Drone video captures eroding bluffs along Lake Erie in Elgin County
A report from 2015 found that the shoreline is eroding at a rate of nearly 2 metres a year
The shoreline east of Port Stanley is eroding faster than anywhere else along Lake Erie even while developers are pushing for development with a waterfront view.
Right now the shoreline is eroding at a rate of about two meters per year, according to the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority.
Drone video captured by Joe O'Neil shows what the bluffs look like along the Lake Erie shoreline in Elgin County. \
"The bluffs are still eroding at that general, same rate," said Joe Gordon, Director of Operations for the KCCA. "But obviously as we go forward there's higher demand for development or lake front properties."
Gordon said there's currently a development buffer zone in place about 300 to 400 metres from the bluff's base.
He said it would take a mix of conditions but a large chunk could go at any minute.
"Anywhere up to 10 metres of tableland could go in one single slope failure," said Gordon.
Erosion rate 'very high'
Gordon says the erosion rate is around 2 meters a year in the area - which was described as "very high" when the area was studied in 2015.
"It is something that were used to as we regularly monitor the shoreline," said Gordon.
He said that there aren't any homes or buildings in imminent risk - but there are some getting close too close for comfort.
"We want to educate the landowners in terms of monitoring that erosion and re-locating their buildings or structures when they come at risk," he told CBC News.
According to the 2015 report there are 115 primary buildings and 55 secondary buildings in that zone.
That's an estimated value of more than $34 million in buildings presently at risk to erosion hazards in Elgin County, according to the study.
Gordon said there's some short term options to help keep the soil stable but the long term options requires "significant engineering" that would likely have an impact on the environment.
The environment may also have an impact on the sand at the bottom of the bluffs.
"The lake levels are higher than normal - we're at the highest lake levels we've had since 1997," said Gordon.
He said that energy from the lake itself also contributes to the disappearing shoreline shoreline, noting that each time a wave crashes against the sandy base of the bluffs, it leads to erosion.