Future of Parksville’s beach pondered

Staff presents consultant's report about erosion on the beach at city council meeting on Monday night

Parksville city council had a first look Monday at staff plans to battle erosion on one of the country’s greatest beaches.

Director of engineering Vaughn Figueira presented to council a consultant’s report on what’s happening in Parksville Bay and how the city might protect against the damage caused by King tides and winter storms.

Figueira pointed to three areas of the Bay that need attention: Arbutus Point (the southeast corner next to Surfside RV Park) the middle of the bay right in the park and Sutherland Stairs, closer to the Quality Inn Bayside area of the bay.

The director of engineering said this was a first look at what’s happening in the bay and what recommendations have been put forward for remediation. He said $100,000 has already been set aside in the budget for the work, but it will likely cost more and he would return to council for consideration of those expenditures at a future date. He also said the city should “get it done before the winter in the event we get some king tides and big storms.”

Figueira said the Arbutus Point section of the bay is a “mess.” Many of the storms that carry rock and material onto the sandy beach section in the park hit this area first, crashing against the steep rock wall of Surfside.

“We need to really do something there.”

Coun. Al Greir seemed to voice concerns that have been heard both outside and inside the council chambers.

“We’re going to end up with a rocky beach rather than a sandy beach,” he said.

Figueira said he believed the consultant’s plan for huge, anchored logs, large cobble and then progressively small riprap (rocks), in a

10 to 1 slope, at Arbutus Point would address that fear.

“This type of shore protection is working quite well” in other locations on the east side of Vancouver Island, he said.

Check this website later today (Thursday) for more from the city council meeting Monday night, including:

• The Beachfest Society looking for council support, and city staff help, to reconfigure Community Park for more space for sandcastle building to facilitate the society’s desire to bid to host the 2016 world championships.

• A presentation from Broombusters Joanne Sales about the progress of her group and the need for money to tackle a growing gorse problem in the city.

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