17.4 C
Niagara Falls
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Letter to the editor: Shoreline erosion is a natural and fascinating phenomenon

Dear editor:

I am dismayed by some of the articles in your last issue, (“Falling into the Lake,” Aug. 29), and the values I interpret them to present. Namely, that erosion is a bad thing.

Please note that the idea that erosion of the shoreline is damage, or that it is destructive, is an opinion, not a fact, and I do not share that opinion. I am in full support of Parks Canada’s policy of laissez faire with respect to the shore erosion west of Old Town.

Erosion is a natural process and a fascinating and dynamic one. The shore and the beach are alive and the changes can be a delight to see.

I treasure the new experience every time I walk at Niagara Shores Park. I enjoy the swallows and eagles, the challenge of scrambling over the snags of the fallen trees, and the delicate tracery of roots dangling above the beach.

There may have been some justification for the work done on the shoreline which runs along the golf course and Fort Mississauga, but I mourn the loss of that wild beach and its intricate fractal beauty, a beach I had known and loved for nearly 60 years, in winter and summer.

It is now a sterile, industrial environment. The life of the beach has been flatlined.

I feel that we ought to try not to interfere with, or battle against, natural processes but adapt as necessary with as light a touch as possible.

Unintended consequences are a given and it may be that the rapid rate of erosion of the shoreline is an unintended consequence of human interference in the ecosystem such as dredging or control of the flow into the St. Lawrence.

However, I don’t see the erosion of the shoreline as “devastation” or “loss” but as ongoing transformation of the landscape which both preserves — nesting habitat for bank swallows, the sand beach — and evolves.

The changes have become more rapid in recent years as we have had some extreme weather but I would be so very sorry to see them halted and the shore frozen in time and confined in space.

That would destroy its dynamism and its life.

Christine Earl



Editor’s note: The Lake Report did not intend to present the message that erosion is all bad. Our documentary says erosion is a natural process. The fact is, if left to erode, there eventually won’t be a park left to enjoy.

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