Armour stone hopes of combating erosion

By Chris Lewis | Aug. 20, 2020

Crews are at work trying to bolster a short stretch of coastline on the border between Chamberlains and Manuels from the eroding power of the sea.

The undertaking was registered with the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment on July 24. The site is near Laurel Road, just east of the Manuels River discharge.

Councillor Rex Hillier, chairman of the town’s Infrastructure and Public Works committee, said the work will involve placing armour stone as a bulwark against high waves along a 140-metre stretch of shoreline.

Erosion in the area, he said, has actually started to threaten the structural integrity of some residential properties. It was a property owner who initially brought the concern forward and asked to see some work done to keep his home and land intact in the face of erosion.

“That whole section of shoreline from Worsley Park to, I’d say around Chamberlains Pond, is all subject to erosion,” said Hillier. “There’s a bank along there, and all the houses between those two areas are being impacted by it. One of the property owners has applied to the town to put armour stone in front of their property.”
That separate application is still making its way through the proper channels, with an undertaking registered with the province on July 22. As it stands, the general public has until August 28 to make their concerns heard, if there are any. Environment Minister Derek Bragg is scheduled to tender his decision on the matter by September 5.

Hillier said the town is not in a position to make a final decision on the work. Anything that involves construction that affects a water body usually requires approval by the provincial Department of Environment and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Hillier acknowledged that erosion is a common issue faced by people in that area, and spoke of a time before the homes there were built when there was a scenic walking trail passing along the top of the banks. He said there has been enough erosion over the years that this trail no longer exists, and erosion has begun to encroach on private property.

“Everybody wants to live close to the ocean, and these are some of the issues that people with those properties are eventually going to find themselves dealing with,” said the councillor. “It’s something to keep in mind, for sure.”

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