Archive for February, 2011

Council Meeting March 1st. 1pm

REMINDER ABOUT THE COUNCIL MEETING ON TUESDAY: The meeting starts at 1 p.m. at the Municipal office, 3rd floor, 960 Portage Avenue at the corner of Lipton. Seating will be limited–so get there early.


Expected to be on the agenda:

-the rip rap structure that was started on Patricia / Arthur Beach last Tuesday without Council approval. The Cease And Desist Order expires on Tuesday, so Council will have to make a decision.

–  recommendations from the Shoreline Erosion Technical Committee (SETC) regarding this structure and its effect on the beach.  THIS WILL BE A VERY IMPORTANT AND CRITICAL DOCUMENT FOR COUNCIL TO HAVE TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN MAKING DECISIONS.

– the temporary sandbag solution proposed for King Edward and Alexandra beaches. Please remember that this was to be a temporary solution designed to protect the properties along Sunset while allowing for due diligence to be conducted regarding beach and property preservation.

***If you cannot attend be sure to email them with your thoughts and concerns beforehand.  Time is of the essence.***



Eastern Beaches Conservation Coalition Website

Just last year, Beaconia, a sister community on the south basin of Lake Winnipeg, was in a much similar situation to the one Victoria Beach finds itself in now. They too had their shoreline being altered by a private citizen. In this case a trench was dug. The results were a disaster for its community. It quickly learned that you cannot simply alter shorelines on Lake Winnipeg without dire consequence. They also found to their dismay that they could find little help to protect it when requesting the Province of Manitoba or its RM for guidance and intervention. They too have built a website to publicize their situation.

Please visit it and see their story.

Let`s make sure Victoria Beach does not become the next example of what can happen.

 “Ironically, in regards to Beaconia beach and marsh, the SDPAB and the RM appear to have had no qualms in ignoring the applicable regulatory and legislative obligations, including planning Bylaws, that they themselves are mandated to enforce. ”  

They too are also championing the cause that the Province needs to create a body to oversee, supervise, research and impose penalties to protect the shorelines and habitat of this precious natural resource that Lake Winnipeg is. To bring to a halt this senseless and irresponsible destruction and alterations of the shoreline and its habitats.

“Published Jan 15th, Vicki Burns, co-ordinator of the Lake Winnipeg Watershed Initiative, said Friday’s meeting should be the first step in the province taking the lead on a more uniform approach to shoreline protection on Lake Winnipeg…Burns said besides preserving beaches and shoreline, the province also needs to get a better handle on development around the lake.”

They too want the Province to take action and stop shoreline development until more stringent regulations can be determined:

Lake Ontario Shoreline Management Plan

As we petition Manitoban authorities to issue guidelines on shoreline management strategies it is worth having a look at those in effect in Ontario.

On page 62 of the manual (page 66 of the pdf), in the last paragraph: “…it should be recognized that it is impossible to build a structure within this zone [the dynamic beach hazard limit] without having a significant impact on the beach environment.”  Throughout this document, ‘the preferred solution is relocation’

It stresses on page 61 that no one in Ontario is even allowed to build within the dynamic beach hazard limit;  preventing the type of situations we are facing today at Victoria Beach.

The relevant material on beach dynamics and erosion structures begins on Page 65. These guidelines are extremely relevant as they relate to lake conditions. They are very clear on the distinction between erosion and non-erosional dynamic beaches which some talk at length about.

It is apparent that it’s impossible to build a revetment on a dynamic beach without damaging it. The Manitoba Shoreline handbook is also excellent too for this information.

Both are very clear about the dangers of revetments.

There is a persuasive indication that hard barriers will damage both kinds of beaches.


CONGRATULATIONS to all who were calling the RMVB or emailed council and made it clear not only what was happening on the beaches of Victoria Beach but that you wanted it stopped.  Never underestimate how important your single action is when an entire community acts.  You are the reason yesterdays tragedy was partially averted.

But, please be aware, the cease and desist is in effect, but it is for one week and can be revoked by council.  There is a council meeting next Tuesday.  The Arthur/Patricia group will likely present its case.  Plan if you can to attend. 

If you wish to speak at council and be heard you must contact them in advance.  (Please see the “side note” post in the VICTORIA BEACH COUNCIL MEETING category.)

Rules for talking at VB Council meetings:

If you are new to this site and are concerned with what is happening to Manitoba’s largest natural resource and its beaches, please take some time to look through the menu on the right side for all the information we have accumulated.  The documents and scientific evidence is very compelling that rock walls on pristine sand beaches will destroy them forever.  It is time for the communites to stand up and protect Lake Winnipeg.


URGENT! IT HAS JUST BEEN REPORTED: There are trucks dumping rocks on Arthur Beach right now as of this post on Tuesday morning, Feb 22 at 11 am. An eye witness saw the police briefly intervene and Council is now seeking legal advice on how to stop the construction but offers no other comment at this time.  Meanwhile, the work is continuing.  Please phone the municipal offices if you have any further questions, concerns or want to voice that you wish it halted.

UPDATE: 4:10 pm:   A cease and desist order  has been requested, based on the Crown Land Act Section 27 Subsection 7. Confirmed by RM Police.

Illegal occupation of Crown lands prohibited
27(7) Except in the exercise of a right or authorization given or a duty imposed by law, any person who
(a) uses or occupies; or
(b) enters, uses or occupies any building or structure upon; or
(c) brings or erects, and leaves, any building, structure or thing upon;
any Crown lands, including Crown lands in a local government district or set aside or designated by order in council as public shooting grounds, a fur rehabilitation block, a wildlife management area, a provincial park or a provincial forest, or for any other similar purpose is guilty of an offence.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS:–116676454.html

 CAO: Raymond J. Moreau
Address: 303-960 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg
Ph: (204)774-4263
Toll Free: 1-800-513-3839

Council emails:  Karin Boyd       Bruce Morrison       Tom Farrell         Kathy McKibbin          Penny McMorris           R. M. of Victoria Beach

Coastal Care Website

This is a website that features all aspects of coastal development with an emphasis on beach preservation, including a very good explanatory article on the problems associated with various shoreline engineering methods.  Here are but a few quotes:

“The benefits of (shoreline engineering) are usually short-lived. Locally, shoreline engineering may actually cause shoreline retreat.”

“Construction by man on the shoreline causes shoreline changes. The sandy beach exists in a delicate balance with sand supply, beach shape, wave energy, and sea-level rise. This is called the dynamic equilibrium. Most construction on or near the shoreline changes this balance and reduces the natural flexibility of the beach.”

“Shoreline engineering destroys the beach it was intended to save. If this sounds incredible to you, drive to New Jersey or Miami Beach and examine their shores. See the miles of “well protected” shoreline-without beaches!”

“The cost of saving beach property through shoreline engineering is usually greater than the value of the property to be saved.”

“Once you begin shoreline engineering, you can’t stop it!…Its failure to allow the sandy shoreline to migrate naturally results in a steepening of the beach profile, reduced sand supply, and therefore, accelerated erosion. Thus, once man has installed a shoreline structure, “better” -larger and more expensive-structures must subsequently be installed, only to suffer the same fate as their predecessors.”

Beachapedia Document and Website

Here is a site definitely worth checking out.

Lots of very interesting information throughout the website.

A sample is this on the Managed Retreat Page:

The potential responses to coastal erosion include seawalls, beach fill, and managed retreat. Seawalls, rock revetments and other hard structures built to hold back the advance of the sea often fail and need to be rebuilt over and over again. This approach is not desirable for several reasons, not the least of which is that these structures inevitably lead to the loss of sand from beaches

or this from the

“Owners of beachfront property will often try to use their political influence to demand that “something be done.”

The intelligent action would be to move the building away from the ocean.

Unfortunately, what has often been done in the past has been to armor the coastline with rocks, concrete and steel.

This does not protect or maintain the beach – it only protects the buildings. “

Usually the most cost-effective, environmental solution is to move the building away from danger.

Building seawalls will buy time against natural processes, but it will not “solve the problem” of erosion by waves.

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