The Selinger government said today it will launch a pilot project at Victoria Beach this summer to find out what’s the best way to protect the community’s sand beaches from erosion.
Selkirk MLA Greg Dewar, speaking on behalf of Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick, said the province will spend $100,000 to build up the beaches, which were washed away in a severe cyclone-like storm last October. On average, about eight metres of land was washed away by gigantic waves on Lake Winnipeg.
In a statement, Dewar said the province wants to study aggradation where sand is deposited back on the beach. This is the first time aggradation has been studied on Lake Winnipeg.
The province and municipality will hire consultants to look at what aggradation projects should be tested. The municipality will also create an advisory committee to hold public consultations on future shoreline erosion projects.
Two shoreline erosion control projects, called revetments, were built over the winter at Victoria Beach.
Critics of the revetments, sloping rock barriers, say they take up what was once beach and do not allow the beaches to recover naturally.
There are fears erosion of the beaches will continue this year because of the high amount of water flowing into Lake Winnipeg due to the spring flood. Provincial forecasters say the lake will be at about 716 feet above sea level in June, a foot above the maximum it’s controlled by Manitoba Hydro.