the shoreline management web page at

The presentations at the open houses were followed by question and answer periods. ABCA has also posted, online at, information materials from the open houses, including a feedback form for those who attended the open houses; a document with proposed steps for future engagement; and fact sheets, brochures, and posters. Those who attended the open houses are invited to submit their feedback forms until July 7, 2017.

The ABCA’s Water and Planning Supervisor, Geoff Cade, thanked everyone who attended the open houses for their interest and their time. He also thanked the members of the Bluewater Shoreline Residents’ Association (BSRA) who collected question cards during the question and answer time after the presentations. The conservation authority is planning to update its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to reflect some of the discussion during the question and answer portion of the open house. Please visit the Shoreline Management Plan Update page online at at this link: 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority hosted the open houses as part of the 2015-2018 Update of the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) which has been in effect since 2000. The conservation authority started a process in 2015 to update technical information to support future updates to the 2000 SMP document. The review of local development policies contained in the SMP 2000 is not expected until 2018, according to ABCA. 

The Shoreline Management Plan identifies shoreline hazards for flooding, erosion, and dynamic beaches and their impact on shoreline development. Updates to the Shoreline Management Plan will provide a consistent and up-to-date guide for development and municipal land use planning along the shoreline, according to the ABCA. Updates will provide newer information on shoreline recession rates, ensure that local policies and application of the Regulation conform to Province of Ontario policy, and keep policies current in light of emerging land use trends. 

Members of the public are invited to subscribe to a free electronic newsletter that provides updates about shoreline management along the shoreline of the watershed. To sign up to receive these updates you may visit this link: 

More than 410 people have subscribed to this online newsletter.

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