The federal government has turned down a request for funding to help fix a crumbling seawall in eastern Cape Breton.  

The seawall in the community of Gabarus has buckled in several places from storms over the years.  

Acting Fisheries Minister Gail Shea recently sent a letter to people in Gabarus saying the wall is not a federal responsibility because it is located on provincial land.  

Tim Menk, with the Friends of Gabarus community group, has said Ottawa needs to take ownership of it because homes may be at risk.  

Last month, Menk told CBC News the community would take legal action if the federal government continued to delay their decision.

A report released earlier this year from the Department of Natural Resources stated the repair or replacement of the 65-year-old structure is an urgent situation.

A few weeks ago, Gabarus began construction on a new fire hall funded by the community. On Monday, Menk said the fire hall showed that the community believes in its long-term future. 

"As dire as the consequences will be if the seawall isn't fixed in time, we know that in our hearts we love this community and it's got a future. We're making a commitment to that future here with our own labour," he said.

Flooding has caused significant damage to the community before.

An earthquake in 1929 caused major flooding in Gabarus. Residents had to be taken out of their homes by boat.

The federal government built the seawall in the 1940s and it was repaired in the 80s.