Province to draw up plan to save Dominion Beach
Residents want immediate repairs
The provincial Department of Natural Resources is developing a long-term plan for Dominion Beach, that was battered once again by Sunday's windstorm, a department spokesman says.
The rain and wind storm on Sunday caused even more damage to the beleaguered beach, which took a big hit from a storm last December. The beach had just re-opened last summer after $100,000 in repairs from an earlier storm.
"The Department of Natural Resources is planning a new concept for Dominion Beach Park so it can remain open and be more sustainable in the future," spokesman Bruce Nunn said.
"So right now, we're gathering information — scientific information about sediment transfer and other beach processes — and also information from the community about their likes and how they'd like to see the park used."
Nunn said the department will have a plan by the new year, and they'll share that with the people of Dominion early in the spring.
But Joe Ellsworth, who speaks for a citizen's committee formed to consult with the province on the future of the once popular beach, said something needs to be done now because with winter on the way, one more big storm could mean the end of it.
"We're talking about different things. I said, 'Time is of the essence now. It's running out now,'" he said Monday. "If they're going do anything, it must be done immediately, whatever it is."
Kerry Willcox, who lives in Gardiner Mines, was on the beach Monday looking at the latest storm damage to the boardwalk and parking lot. He's hopeful the government will do something to save it.
"I mean, they haven't fixed the boardwalk from last year so maybe we need to get people rolling on it and see what we can do to get a new boardwalk or walkway — make it more enjoyable for everybody."
The beach, a provincial park about 13 km from Sydney, had re-opened on July 1, 2010, after being closed for five years because of sewage contamination. A $20 million sewage treatment plant was built, and the water is clean and safe.
At one time, Dominion Beach was the second most popular beach in the province, with tens of thousands of visitors every year.