Professional Geoscientist Peter Zuzek and Dr. Mary-Louise Byrne, Professor and Chair of the Geography and Environment Studies Department at Wilfrid Laurier University, have prepared an "Independent Review of the Sauble Beach Dune Retaining Wall".  Their credentials, recommendations, and assesment of the potential negative impacts of the project are published here, along with a link to the full report.

reviewofsaublewall"This independent review of the Sauble Beach dune retaining wall has highlighted numerous shortcomings of the proposed plan, potential negative impacts, and missing analysis."

Potential Negative Impacts
• The incremental and cumulative impacts of excavating the back of the dune could decrease the resilience of the beach and dune ecosystem and destroy habitat.
• The natural flood and erosion protection provided by the dune may be compromised.
• Removing dune grasses, shrubs, and mature trees at the back of the dune will reduce the trapping potential for wind-blown sand and may accelerate deposition of sand onto the road, which will negatively impact the beach and increase maintenance costs.
• The volume of sand at Sauble Beach is a finite resource and there are currently no natural sources transporting new sand to the embayment. Any purposeful removal of sand may have a permanent negative impact on beach width and dune health.

• Embrace integrated coastal zone management principles and manage Sauble Beach as an inter-related physical, ecological, and social system. Single issue management, such as public safety, is the opposite of integrated coastal management.
• Implement nature-based solutions to increase beach and dune resilience to coastal hazards and projected climate change impacts.
• Collaborate with the community and stakeholders on the development of sustainable long-term management strategies for Sauble Beach.
• Do not put Sauble Beach sand in the garbage.

The report authors have extensive experience with beach and dune management across the Great Lakes Region and have each observed the beach and dune environment at Sauble Beach for more than 50 years. Their credentials and experience are summarized below:

• Pete Zuzek, MES, CFM, P.Geo.: Pete received his Bachelor and Master of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo with a focus on coastal processes and geomorphology. He is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) and a Professional Geoscientist. Pete is currently the President of Zuzek Inc. and has 30-years of experience with consulting assignments in the Great Lakes Basin, across North America, and globally on assignments for the United Nations.
• Dr. Mary-Louise Byrne, P.Geo.: Dr Byrne received her Master and PhD in Geography from McMaster University, where her research focused on the formation and evolution of coastal sand dunes in Prince Edward Island and Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Dr Byrne has 30 years of experience focussed on Great Lakes beaches and dunes. She is currently a Professor and Chair of the Geography and Environment Studies Department at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she received the Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008. Dr Byrne also received the President’s Award for Outstanding Service from the Canadian Association of Geographers in 2011 and she received the Faculty Award for Service Excellence and Community Engagement in 2020. Dr Byrne has dedicated her career to advancing the scientific understanding of coastal sand dunes and working with communities to protect these fragile ecosystems.



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