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Kinsmen restoration project succeeds despite high watersPosted: August 7, 2012

As many beach-goers have noticed, the exceptionally high waters this spring and summer have led to abnormally soggy conditions at Invermere’s Kinsmen Beach.

On the east side of the beach, high waters swept away many of the native plants added to the shoreline as part of the Kinsmen Beach Restoration Project.

The project, a joint effort of the District of Invermere and the Lake Windermere Ambassadors, aimed to prevent further erosion of the beach while adding natural elements back to the shoreline to improve fish and wildlife habitat.

“The climate conditions this year were unfortunate,” says Lake Windermere Ambassadors Program Coordinator Kirsten Harma. “Given a few years to grow, the plants could have developed a strong root system. Since plant roots help stabilize shoreline soil, they would have eventually helped buffer the impact caused by high water during years like this one.”

Despite the plant losses, many consider the restoration project a net gain to Kinsmen Beach.

Mayor Gerry Taft commented: “by partnering with the Lake Windermere Ambassadors on foreshore improvements at Kinsmen Beach, the District of Invermere was able to both decrease erosion and increase people’s access and enjoyment of a large portion of the beach, as well as help to protect the environment.  Considering the high water this year, had the foreshore work not been completed, significant damage, erosion and potential tree loss would likely have occurred.”

Peter Holmes, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations agrees: “Rocks placed near the steeply eroded bank and around the cottonwoods helped deflect some of the energy of the waves and kept it from eroding the shoreline. The large cottonwoods down there would likely have become further compromised by the high water this year without the new protections in place.”

The beach may look a little messy now, but will be improved shortly.  The District of Invermere will be looking at options to fix up some areas of the project that were compromised by waves and high water this year.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact [email protected] or 341-6898.

About the Lake Windermere Ambassadors:

The Lake Windermere Ambassadors are a Society representing a cross-section of community stakeholders, including local businesses, governments, seasonal and year-round homeowners, youth and non-government organizations, who share the vision of a healthy Lake Windermere with balanced management that supports recreational and traditional uses, fish and wildlife values, and economic prosperity in the region. Funding for the restoration project has been provided by the Canadian Wildlife Foundation, Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, District of Invermere, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Lake Windermere Ambassadors

 

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