Erosion Risk Management

Managing the risk associated with the natural hazards of flooding and erosion is one of the primary roles of conservation authorities under the Conservation Authorities Act. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) fulfills this role through the delivery of multiple natural resource management programs and services, including the Erosion Risk Management Program (ERMP).  The ERMP focuses on the identification and remediation of valley land erosion hazards throughout TRCA’s jurisdiction and encourages proactive prevention, protection, and management of erosion issues on private and public property.

Background

The Conservation Authorities Act gives Conservation Authorities the power to establish and undertake initiatives on private and public land to help achieve its objectives and can include:

  • monitoring of areas affected by flooding, erosion, and or slope instability;
  • study and investigation of the watershed; and
  • remediation of erosion and/or slope stability hazards

With respect to erosion control and remediation of erosion and/or slope instability prone-areas, TRCA has a long-standing Erosion Risk Management Program to monitor these hazards and to implement stabilization works on a priority basis to the limit of available funding each year.

This program is funded annually by TRCA’s partners at the City of Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Durham Region, and on a project-by-project basis by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Who We Are

TRCA’s Engineering Projects team consists of multidisciplinary professionals who have expertise in assessing, prioritizing, and remediating erosion and/or slope stability issues within the valley systems and along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

What We Do

The majority of funding is applied toward the maintenance of existing erosion control structures along TRCA’s rivers and valleys that protect public greenspace, park amenities, and municipal infrastructure.

However, this program is extended to the protection of private property where homes and other essential structures have been confirmed as at-risk by erosion or instability as funding and priorities permit.

Although TRCA is not compelled legally to assist private landowners with erosion control works, TRCA offers this assistance recognizing that staff have considerable experience in erosion hazard management. This supports TRCA’s municipal partners by mitigating past development decisions with cost-effective solutions that also foster resilient watersheds and contribute to the expansion of safe and enjoyable public greenspace.

To determine where available annual funding is recommended to be allocated, TRCA monitors its existing flood and erosion control structures and known erosion hazard sites and assigns a priority ranking which helps determine whether detailed study, maintenance or remedial works, or further monitoring are recommended.

Monitoring is carried out year-round in response to public inquiries or following severe weather events, but the majority of inspections are conducted between May and September each year.

When staff recommend that erosion control works be carried out to benefit private property, the landowners are subject to the execution of a binding erosion control agreement which requires the benefiting landowner(s) to contribute to the cost of the project in accordance with current TRCA policy.

This policy originates from a staff report brought forward to TRCA’s former Flood Control and Water Control Advisory Board in 1981. This operational criteria was adopted as policy by the Authority by Resolution #71/81 on October 9, 1981.

The current Private Landowner Contribution for Erosion Control Works Policy (revised January 27, 2017) can be found here:

Private Landowner Contribution for Erosion Control Works

How TRCA’s Erosion Management Program Can Help Landowners

TRCA’s extensive experience identifying and remediating erosion and stability hazards has established us as leaders in erosion hazard management. We are always happy to meet with property owners who live in our jurisdiction to discuss their stability concerns. TRCA staff are knowledgeable and can help share smart landscaping strategies that can help safeguard property against flooding and erosion.