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County and neighbouring municipalities embark on shoreline management plan

The County of Prince Edward and neighbouring municipalities have come together to support the development of a Bay of Quinte Lake Ontario Shoreline Management Plan to manage and protect water resources.

Quinte Conservation will lead the project on behalf partners including the County, Belleville, Quinte West, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Deseronto and Greater Napanee. Zuzek Inc., a coastal engineering consultant, is to provide support on the project. The company just completed a plan for the Central Lake Ontario, Ganaraska and Lower Trent Region Conservation Authorities, covering Lake Ontario approximately Ajax to Belleville.

Quinte Conservation CAO Brad McNevin had updated council in March, noting the original plan is from the 1980s and data is no longer accurate due to new technology since and climatic changes.

“We are excited to see this project move forward given the impact that high water levels had on our community in 2017 and 2019 as well as the ongoing development pressures along approximately 800 kilometres of shoreline in Prince Edward County,” said County mayor Steve Ferguson.

The project is intended to help Quinte Conservation and municipalities manage the natural hazards along the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario shoreline.

The final plan is to offer several benefits including:
An up-to-date inventory of the shoreline
Updated natural hazard mapping for flooding, erosion, and dynamic beaches
Recommendations for protecting the shoreline and residents who live along it
Information to inform municipal planning recommendations and decisions

“We look forward to working with Prince Edward County and other partner municipalities to develop a plan that will help manage and protect the water resources throughout the Quinte region,” said McNevin.

Half of the funding for the project is covered by the government of Canada’s National Disaster Mitigation Program. The other half is shared by the partner municipalities based on the length of shoreline in each jurisdiction. The County’s portion of approximately $175,000 will come from funds set aside in the 2021 municipal budget for addressing the climate change emergency.

Quinte Conservation will form a working group that will include staff from partner municipalities and organizations. The public will also have opportunities to offer feedback during the process. Work is expected to get under way this fall, with the plan finalized in early 2022.

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