Save Ipperwash Beach group attends council
Dr. Laurence Gibbs, speaking for the Save Ipperwash Beach (SIB) group, attended council on August 11th to discuss the Ipperwash residents views and requests for the beach area. He said it is their intension to keep motorized vehicles off Centre Ipperwash Beach permanently.
“Save Ipperwash Beach believes that motorized vehicles must be kept off the beach permanently to ensure the safety of the public, the children and the residents who enjoy the beach and to protect the beach’s fragile environment. We wish to express our sincere appreciation for your efforts that led to the agreement to keep the beach free of motorized vehicles for 2015.”
He said to build on these efforts, they were requesting from the Municipality of Lambton Shores that they strengthen the posts and ropes to be more permanent and effective deterrents to motorized vehicles. “The posts must be planted more deeply. This summer, at least two were washed free by wave action. Heavier-gauge ropes are also needed so that they cannot be easily cut.”
We want to retain access for emergency vehicles. This is important to for the safety of the residents and the public who use the beach. Pass a by-law that prohibits motorized vehicles from going onto the beach and other environmentally sensitive lands.
Protecting the environment of the beach, the dunes and the surrounding environmentally sensitive areas,” he said. Gibbs said SIB believes that keeping motorized vehicles off the beach permanently is a “critical step toward protecting the sensitive dune environment and plants and wildlife it supports, but additional actions are also needed.” To that end they are requesting the Municipality of Lambton Shores Post signs to encourage respect of the beach and dunes. The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation sells signs that state “Sand Dunes are Sensitive Areas” and ask people to “take special care not to disturb the dunes”. To install sanitary sewers throughout the area, including on Kettle and Stony Point reserve lands, to prevent the threat of septic leakage. To update and implement the December 2013 “Invasive Phragmites Management Plan” for Ipperwash (prepared by Janice M. Gilbert, PhD and Nancy Wilder) “so that we can eradicate this threat to the beach’s ecosystem.” Gibbs said that SIB believes these public lands are an important part of our community and should be under local control. There are immediate issues related to the toilets and garbage receptacles on some of these lands. With local control, we can develop and implement appropriate short-term and long-term plans to maintain and improve these areas. In support of this, they are requesting that the municipality enter into a long-term arrangement with MNRF to lease the MNR lands to ensure that a thorough environmental assessment is done prior to the implementation of any development proposals or planning decisions related to these lands and to build bridges with Kettle and Stony Point First Nations and to Provide the means for all stakeholders to communicate, to share perspectives and to re-establish respect and trust and to recognize the residents of the Centre Ipperwash community as key stakeholders in Ipperwash.