Thursday, March 24, 2016

Saving A Shoreline

I'm very pleased to announce that I will have a table at the Water Docs International Film Festival being presented by Ecologos. I'll be there on Thursday March 24th and Saturday March 26th, both days from 2-4 pm. I'm sending a special thank you to all the organizers of the festival for giving me this opportunity to share my concerns about the shorelines of Lake Ontario.

Like most people, I am drawn to water. It’s a connection we all share. I believe that it’s because of this connection, that we also all have an equal responsibility to take care of our water and to be mindful and respectful of this great gift of life.

The shoreline I am concerned with is in the far east of Scarborough where there is a remarkable stretch of sandy shore that relatively few people know about. The shore is, in many ways in its natural state, as it may have been found hundreds of years ago. It’s about 4 km in length, from Highland Creek on the east, to Grey Abbey Ravine in the west. The beach is rugged; it’s sandy, with driftwood, debris and rocks and when you walk along this shore, you’re given the sense that you are on a far and forgotten coast. It truly is a hidden gem in the city. This is part of its beauty, though unfortunately it may be part of its demise.  Because so few people know about the area, very few also know about the plans that are in store for its future. 

I learned earlier this year of plans that are underway to alter this shoreline …or more appropriately, to destroy it.  Plans are being proposed to harden most of the shore with armour rocks, revetments and pavement… but not for erosion control for property investments, but for recreational purposes.  

Shoreline hardening includes parallel concrete structures like seawalls, and unfortunately it seems to be an epidemic that has taken over our Great Lakes.  

I’m hoping to open up the conversation to the negative impacts of this practice and to ask, is it really necessary? And must we always destroy nature for our purposes?

A shoreline is an ecosystem and when you pave, alter, destroy, and change it, you are basically destroying life.  Hardening a shoreline has negative impacts on the flora and fauna of the area, it has long-term negative impacts on the water and it blocks our connection to the lake.  

As a voice for nature and for water, I'm encouraging you to join me in the conversation around this practice, before it’s too late. This is an opportunity for us to really examine our relationship with nature, our connection to water and to consider our impacts on future generations. 

Come visit me at the film festival at 585 Dundas Street East - at the Daniel Spectrum Hall and enjoy the beautiful films being shown!

Thanks - see you soon!