Significant damage has been caused to the fever of the sands by the passage of vehicles.
July 25, 2020
Updated on July 26, 2020 0h24
Tourism: the beaches women in danger
Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun
GASPÉ The gaspé coast hosts an impressive number of tourists this summer, and its famous beaches are stormed by visitors. Campers, nomads, in tents or in vehicles, choose them for their stay, putting these fragile environments in danger. But concretely, what is it that leads to the disappearance of a beach, and most importantly, how to preserve these places of paradise?
“What we must understand is that the coastal vegetation is the best protection against the erosion that exists,” lance office of the researcher in the field of dynamic and integrated management of the coastal zones of the University of Quebec At Rimouski (UQAR), Sandrine Papageorges. “This type of vegetation is extremely fragile and can be destroyed by a single passage of vehicle”, adds the biologist Danièle Raby.
The plant of which they speak, what are the lyme sands and marram grass ligule short. These two species form the “fever of the beaches”, but more importantly, to form a buffer space in the face of erosion, a real “ecological service”. “These plants do not cost anything to maintain and preserve our beaches. All one has to do is not destroy them,” says dr. Papageorges. The two plants with long, slender leaves that store a significant amount of sediment blown by the wind, which will then form a true “sand bank”. These reserves are used during days of storms and strong winds of the fall and winter. Under the soil, these plants develop a network of rhizomes and roots is very important that helps stabilize the sand bank.
Recent studies claim that nearly half of all coastal ecosystems are sandy at risk of extinction at the global scale over the next decades, notably due to climate change, reports Ms. Papageorges. “This is why it is crucial to take actions which allow us to maintain our beaches and to avoid damage”, adds the one that is currently working on a restoration project coast of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in partnership with the organization and Attention Frag’Islands.
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In the Gaspé, many interventions have been necessary to restore beaches that were going to disappear. For example, the city of Percé has had to move more than 118 000 tons of gravel a few years ago to redevelop its beach, heavily eroded by storms. Same thing for the beach of Cap-des-Rosiers, the Forillon national park, where the federal government has had to pay $ 7 million in 2015 to “restore the natural dynamics of the coastline, which had been destroyed by the erosion that was then accentuated by the presence of rock rip rap along the shore.
What to do in order not to affect
The beaches of the Gaspé peninsula are particularly put to the test this year. In recent weeks, the attendance by the visitor, exploded and hundreds of campers are installed on the beaches of the peninsula, often with their vehicles.
As she lives near the beach, Danièle Raby was able to observe, almost directly, the damage to the vegetation, in particular by vehicles travelling on the beach. “This is not ill will, it is more of ignorance”, she believes.
The two experts invite visitors to participate in the preservation of the beaches with a few small, simple gestures. First, leave the vehicles on the road and not on the beach, ” said Ms. Raby. Secondly, one is careful where one puts the feet, in order not to damage the vegetation. Finally, it is necessary to prevent burning the wood failed in the high ranges. “The wood that fails on the top of the beaches also retains the sand and helps to curb the erosion. “says Ms. Papageorges.
Waiting to see the elected officials and the departments to ask concrete actions for the preservation of the beaches, for example, by facilitating better circulation of motorized vehicles and by putting in place pedestrian access signposted, the two experts have only one message to visitors: please help us to preserve our beaches, one step at a time.
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