- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Re-contouring work on the Sauble Beach dunes, discussed since 2017, appears to have become an urgent priority for December 2020. Some residents have strong objections to these actions, and believe there are alternate solutions to the parking issues the work is intended to address.

In a meeting on Tuesday, November 17, Town of South Bruce Peninsula council approved a $150,000 single-source (untendered) project to cut back dunes along 469 meters, remove trees and vegetation, install a stone retaining wall and contour the dunes – all by the middle of December.

duneinfoAccording to the staff report, “The Grey-Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) has been consulted and has indicated that the project seems approvable, pending a detailed design. The design is underway, and as soon as it is ready, will be submitted to the GSCA as part of a formal application”. The OwenSoundHub has requested clarification of that process from the Conservation Authority.

The staff report also says “MECP [Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks] has granted approval in principle, provided that Plover habitat (on the fronts of the dunes) and the overall dune ecosystem is not compromised.” The staff opinion is that “Work will be as minimally invasive as possible in order to reduce the impact on the dune ecosystem.” The OwenSoundHub has requestd details of the process from MECP.

Local residents concerned about the dune ecosystem say there are other solutions to the parking and safety issues, including making Lakeshore Road one way, as it is at the north end, or moving parking away from the beach altogether with possible shuttle service.

Council approval on November 17 was based on a report that said “Staff are in the process of obtaining a structural design for the proposed retaining wall and shaping of the back of the dune to achieve a stable angle. Once this is complete, the design will be provided to the GSCA and MECP for final review. Provided approvals are expedited, construction could begin the 3rd week of November and, weather permitting, be complete by the second week of December.”

Markings up the dune are already in place (see photograph above); this photograph facing south is taken from the beach-side end of that marking.dunes

The town council itself has not seen a final plan, and the third week of November was last week. We will continue to try to reach Mayor Jackson for clarification, and SON (Saugeen Ojibway Nation) Environmental Office for their response.






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