News Now HURON COUNTY – Work to protect sand dunes along the Lake Huron shoreline has earned the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation an award of excellence from the Minister of the Environment recently.
The Goderich-based non-profit organization was among six groups across the province to be recognized by Minister Jim Bradley for outstanding achievement, leadership and innovation in environmental protection.
“The six of us who were honoured seemed to have caught the eye of the Minister as organizations that are doing good, innovative work that is making a difference,” said Geoff Peach, the coastal resources manager at the centre.
The centre was recognized for its work to protect dunes, which provide shore protection and habitat to rare plants and animals to create high quality recreational beaches and reduce the risk of E. coli bacteria exposure.
“I think the award brings some positive attention to the centre. The fact that the award is handed out to just six recipients province-wide each year, I think will give us a higher profile and some earned credibility when we are working with levels of government and other organizations in developing programs and projects,” Peach said.
Its Dune Planting Guide, created in partnership with the University of Guelph’s school of landscape architecture and environmental planning, gives guidance for residential and municipal planting to help restore dunes.
In 2010, the centre helped plant 500 metres of dune grasses, and managed a program to monitor 16 hectares (40 acres) of sand dunes.
Dune vegetation that helps to anchor the dunes can be damaged easily. Crossing over the dunes with care, using designated pathways to the beach, can help. Getting involved in a dune restoration program with the centre can benefit where dune damage is significant.
Keeping the lakeshore as natural as possible has a wide range of benefits ecologically, economically and aesthetically.
For more information on dune conservation, or to get a copy of the Dune Planting Guide, contact the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation by phoning (519) 955-6269 or visit online.
The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation was founded in 1998 with the goals of protecting and restoring Lake Huron’s coastal environment and promoting a healthy coastal ecosystem.