SUMMERSIDE – Summerside’s beachfront is getting a facelift.
Crews are out replacing beach sand along the popular waterfront spot to bring it back to its original condition.
“We’re in the midst of our sand remediation project which means we’re putting close to 1,600 tons of sand on our beachfront,” said J P Desrosiers, director of the community services department. This is a manmade beach and requires some replenishment every so often. I realized last year that we hadn’t done a sand remediation for a number of years and it was certainly time. We haven’t done a sand remediation since 2007.”
The work will prevent seaweed from getting hung up on the rock bed as the tide comes and goes and should alleviate the odours being experienced recently.
Desrosiers said the work will help mitigate the costs the city incurs on seaweed removal.
“We’re going to be doing the entire beach from the Shipyard Market all the way down to the slip,” he said.
The project will cost $27,000.
The sand being used is Island beach sand from a sandpit in the Lennox Island area.
Desrosiers said crews would work through the low tide on Monday and following Tuesday’s low tide, the project should be completed.
Erosion has been a problem, but Desrosiers said people have to realize that it is a manmade beach, not a natural beach.
He said prior to the development of the beach, the seawall came right up against Water Street, with a small area of low-lying seabed in between.
“We knew going in that we would always have to replenish the sand,” he said. “Our plan is to do a major dump this year and then budget every year for a little bit of additives so we can stay ahead of that.”
Desrosiers said the odour issue experienced this summer was not solely caused by the state of the beach.
“The odour issues were caused by the fact that we had a hurricane in July which stirred up the seabed, and from that stirring up of the seabed, and we had prevailing southwest winds all summer long blowing a lot of seaweed in,” he said. “So far this year we’ve taken over 400 loads of seaweed.”
Desrosiers said there are discussions of using marram grass along the shore. He said it’s used as an anchor for sand and creates dunes, which holds the sand on the beach and creates a natural dune look.
He said that project could get underway next summer.