Beach Stewardship Program
In 2014 the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) established a five-year Canadian Ontario Agreement (COA) Beach Stewardship Program to raise awareness and educate the community on coastal shorelines practices. Annually the Beach Stewardship Program completes shoreline assessments of Provincial Park beaches and creates Beach Report Cards including one for Long Point Provincial Park that highlights ecosystem functionality, composition, classification and recreational values.
These reports provide technical data that assist the Ontario Parks in addressing ecological issues such as dune erosion from heavy public usage and the presence of invasive species throughout the parks. This work has been, and will be instrumental in creating historical data and documentation to assist MNRF with their mandate to monitor the environmental changes to the shoreline of the Great Lakes into the future.
In addition, the Beach Stewardship Program organizes local outreach and restoration events at Provincial Parks for staff and community members.
2018/19 Long Point
Provincial Park Initiatives
Mark Murdock has been hired by MNRF as the co-lead for the COA 2018-2019 Beach Stewardship Program. Mark will be responsible for completing this year’s beach assessment, creating informative communications, organizing shoreline restoration events and completing an annual report.
This year the MNRF’s Beach Stewardship Program plan is to direct a portion of their efforts to the Long Point Crown Beach by:
Long Point Provincial Park Sand Dunes Restoration
What is Sand Dunes Restoration?
Sand dunes restoration is the process of transplanting colonies of Marram grass by finding a stable colony and transplanting sections of the plants to eroded areas of the beach. The transplant is completed during the fall months when the Marram grass is dormant. Other steps can be taken to help increase the healthy growth of the new transplanted Marram grass, such as using snow fencing to provide a temporary barrier against wind and by creating dedicated walkways for public usage to ensure the Marram grass establishes itself successfully. Once the Marram grass has fully rooted on the beach, the roots of the well-developed colony will help stabilize the sand and over time it should create sand dunes along beach. This will assist in preventing sand erosion and re-establish a healthier coastal shoreline.
Effects of Sand Erosion:
Sand erosion is caused by wind moving sand from the beachfront, usually pushing it further onto the mainland due to the lack of sand dunes present along
the shoreline. This can create loss of sand around properties, which can cause property damage and result in a significant increase of the sand present on roads, sidewalks and other community properties.
It then requires other methods to relocate the sand back onto the beach, which can be costly and time consuming to the community.
The Benefits of Sand Dunes Restorations:
There are several benefits for completing sand dunes restorations such as:
The wonderful thing about sand dune restorations is that they can be completed very easily with minimal cost and effort to achieve fantastic results.
Stay tuned for upcoming exciting restoration events at the Long Point Provincial Park, for more information on how you could get involved in beach restorations projects on your own property please contact Mark.Murdock@Ontario.ca
Created by Mark Murdock, Assistant Ecologist,
Southwestern Zone, Ontario Parks MNRF Mark.Murdock@ontario.ca
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