Residents living along the Lake Erie shoreline are expected to face more challenging conditions due to high water and erosion, according to a consultant leading the Chatham-Kent Lake Erie Shoreline Erosion study.

Two days of sessions ended in Erieau last week and saw nearly 200 people attend.

Pete Zuzek is the lead consultant and geoscientist for the study examining the impact of current and future conditions on the shoreline from Wheatley to Clear Creek.

 “What we’ve learned over the past two days is that we have a committed community of residents, landowners, the municipality and conservation authority who are all working together to find solutions,” said Zuzek in a news release. “It is imperative that we speak with one voice when we approach senior levels of government.”

Zuzek points to the feedback gathered at the two-day session as vital to developing a solution for shoreline residents.

“I’ve learned a lot during these sessions from the community, we will build on the community ideas, and I’m confident that we will develop a range of viable options for the long-term,” said Zuzek.

It appears one conclusion from the meeting has been reached — whatever the solution, funding from higher levels of government will be required.

Thomas Kelly, general manager of infrastructure and engineering services for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, points to the need to compile a database of scientific knowledge to help address the problem of shoreline erosion and the threat of flooding.

“We can’t get [government funding] unless we have done our homework and present a fact-based comprehensive plan,” said Kelly.

More meetings are planned for the summer before draft management options are made available to the public in September. Recommendations are planned for December before a final report is submitted in March of 2020.