Archive for the ‘4. LEARNING FROM OTHERS MISTAKES’ Category

There are better ways!

Excellent article in todays free press on shorelines with a quote we all know to be true:

Other areas around the lake have employed shoreline-protection projects using tons of jagged boulders, steel plates or metal cages filled with rock.

But those techniques are not only costly, they change the nature of the shoreline forever, as well as its accessibility.”
To read the full article go to:


PELICAN POINT: A Sad View of the Future?

Do you remember decades back (or even just a few years back) of the wonderful untouched natural sand and marshes on Pelican Point? How there were amazing strips of beach and sand bars all around the point? A truly beautiful and unspoiled spot.

Have you taken a walk or a bike ride there lately?

If not you may be very surprised at what it looks like now.

Where is all the sand? Where has all the beach area gone to? Where are the sandbars? Where does the public go to sit or swim!? What has happened to all the wildlife and flora that used to be abundant there?

Here are some pictures of what we have negligently and carelessly allowed (as a community) Pelican Point to turn into.  A result by not taking a firm stance, by letting those in power give permission and not letting them know we do not want this to be happening to our precious shorelines. That these type of structures must be stopped from spreading elsewhere on our public beaches.

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It is absolutely depressing to visit Pelican Point now. It is no longer a place for all of the public to enjoy and experience. Instead it has become a place for a privileged few to enjoy a quiet waterfront view.

And, good luck in seeing any Pelicans. Not a one on our numerous visits.

Make no mistake; if we do not definitively demand a stop to revetment building from happening along our shorelines — IMMEDIATELY AND FOR ALWAYS — you can expect Clubhouse, Patricia/Arthur, Alex/King and Connaught to eventually be the same experience for the general public in but a short decade.

No beaches. Nothing for the public to access. A place for a select few to enjoy a view while the rest of us jump off the pier to cool off.

It really is important to take the time to see Pelican Point today. To see a defining example of the future of our precious shorelines if we do not act decisively to halt any more of this type of building on Victoria Beach shores. (This beautiful area was once very much like the beautiful beaches we enjoy in the restricted area today.)

It is time to stand up. To be heard. Let your council know your thoughts. Don’t let others do all the talking for you. Don’t assume the vocal few can stop this for you. Power is in numbers!

Be at the Council Meeting on August 21st at the Sports Club. If you can’t be there, send them an email with your concerns.

Here is a list of their email addresses:

Time is running out. We need to save these beaches. NOW!

Pelican Point is a deafening, defining and “right in your face” example of why.

Go take a look at the future of Victoria Beach. Let your eyes be your proof.  Go see Pelican Point at your earliest convenience.

The future vision of Victoria Beach shorelines has never been more clear.

And it is, in a word, alarming.


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:

Neskowin Community Letter to Victoria Beach

Thank you for your interest in my article. Please understand that I am not an expert. I am just a concerned citizen like you.

I am very sorry to hear about your community issue with erosion.

Here is what I think I know…

The only good news that I can tell you is that your situation is near a lake which is likely to experience relatively low wave heights on the average that might minimize the speed of the erosion action. Neskowin is right on the ocean. Wave heights are huge and can cause erosion and property loss very quickly if the conditions are right ie. storm, high tide etc.

My observation is that these erosion events are purely cyclical. Which sounds OK but the cycle can be over 100 years or more. A cycle long enough for development to take place and generations of people along with their memories to come and go. In the case of Neskowin, most of the development near the beach has taken place over the past 50 years which is a relatively short period of time compared to what appears to our ocean behavior pattern here. Accurate storm & wave height recorded data is only 60 years old at most in Oregon. Thus, people have had plenty of time to make assumptions & mistakes in placing their vacation homes within the cycle. Everybody wants a cool view from their property which of course drives development closer and closer to the source of the view. View & water front property values have exploded here to the point where people feel not only highly motivated but also fully entitled to protect their property despite the risks to the beach and to the people who love to walk there.

If I can give you any advice….do whatever you can NOW to not allow the “rock wall” or Rip Rap to start.

Once the RipRap process begins at the first hot spot, the erosion amplifies on both sides of the property where there is no protection forcing the neighbors to protect themselves as well and on and on and on it goes until you end up with a big huge rock wall along with a much minimized beach if not destroyed all together.

Sad thing is, the properties involved will probably be lost anyway and we will have lost both the beach and the property.

That’s Neskowin.

Gord, it gets worse.

Neskowin beach front owners have now finally acknowledged that they have a problem that is NOT going away and are running out of money repairing their protective rock walls!

Some beach front property owners are wealthy and can hold on for awhile. Other beach front owners have inherited their properties and do not have enough cash flow to keep up.

The solution?

Amazing as it may seem the beach front people now want the community as a whole to form a district in which to tax itself to support “the wall” claiming that if not done the community will be lost!! ”

Why should we shoulder the entire burden of protecting the community from the ocean alone?” -they ask.

I am old school. If you build a home on the sand and/ or near moving water you are taking a risk.

Given the long cycles, perhaps you can get by in your life time but probably not the next.

Jeff Walton

Neskowin Community

You can see what happened first hand with this community when revetments or rip raps were the option.

Let’s learn from others mistakes.

Coastal Care Database

There is an extensive news database including some cautionary tales about revetments like this recent one from Australia:

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