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P.E.I. commits to recommendations on coastal protection

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A controversial development on Prince Edward Island’s north shore has led to more than a dozen recommendations for the provincial government on how to protect the island’s vulnerable coastline.

The green island, though a little bit whiter this time of year, is a land defined by its coastline, but as a new report shows that shore isn’t safe.

It began with a development on Point Deroche. The owner put stone reinforcement all the way down to the water line to protect the land they were building on. They say the work was entirely within the footprint of previous protection measures and they were allowed to continue by government.

However, that didn’t stop the community from putting up fierce opposition against the construction.

The heated public discussion around it brought coastal protection to the front of mind for many islanders. P.E.I. has 3,000 km of coast, about 237 km of which is already armoured, using physical barriers to stop erosion.

A report into the issue, the P.E.I. State of the Coast Report and Recommendations, was released this week by the University of Prince Edward Island’s School of Climate Change and Adaptation.

Some of the 16 policy recommendations included:

  •  Developing a Home and Cottage Relocation program.
  •  Putting a cap on financial disaster assistance for repeated property damage.
  •  Expanding the coastal buffer zone.
  •  Developing a policy to guarantee public beach access.

It says that without a clear plan for how and where near-shore development will be allowed, it’ll be impossible to plan for the impacts of coastal hazards and to safeguard the island’s beaches for future generations.

The province has committed to implementing the recommendations.

For more Prince Edward Island news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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