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BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER

On a living shoreline in Ontario, Canada, Seferian Design Group balances designing for erosion and endangered species.

FROM THE NOVEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

On the northern shore of Lake Ontario, 25 miles outside Toronto, a quarter mile of once-eroding lakefront is a case study in resilient design for the Great Lakes. Although at first glance it may not look as green or vegetated—as alive—as other so-called living shorelines, the new shoreline was planned and built around the needs of multiple vulnerable wildlife species and offers vital refugia for still others.

The stretch of shoreline belongs to Appleby College, a private preparatory school in Oakville, Ontario. Its largely natural shoreline was eroding at an alarming rate, battered by increased wave action caused by historically high lake levels and severed from natural replenishment cycles by shoreline hardening projects nearby. “They’d done surveying every couple of years, and in some areas, five, six meters of shoreline were just gone,” says Brad Smith, ASLA, a senior landscape architect at Seferian Design Group in nearby Burlington, Ontario, which was hired to help address the problem after a more typical hardening plan was scrapped. “The conservation authority came back and said, ‘We want something greener, softer, more dynamic.’” (more…)

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