April 27, 2011

PROTECTION OF VICTORIA BEACH AIM OF NEW PROJECT, A MUST TO PRESERVE WATERFRONT CONDITIONS ON LAKE WINNIPEG: MELNICK

The Manitoba government will help to improve waterfront conditions at Victoria Beach this summer by supporting a pilot project to preserve and build up the beach, Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick announced today.

“Our government knows that Manitobans look forward to spending quality time with their families at the beach every summer. That’s why we’re moving forward with this important step toward helping to stabilize and protect Victoria Beach,” said Melnick.

“Shoreline protection is an important issue facing local government across Manitoba but it’s particularly significant on Lake Winnipeg,” said Selkirk MLA Greg Dewar, speaking today on behalf of Melnick. “We’re proud to support this project to help identify potential methods to stabilize and protect the beach and enhance it for families this summer and for future generations.”

“Our council is pleased the province is providing funding for research with respect to the pilot project and appreciates the financial assistance from Minister Melnick’s department,” said Reeve Tom Farrell.

Today’s announcement will see the government invest $100,000 in a pilot project to build up the beach, a process called aggradation, through a grant to the Rural Municipality of Victoria Beach. Beach aggradation projects encourage the deposition of sand, to build up beaches in front of shoreline erosion protection works. Aggradation has been attempted in other parts of North America but this is the first pilot project of its kind on Lake Winnipeg.

The municipality is hiring consultants to:
– review technical information on beach aggradation technology,
– collect physical data at the site, and
– design and build the actual protection project.

The municipality will also create a community shoreline advisory committee to hold public consultations with respect to shoreline erosion control structures, beach preservation and related issues.

In addition to the funding to support this research, Manitoba Water Stewardship’s Shoreline Erosion Technical Committee will help the rural municipality select the type of works for the pilot project and help with ongoing monitoring to evaluate the project’s success, said Melnick.

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