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Sauble culvert path Oct 2018Dear Editor,

The Town of South Bruce Peninsula (SBP) states in it’s Strategic Plan that the “environment is a key driver not only for growth and development, but for how natural heritage could be protected and preserved. However, Sauble Beach in my mind, has become a case pitting economic gain against a fragile beach ecosystem.

In March of 2018, the Town of South Bruce Peninsula was charged by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) under the Endangered Species Act as a result of bulldozer work on the beach done in September 2017. The MNRF issued a stop work order in March 2018 to prevent further damage to habitat.

A hearing to deal with the charge was scheduled for the summer of 2018, was later postponed, and is re-scheduled for later this month, interestingly enough, AFTER the elections (mere coincidence?).Sauble culvert 2018

The Town was given approval by the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) to “replace a blocked storm sewer and then re-instate the boardwalk” at the north end of Sauble Beach on Lakeshore Blvd., which they did several weeks ago. SBP created an approximate 20 foot right of way in order to replace a 24 inch culvert, a job which a backhoe with a skilled driver could have accomplished in a much more nature-sensitive manner. The stream, including all the creatures and flora that lived there, has been consumed with the work. Some of the best examples of mature dune ecology were in that seepage and dune system which provided natural drainage and shoreline habitat for years.

When I contacted the MNRF to see if they knew about this situation, I was informed that they were “aware of the work and were looking into it” and when finished their investigations would “ take the appropriate action.”

sauble dune signage 2018Despite efforts to understand who governs and controls what happens on the beach, I am still baffled. How and if the MNRF and GSCA coordinate their approach to beach management is confusing.

The Town of South Bruce Peninsula, MNRF, GSCA and we, as individuals, all play a role in the protection of the environment. Personally, I believe the continuing unleashed habitat destructive actions of the Town of SBP are leading to irreversible ecological damage at Sauble Beach.

Donna Mitchell

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