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Friday, December 20, 2019

Lake Huron's Coastal Action Plan to Launch

Lake Huron Shoreline | by Megan Johnson  

The CAP took three years to create and has assigned 36-action items

Bayshore Broadcasting File Photo. 

The technical Coastal Action Plan (CAP) for the 946 km of the Southeastern Shoreline of Lake Huron is complete and will be available online on the LakeHuron.ca website today (December 20) at noon.

New Study of Lake Huron's Shoreline Coming

The Plan created by Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation (LHCCC) has assigned 36-action items, 51-targets, and identified 114-short, medium, and long term needs to make these recommendations happen.

Coastal Stewardship Coordinator, Hannah Cann says the CAP recommendations are non-regulated.

"They are based on scientific research and understanding that the coast is a holistic being... and the things we do in Saugeen Shores eventually tickle down and end up affect the shoreline in Lampton County as well."

Some recommendations could be large like increasing forest cover in a watershed; to DIY home projects.

"Some of these are very simple changes, from changing your outdoor lighting to reduce light pollution at night or installing a rain barrel to capture rainwater to reduce the amount of run-off."

Through this project, Project Managers presented to over 1,250 coastal citizens, engaged over 400,000 people in social media posts about coastal ecosystems and threats; and forged many strong partnerships between coastal citizens, grass-roots groups, local, and regional governance.

"The municipalities within that scope have been phenomenal at staying engaged and aware of the plans progress and contributing to some of the recommendations that have been made and making sure this plan is realistic and attainable," says Cann.

She adds the LHCCC  provides information on vegetation buffers and making sure any building and structures are set back far enough for human protection.

"It's non-regulatory plans; so those regulations that encourage development set backs are included in Conservation Authority documents and even Official Planning documents through Counties. We try not to step on the foot of our partners...but we do recommend certain setbacks through scientific recommendations," she adds.

Work on the CAP began in 2016. Funding for the project was provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, with support from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, (MECP) along with Environment Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

The work was steered through a committee that featured the work of First Nations and Metis Communities, MECP, ECCC, Conservation Authorities, Universities and NGO's.

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