Conservation authority helps ‘beautify’ Port Lambton shoreline

Completed shoreline work in Port Lambton. June 2022. (Photo by the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority)

Shoreline work at Port Lambton Park is complete.

The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) helped install an armour stone retaining wall along the stretch of shoreline in the St. Clair River.

SCRCA Director of Water Resources Girish Sankar said it replaced the old steel wall and concrete rubble at the site.

“The shoreline itself was not really protecting the Port Lambton park, and when you get those high water levels it would be constantly seeing erosion and flooding to the St. Clair Parkway,” he said. “So we have kind of beautified it and allowed for better access to the shoreline by replacing the failing steel wall that has been rusted and rotted, that had very little environmental advantage.”

The project, which took about a year-and-a-half to complete, cost roughly $800,000. It was paid for by St. Clair Township, the provincial and federal governments.

Sankar said the new wall can last for upwards of 100 years if it’s maintained.

“[And it] allows for some of the habitat, some of the fish, to spawn between the rocks. So there is a habitat enhancement component to it as well.”

Sankar said the SCRCA’s involvement in shoreline work goes back to the late 1970s. He also said they’ve been pretty busy over the last five years.

“The Courtright shoreline project was completed recently, the Cathcart project was completed in 2016/ 2017, and Port Lambton was just completed.”

He said the next project they’ll be working on is the Seager Park shoreline and that they’re hoping to have it complete by 2024. Sankar added that they’ll also be working on a number of projects along lake communities, including in Bright’s Grove — the project between Pine Street and Penhuron Drive should be complete this spring.

Sankar said the lake levels have been high from 2018 to 2021, which exacerbated the erosion issues along the shoreline.

“Things are settling down, so the severity of the shoreline damage is a little lesser than what it was a couple of years ago. Which means we have a plan and we can act on that plan, rather than being really frantic about emergency shoreline issues.”