Poor job on beach back in 2008

It may be opportune to look back at what happened during the Feast of Saturnalia at the end of December in 2006

With Parksvillian Pagan bellies full, it may be opportune to look back at what happened during the Feast of Saturnalia at the end of December in 2006.

Ten years ago, we had heavy Nor’westerly winds roaring down the Strait of Georgia right into Parksville Community Park. They caused significant foreshore erosion in the area where a paved walkway had been completed just a few weeks before.

I was reminded of that event when the aforementioned walkway was pictured in the Nov. 22 edition of The NEWS, as the first of your series of Amazing Places designated by the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region. It showed a couple on the walkway near the fence atop the beach berm. It immediately struck me that if the photographer ventured on the other side of that fence the picture would not be so pretty, but the story behind what is a really ugly and dangerous stretch of beach there would surely rank as “amazing.”

The devastating erosion in 2006 was followed by several months of consultations, planning and public meetings at city hall, before a solution was reached to construct a berm that would cost taxpayers about $500,000. It was agreed to construct rock groynes and lay large pebble and cobble stones between them; similar to pictures of Ross Bay on southern Vancouver Island, that the costly consultants showed to powers-that-be and the public. The ‘amazing’ part came in May 2008, when city hall constructed a berm that looked nothing like what had been agreed upon. Instead it was mainly pit-run with a few rocks thrown in, along with a fancy-schmancy fence.

Lo and behold, tides still came in twice a day, taking most of the pit-run out to sea with them when they receded and for a time the berm was “groomed” by the city. This meant adding more dirt to the rapidly depleted berm; a good example of throwing good municipal money after bad.

It was really a Mickey Mouse job that was done in 2008.

Happy New Year to all at The NEWS and to all your readers.

Bernie Smith

Parksville