8. BEACH CREATION
Beach creation consists of the placement of granular material on the shore and in the water. Natural sand beaches and swimming areas are uncommon along much of the Rideau Canal or Trent–Severn Waterway. As a result some property owners have created upland beaches and swimming areas to enhance the recreational use of the waterfront.The negative effects of placing sand for beaches or swimming areas can include:
- Encroachment onto the bed of the Canal and Waterway;
- Disturbance/destruction of cultural resources;
- Alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat;
- Destruction of habitat for benthic organisms;
- Removal of native waterfront and aquatic vegetation;
- Transport of sand or aggregate materials to other sensitive aquatic habitats by water currents or wind, waves, or ice action;
- Transport of sand in front of neighbouring properties.
Upland beaches are usually less environmentally disruptive than the installation of in-water beaches. In occasional instances (and providing the beach is seldom used in spring & early summer), in-water beach creation and swimming areas can improve fish spawning sites if the material is suitable for fish spawning activity and is placed in an area where spawning habitat is marginal. Experience has shown, however, that in areas where a natural beach does not exist, in-water beach building efforts are usually unsuccessful or require continual maintenance that can be costly to the environment and expensive. For this reason Parks Canada generally discourages applications for beach creation below the high water mark.
- Beaches will be allowed above the high water mark provided the aggregate material is stabilized and contained to prevent entry into the water.
- Aggregate may not be placed over areas of larger material such as natural rock rubble, or within wetland areas.
- Beaches and swimming areas created below the high water mark may be permitted if it can be demonstrated that fish spawning sites will not be affected and there will be a net gain of fish habitat.
- The maximum sized area approved for in-water beaches is 4.6 m (15 ft.) width by 15 m (50 ft.) distance out into the lake or river, provided the 25% rule is respected.
- The material placed on the lakebed shall be either pea gravel or clean or washed pit run material, 60% sand, and 30-40% gravel. The material placed on the bed will not be placed over larger-sized materials, including rock or stone.
- The work must not result in the removal of rock, stone, logs or stumps.