• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

AWARE Simcoe comments on beach management

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Feb 21st, 2017
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Sand dune vegetation

Comments on Wasaga Beach, Beach Management Proposed Secondary Plan EBR # 012-9248

AWARE Simcoe is a citizens’ group that works to protect water, the environment, health, and food land through transparency and accountability in government. Please visit our website www.aware-simcoe.ca.

The Federal Government recently added the Nottawasaga River for protection under the Navigation Protection Act mainly due to the initiative of AWARE Simcoe in rallying the local municipalities and the NVCA to petition for its inclusion.

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Proposed Secondary Plan and offer the following comments:

Because the Natural Heritage feature of Wasaga Beach and the Nottawasaga River are so critically important to the ecological well-being of over half of the geographical area of Simcoe County, protecting the ecological functions of the park must be paramount. This appears to be the primary objective of the Goal of Beach Management. The impact of the “recreational opportunities” noted in bullet one must be closely monitored so as to “permanently protect…….. the quality of natural heritage values and processes.”

We agree and support the goal of educating park visitors. Education will play a strong component in protecting the natural heritage values and processes.

In general we support the Proposed Actions as outlined, and offer these comments:

Beach Raking and Sand Management – caution needs to be exercised so that enthusiasm for a “clean” beach does not encroach on natural vegetation and healthy formed dunes nor remove too much sand.

Stormwater Management – The Town of Wasaga Beach should be encouraged to require Low Impact Development techniques in all new developments.

Waste Management – MNRF and the Town should work closely with Simcoe County to make sure that the maximum amount of “waste” is recycled and removed from the waste going to landfill or incineration.

Natural Flora, Fauna and Objects on the Beach – The issuance of authorizations under the PPCRA to private landowners for removal of vegetation should be severely restricted.

Species At Risk and Significant Species, and Vegetation Communities – MNRF should continue to work supportively with local citizens groups to protect and enhance the natural heritage features and SAR habitat of the beach area.

Invasive Species Management – MNRF should continue to work supportively with local citizens groups, NVCA and Simcoe County to develop and implement an invasive species control program.

Collaborative and Partnership Opportunities – As above the MNRF needs to work closely with citizens groups, NVCA, Simcoe County and The Town. A permanent citizens’ advisory committee should be set up to achieve this end. A good model which is currently working well is the Copeland Forest Friends.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Proposed Secondary Plan.

AWARE Simcoe aware.simcoe@gmail.com

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