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Scientists recommend strengthening protection of PEI's coastline

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Dec5,2023

Scientists recommend strengthening protection of the coastline of the P.-É.

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Coastal erosion at Cape Cage.

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Scientists from the University of Prince Edward Island submitted a series of recommendations to the government on Tuesday regarding shoreline protection policies.

The team of a dozen people, led by Aitazaz Farooque, Ph.D., submitted two documents. The first constitutes an inventory of the coastline based on existing data, which was scattered everywhere, according to Mr. Farooque.

This report provides trends, particularly regarding erosion, and takes stock of the strategies implemented by municipalities and property owners to protect themselves. It also evaluates certain measures adopted in other countries.

The second document recommends nothing more and nothing less to overhaul the entire management policy for the Prince Edward Island coast, by subdividing the coastline into 17 zones, which will have to be the subject of specific management plans.

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A rock wall under construction on Point Deroche Beach, P.E.I., is sparking discussions about what is acceptable to prevent shoreline erosion.

Uncontrolled coastal development is also in the sights of specialists. In recent months, various projects have caused controversy, but none as much as the vacation home being built at Point DesRoches, behind massive riprap aimed at preventing erosion.

Nothing was done wrong because we followed the policies to the letter. The question that came up was: are the policies right, says Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, Steven Myers. /p>LoadingStrikes in schools: Quebec submits new offers to teachers

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This construction, and the moratorium subsequently put in place to prohibit any development in the areas tampons, were the spark that led to the writing of the two reports.

As long as development continues in high-risk areas, the island's coastal vulnerability will continue to increase, potentially worsening coastal degradation, scientists warn. quo is not possible.

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Part of the team of scientists at the University of PEI's Center for Climate Change and Adaptation Research who drafted the recommendations for the government regarding coastal protection.

The authors of the report are alarmed by the failing regulations, which allow exceptions to the rules concerning the vegetation of buffer zones, which should resemble a thick row of trees or shrubs, tall grass if the rules were followed.

In reality, the buffer zones adjacent to most residential coastal properties do not look like this because there are has a strong desire to get a clear view of the coast, they say.

Questioned on this point, Steven Myers praises the increase in fines, decided last year, which go from 3,000 to 50,000 dollars for any disturbance of these ecologically sensitive areas, and essential, according to Aitazaz Farooque, for our coast to hold good.

The report also recommends creating a program to revegetate buffer zones, to enlarge these buffer zones to better protect rivers and marshes, as well as setting up a program to purchase land along the shore in order to protect them.

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Minister Steven Myers (right) promises to implement all coastal protection recommendations made by a team of scientists from the Climate Change Research Center led by Aitazaz Farooque, Ph.D. (left).

A cottage relocation plan should also be created to help owners most at risk. A cap on financial assistance received in the event of repeated disasters is also mentioned.

Sixteen recommendations are issued and will all be implemented, according to Steven Myers. It will be a big change for the islanders, warns the minister, who expects three years of work.

The moratorium on developments in the buffer zones will remain in force until the management plans for the 17 regional zones are in place. Before this moratorium, more than 7 km of coastline were ripraped each year.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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