For 12 years I’ve worked with the Town to make LOST Beach, at Lakeside Park, more swimable… and have never gotten anywhere. Just this week I, again, got a “no” on installing a breakwater that would help prevent erosion and make the beach more swimable.
But not only has the Town denied our proposal to make the beach better for swimming, more protected from erosion and safer (2 people have broken bones because of the access on the beach)… it has just gotten worse.
I just found out a few minutes ago in a general email Newsletter from Dave Gittings, the Town Councillor for the area (Ward 3), that the Town has plans to rebuild the beach, as it was damaged from the flooding last year:
“Lakeside Park: Works include installing additional cobble material in the water to replace the material that was washed away with the high water. The displaced shoreline armourstone will be reset to the original location with additional material. More fish habitat boulders will be placed into the water to offset any fish habitat disturbed during the high water issue.”
If that sounds ambiguous, and generally not good, I agree. But they won’t give us any more information, let alone consult with us. But I do know how it worked last time they did this.
I asked Dave Gittings for more info. He said the Town hired a Coastal Engineering firm to rebuild the beach. Just like they did 5 years ago to rebuild the beach. For those LOSTies that were around then, you might recall that they covered the beach with round volleyball-sized rocks that made it impassable (as was just done at the new Edgemere Park). Fortunately they didn’t know what they were doing and most of them just rolled into the water shortly after they were installed. However, I would like to think that the Coastal Engineers have learned from their expensive mistake last time and will install a system that is more permanent. And therefore, unfortunately, one that does not allow swimming.
The take away from all of this is:
- Consultation – LOST Swimming, and the general public, use the beach and are active stakeholders. We were not consulted in any way, despite asking to be included.
- Breakwater – The Town has refused to build a breakwater at the west end of the beach that would provide the same results. The answer given was that a breakwater wouldn’t work there… even though part of the plan is to build a breakwater at the east end of the beach?!
- Unswimable – the plans devised by the Coastal Engineers will make it impossible to swim at LOST Beach, rather than taking the opportunity to make it a better place to swim.
I was told by the Town, that Councillors won’t act on making LOST Beach better for swimmers because “there didn’t seem to be enough public interest”.
So we need to demonstrate that there is enough public interest. So if being able to swim at LOST Beach is at all important to you, please help.
Oh, and don’t forget… there is an election on Oct 22!!! That might help?
To do that, I would propose 2 things that would encourage the Town to include LOST Swimming and the public in making LOST Beach better for swimming:
1) Email the relevant politicians (just copy and paste the email addresses below):
Honestly, my experience is that it isn’t the content, they only read the first few… it is the quantity. One or two sentences is fine… we just need lots of them!
Just say something to the effect that:
- I support LOST Swimming.
- I think LOST Swimming should be included in the consultation as they are the main stakeholder on LOST Beach
- I would like to see LOST Beach made more accessible for swimming, not less accessible.
2) Also sign this Petition that goes to the Town Councillors: click here