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Erosion posing large threat
Erosion on the Qualicum Beach waterfront due to sea-level rise is a serious concern, says town engineer Bob Weir, but the municipality is taking steps to deal with it.
Weir made the comments in light of an ongoing project to repair erosion at a site next to the Brant viewing area.
"It's a soft-shores restoration project to deal with some of the storm damage we had last winter," Weir said. "It's a cobbled storm berm of large beach rock to try to protect the actual shorefront of the park, as well as beach replenishment with sands and gravels."
The approximately $65,000 project will also involve the construction of what Weir called headlands in the mid-tidal area.
"The intent is to disrupt the wave pattern and dissipate the energy before it hits the beachfront," Weir explained.
Although the brant viewing area is located close to Highway 19A, Weir said the roadway itself was not at risk from the erosion, although storm damage caused a year earlier had proven more problematic, as water and hydro utilities had been immediately adjacent to the erosion.
Weir said shorefront erosion is of particular concern in Qualicum Beach because of its geographical location.
"It's really quite a large threat," he said. "If you look at the exposures and the shoreline, there are long stretches no matter which way the weather comes at us, northwest or southeast, and a lot of material can move around."
Weir said the project must be completed by Sept. 1, which is when the fisheries window closes.
A previous soft shores restoration project involving anchoring logs several hundred metres up the beach was only partially successful, he added.
"We realized what the weakness in that system was and we intend to do the restoration there, too," he said. "There was a connection to the logs that failed, but we have good cable."