Port Colborne groups scrambling to stop Nickel Beach erosion


Published August 17, 2022 at 10:14 am

The dunes at Port Colborne's Nickel Beach are eroding at an alarming rate.

Erosion is hitting Port Colborne’s Nickel Beach at a ““unprecedented rate” and a handful of groups have banded together to see if they can slow it – if not outright stop it.

It’s affecting 6,600 square meters of beachfront and last Friday (August 12), over 600 meters of snow fencing was planted in front of the eroding dune in an effort to help it maintain its integrity.

The Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative, a not-for-profit corporation, has banded together with Port Colborne staff, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and VALE Canada Ltd.

(VALE Canada is the area’s nickel refinery, which was commissioned almost 100 years ago on the shores of Lake Erie.)

Blair Holinaty, Port Colborne’s Supervisor of Recreation and Marina, said the coastal dunes have seen unprecedented rates of erosion in recent years.

Experts say the Great Lakes have seen a much higher rate of erosion because of more frequent and intense storms which are raising water levels to never-seen-before heights.

This section of Port Colborne’s Nickel Beach is seeing increasingly
high rates of erosion due to increased water levels in Lake Erie.
(Photos: Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative)

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