Lake Erie Shore Erosion Management Plan
The Lake Erie Shore Erosion Management Plan Needs Assessment acquired information on the beliefs and needs of property owners and professionals living and working along Ohio’s 312-mile coast. The Ohio Sea Grant College Program was hired to conduct this assessment to allow for objectivity in the analysis while capitalizing on Sea Grant's expertise in social science research.
The LESEMP Needs Assessment consisted of focus groups and surveys sent by mail and available on the internet. In the three focus groups held along the coast, a moderator asked participants open-ended questions, fostering discussions on lake-based erosion. Responses from the focus group series were incorporated into two surveys- one for property owners and one for public officials and contractors. The professionals’ survey was longer due to a second series of questions pertaining to training events that the Ohio Coastal Training Program may conduct in the future. Both mail and internet surveys contained the same questions for each target audience (i.e. property owners’ mail and internet surveys were the same).
The focus groups were held June 18, 21 and 26, 2007. The surveys were released in October 2007 with responses received into early December. The results were finalized in January 2008.
A great deal of information was gained through the focus group sessions, which served a dual purpose of informing the project partners and helping generate the survey questions. The surveys had high response rates- 55.9 percent for property owners and 42 percent for public officials.
Of significance were the responses related to the types of structures found along the shore and the lifetime of structural erosion control measures. Most property owner respondents recognized a seawall but were much less familiar with groins and groin fields.
Regardless of the type of structure, both target audience groups responded that they believed structures last a long time. Almost 80 percent of all property owner respondents' believe a structure will last 20 years or more. For the public officials, that percentage jumped to nearly 90 percent believing structures will last more than 20 years.
Funding was ranked by both property owners and public officials as the single most significant factor in the implementation of specific erosion control measures.
Download the Needs Assessment Final Report and Appendices