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Message from Honourable Kathryn McGarry


June 19, 2017

Mr. Brian MacEachern

President

Bruce Beach Cottagers Association

ianbrianmaceachern@gmail.com

Dear Mr. MacEachern:

Thank you for your email regarding the beaches along Lake Huron in the Township of Huron-Kinloss.

Beach-dune ecology is one of the most sensitive habitat types on the Lake Huron shoreline. These areas contribute to the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem by providing habitat for numerous species of plants and animals, protecting the shorelines during storms, and providing economic and recreational opportunities.

As a result of shoreline development and recreational activities, the Great Lakes dunes have undergone significant declines. Water levels on Lake Huron are constantly changing and evolving in response to the influence of natural forces, such as wind and waves. These fluctuating water levels impact the size of available beach area for recreational users. While I recognize your concerns about recreational beach access, vegetation is critical to protect shorelines and maintain the stability of these ecosystems.

I note that your association has concerns with the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between my ministry and the township for the management of these beaches. This MOA was renewed for a period of five years in the fall of 2015. The purpose of the MOA is to ensure protection of the ecological integrity of the beaches and sand dunes along this shoreline.

My ministry remains committed to this MOA. We are supportive of the township's efforts in managing and controlling activities on these beaches to balance recreational use and access while protecting these sensitive systems. I encourage your association to continue working with the township to find a solution to your concerns.

If you have any further questions, please contact Tracy Allison, Resources Management Supervisor, Midhurst District, at (519) 371-6751 or tracy.allison@ontario.ca.

Thank you again for writing.

Best,

Kathryn McGarry

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry


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