Seeing the continuing horrible conditions of Arthur/Patricia beaches this year, the time has come for the residents of VB to face some harsh truths and realities.  The “foolhardy” protection of property seems to be resulting in some pretty clear consequences.

Here is a link to a very good article that is very informative about what is causing the loss of our beaches on Lake Winnipeg, including a reaction to shoreline protection:

http://www.cecmanitoba.ca/resource/hearings/33/CEC-011%20Isostatic%20Rebound%20Report%20by%20Harvey%20Thorleifson%2030%20January%202015.pdf

Here is an important excerpt:

“Shoreline protection engineering is an extremely controversial topic, and it is not within our mandate to make recommendations or to conduct research into design. I can, however, offer a few thoughts.

Engineers tend to recommend engineering, whereas geologists tend to recommend that you back off and respect the forces of nature. There is no doubt, however, that a Professional Engineer can design a means to temporarily protect a high value installation that was, through error or necessity, built too close to a retreating shore.  

Geologists, on the other hand, are quick to point out the inadequacies of shoreline engineering.

While erosion may be halted at the water line, it is essential to recognize that erosion continues underwater to a depth of several metres. Consequently, the shore armour is exposed to progressively greater wave power.

Furthermore, sand must be mobile for shoreline systems to be in a state of dynamic equilibrium. According to a standard geomorphology textbook by Bloom, ʺExtensive reclamation and beach stabilization projects actually endanger barriers, because unless sand is free to move with changing wave conditions, erosion results.ʺ In SEPM Special Publication No. 48, Pilkey and Thieler state, ʺThe myriad sea walls, breakwaters, groins, and jetties that line developed shorelines divert offshore, slow down, trap, and otherwise reduce the regional beach sediment supply by longshore currents, and thereby increase erosion rates.ʺ This view is summed up on the cover of one edition of the book ʺThe Beaches are Movingʺ, by Kaufman and Pilkey, as follows, ʺthese facts provide a new ability to make informed, intelligent decisions for the coast.

This is the first book to explain why the shore must move, and how utterly foolhardy we are to armor our coast against the unbeatable force of nature.ʺ 

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