Southeast Leamington

Sustainable Management Strategy for Southeast Leamington

Background:
There are serious and longstanding concerns about the sustainability of the shoreline in areas of East Leamington. In spring of 2004, regulations staff from the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) observed significant damages to breakwalls, including damages to some recently constructed engineered structures. As well, large amounts of peat were found to be washed up along the shore, and many shoreline areas were found to be devoid of sand. These activities added to the concerns about the stability of the shoreline which have been documented for more than two decades.

Based on these observations and the expertise of Coastal Specialists and consulting engineers, it was realized that the technical criteria required to ensure that new buildings can be protected to Provincial standards were not in place. Additionally, during a significant rainfall event in spring of 2004, the stability of the dykes in East Leamington was compromised, raising further concerns about the long-term safety of residents and property in the affected area. It was determined a study was required to develop a comprehensive sustainability strategy for the floodprone areas of Southeast Leamington.

This initiative involves all levels of government – Environment Canada, Parks Canada, the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources’ Water and Erosion Control Infrastructure Program; and the Essex Region Conservation Authority, the organization responsible for administering the study. Representatives from each of these agencies, as well as from the Municipality of Leamington, comprise the Steering Committee. The study has also received support from the local municipality through resolutions of council.

This Sustainable Management Strategy for Southeast Leamington provides the science (coastal and ecological), engineering, socio and agro-economic research needed to develop a range of options to determine the long-term sustainable protection and management of the lands along the Lake Erie coastline between Wheatley, Ontario, and the southerly limit of Point Pelee National Park and the associated floodprone inland areas.

The Process:
Once the funding was secured (April 2005) to undertake this study, Baird & Associates was contracted as the consultant to carry it out. This consulting firm includes more than 50 coastal scientists and engineers dedicated to solving complex problems on the world’s ocean, lakes and rivers.

Mr. Peter Zuzek, P.Geo., was the project manager for the development of the strategy. In addition to the Steering Committee, a Technical Review Committee consisting of experts in the field of Coastal Engineering, Coastal Geomorphology, Agriculture and the Environment was established. They were external to the study team, and reviewed the technical findings of the study. As well, a Stakeholders Group, comprising of representatives from five of the affected geographical areas, the Municipality of Leamington, and Point Pelee National Park of Canada. The Stakeholders Group provided input into the development of the draft Terms of Reference for the Sustainable Management Strategy for Southeast Leamington, and continued to provide input throughout the study.

A total of 38 previous studies spanning four decades was utilized by Baird in the preparation of this comprehensive Sustainable Management Strategy. As well, several datasets including records of sand mining permits and a large archive of newspaper articles and photographs were carefully reviewed. Observations made during site visits to the regional study area spanning from Port Alma to the tip of Point Pelee National Park were also utilized in the preparation of the study.

As the scientific analysis was completed throughout the preparation of the study, the information was shared with Council, stakeholders and the public (referred to collectively as ‘stakeholders’ in the balance of the document). As a result of technical findings, combined with input and feedback from the stakeholders group and technical committee, a range of options for the sustainable management of Southeast Leamington was developed. Science and nature, as well as issues of people, safety, traditional land uses, lifestyles, economics and opportunities were taken into consideration in developing the range of options for sustainable management of the affected area. These options were presented to stakeholders for input.

In October 2010, the Municipality of Leamington Council voted to receive further information regarding the maintenance of the current land uses. ERCA continues to work with Leamington to develop a long-term sustainable plan for this area.

Date Added Description
16 Nov 2009 Concept E – A Hybrid Solution
14 June 2007 Southeast Leamington Status Report – recommended action
1 May 2007 Executive Summary of the Southeast Leamington Sustainable Management Study
20 Apr 2007 Southeast Leamington Sustainable Management Report
18 Apr 2007 12 February 2007 Public Meeting Summary
19 Feb 2007 Comments Received on the Draft Strategies Report
8 Dec 2006 Sustainable Management Strategy for Southeast Leamington
Phase 2 Report, Section 6. Prepared by W. F. Baird & Associates.
29 Nov 2006 Appendix 4 – Current Biodiversity of Southeast Leamington
23 Oct 2006 Draft Technical Report
Instructions for downloading the Draft Technical Report from the Baird and Associates website
30 July 2006 June 2006 Public Workshop Results
Report describing the goals, process and outcome of the two public workshops held in Leamington on 7th June 2006.
18 Apr 2006 April 18 Public Presentation
A second public presentation was held in Leamington on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 to present the findings to date.
This is a summary of the presentation made by Peter Zuzek.
8 Mar 2006 Presentation of Preliminary Observations
Baird and Associates presented preliminary observations to the Stakeholder’s Group on March 8, 2006, which were
then presented and more fully explained at a public presentation held on April 18, 2006 at the Roma Club in Leamington.
30 Nov 2006 Survey
Communications survey distributed on 30 November 2005 at the public meeting.
Phase 1 Report
Initial report prepared by Baird and Associates for ERCA.
Affected and Non-affected Activities – policy overview