Mentor Again Seeks Grant to Design 'Green' Erosion Control at Lagoons, Restore Beach (USA - Ohio)

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Posted January 3, 2019

The city of Mentor continues its search for ways to save on saving its lakefront property.

City Council this week will consider legislation to pursue a Coastal Management Assistance Grant application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to aid in developing a plan to preserve shoreline and restore beach habitat at Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve.

The Mentor proposal seeks $50,000 to hire consultants with expertise in both conventional coastal infrastructure techniques and some understanding of “living shorelines” techniques.

Living shorelines incorporate organic material such as fallen trees that can be used in tandem with methods such as stone revetments to help control and manage erosion.

The city applied for a similar grant a year ago.

“The first time we tried this, we didn’t get funding, so we went (after it) again,” Assistant City Manager Tony Zampedro said.

The city already plans a 600-foot revetment extension this year to protect the marina. The cost is estimated at $970,000 and will be paid for out of the general fund.

“We’ve got 2,700 extra feet to Sawyer’s Point (midway on the preserve) that is gone, so we’re still looking for a cost-effective way to bring back the beach and stop erosion.

“It’s not really practical to put revetment along that long of a stretch, primarily because of the cost, but it also doesn’t re-establish the beach.”

The idea is to try to capture sand that drifts along the shoreline. Just a decade ago, the city administration had discussed building boardwalks from which to observe the wild beaches in the preserve.

“Basically, the beach in that area is gone,” Zampedro said.

If the grant is approved, a project design is anticipated by the end of 2019.

Mentor has 3,300 feet of coastline abutting the lagoons property that has lost more than 6 acres of land. Access trails, roadways and other coastal infrastructure have been lost or damaged.

In 2017, ODNR presented a program to share methods of habitat restoration and erosion management practices that blend “grey” infrastructure (steel and stone) with “green” techniques.

Mentor in September received ODNR approval to submit a full proposal.

Consultants will develop a plan that will include engineering concepts tailored to address the specific site conditions and challenges that Mentor faces.

“It will use an understanding of shallow offshore conditions, our soil types, ground cover vegetation, Lake Erie currents, and wind (and) wave patterns to establish portions of our lakefront preserve as areas where residents and visitors can experience natural habitat and shoreline conditions as a complement to the landscape-level habitat restoration now underway within the Mentor Marsh,” Zampedro said in a report to council. “At the same time, harder erosion control techniques where they are most needed and called for will be indicated to help us preserve and maintain our coastal access and infrastructure.”

The city also is funding a $368,616 emergency revetment project at Mentor Beach Park to protect the pavilion from erosion.

Source: The News-Herald