Open Introduction Section Open Fluvial Erosion Section Open Shoreline Erosion Section Open Anthropogenic Effects Open Mitigation Measures Open Conclusions Section


Impacts of Shoreline Modification

Shoreline modification has many negative effects on the Great Lakes. The structures have blocked the lake's ability to rinse its shoreline, and reduced the transport of sand along the waterfront has been limited. In building these structures and modifying the natural lakefront valuable aquatic habitat has been destroyed. Traditional sources of sediment have been eliminated through shoreline armoring, while in other places the erosion rates have accelerated.


- Silt and clay have increased inputs due to the clearing of lands and shoreline construction
- Sand and gravel have decreased inputs due to flood control
- Shore erosion has remained rather constant, although certain locations have changed dramatically


We now decide where the beaches are, where the erosion is from, and to, albeit not always anticipated, and we must be willing to suffer the consequences when nature doesn't work the way we want it to. We have to be worried, that the increased shoreline roughness doesn't create cesspools that capture sediment. Overall projects have too many overseeing authorities/people to pass by, yet none are really focused on the overall Lake health.



Anderson, D.V., and McTaggart-Cowan, G.H. The Freezing and Thawing of Toronto Harbour. Ontario, Department of Lands and Forests, Research Report No. 70. 1966.

Boulden, R.S. Canada/Ontario Great Lakes Shore Damage Survey, Technical Report. Environment Canada. 1975.

Eyles, N. Ontario Rocks. Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. 2002.

Eyles, N. and Clinton, L. Toronto Rocks; the Geological Legacy of the Greater Toronto Area. Geological Society of America, 1999.

Kieran, Sheila, et al. Regeneration - Toronto's Waterfront and The Sustainable City: Final Report. Queen's Printer of Ontario, 1992.

Langford, G... Report on lakeshore erosion: Lake Ontario from Niagara to Cobourg. 1949.

McGillivray, Daniel. The Interaction of fluvial processes at the mouth of Duffin Creek, Ajax, Ontario. UTSC, 1974

McManus, J. and R.W. Duck. Geomorphology and Sedimentology of Lakes and Reservoirs. John Wiley & Sons, Toronto, 1993

Neuhold, B.H. The impact of Urban Development on the Hydrogeomorphology of Highland Creek Drainage Basin, Ontario. Queen's University, 1975.

Plummer, C., McGeary, D. and Carlson, D.H.. Physical Geology. McGraw-Hill, Toronto. 2002.

Seymour, Richard J. Nearshore Sediment Transport. Plenum Press, New York. 1989.


Amin, Shahalam M.N.. Bluff Response in Glacial Till: South Shore of Lake Erie. The Great Lakes Geographer, Volume 8, Number 2, 2001.

City of Toronto. City of Toronto’s Environmental Plan: "Clean, Green and Healthy". 2000.

Robbins, John A. and Edginton, D.N.. Determination of recent sedimentation rates in Lake Michigin using Pb-210 ad CS-137. Qeochlmica et Cosmocltimica dcta, 1975. Vol. 39, pp. 288 to 304.

SENES Consultants Limited. Waterfront Scan & Environmental Improvement Strategy Study. 1999.

Silliman,James E., Meyers, Philip A. and Bourbonniere, Richard A.. Record of postglacial organic matter delivery and burial in sediments of Lake Ontario. Org. Geochem. Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 463-472, 1996.

Tenzer, Gabrielle E., Meyersa, Philip A., Robbins, John A., Eadie, Brian J., Morehead, Nancy R., and Lansing, Margaret B.. Sedimentary organic matter record of recent environmental changes in the St. Marys River ecosystem, Michigan-Ontario border. Organic Geochemistry 30. 1999.

Pictures (satelite photos) (satelite photos) (surfing photos) (iced lake photo)