Erosion of coastlines and beaches is a problem that can impact any settlement or city located near a body of water. In both the long and short run, coastal erosion can have enormous detrimental impacts on an area, in terms of both geography and economics. This issue is important the world over, as more than half the world's population lives within two hundred kilometers of a coastline (Committee). As a result, there are more than 3.5 billion people who could be harmed by coastal erosion and its effects (Committee).
Eroding shorelines can have several negative effects. First, people are forced to evacuate their homes (Pilkey). This results in large costs for both homeowners and the government, which is forced to buy homes from people whose houses are at risk from coastal erosion (Pilkey). Also, there are geographic consequences as eroded land sediment is carried back into the water by destructive waves that gradually decompose the coastline, resulting in polluted water (eurosion).
Toronto, Ontario, Canada is one city whose coastline has truly suffered the effects of coastal erosion. Toronto is Canada's largest city, with the main metropolis and nearby regions accounting for more than 4 million of Canada's 35 million people. Because the CBD and immediately surrounding areas become extremely crowded when a city expands, people have chosen to relocate to areas farther away from the downtown region, such as Scarborough, near Lake Ontario (see Map 1).
Today, waterfront areas in Scarborough, and all along the Toronto coastline, are suffering from coastal erosion. The Toronto beaches are in the southeastern portion of the city. The prominent feature of the area is known as the Scarborough Bluffs, which is a long series of cliffs extending along the length of the city adjacent to the water.
In recent years, erosion along the...