Mother Nature intervenes in experiment in strengthening Lockeport's dunes

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Amy Woolvett
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A woman walks past lobster traps during the summer when the dune protection project began.

LOCKEPORT - Crescent Beach was littered with more than its usual debris after a Feb. 8 storm hit the area.

Hundreds of lobster traps were strewn across the sand after becoming dislodged from the dunes they were supposed to be supporting.

In the summer of 2014, an experiment was made to use old lobster pots to strengthen fragile beach dunes.

Peter Swim and Bill Atwood laid out 20 discarded traps and soon the roots of beach grass began to grow through the traps, securing them. It appeared the experiment was reinforcing the dunes.

The following summer, the town got on board and funded the project to lay out the rest of the traps in a week-long, labour intensive project.

But this past storm was the first real test the project saw since it began and the results aren’t what they were hoping for.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Lockeport Mayor Darian Huskilson.  “It goes to show you can’t fight Mother Nature.”

He said the project had a lot of good thoughts behind it, helping to build up the dunes using recycled materials.

The project of reinforcing the dunes is an important one for the seaside town.

“It’s the only thing protecting the road from the ocean,” said Huskilson.

He said the town will decide soon what course of action to take next.

He said the man-made dune has a long history including cars, Christmas trees and even dead horses.

While the sand trap project may at first glance seem to be a failure, Huskilson said they would look a bit closer to make sure.

They plan to walk the beach and see if the traps that were forced loose were those installed last in the summer of 2015.

He had some hope that the older traps may have had an opportunity to properly bind with the dune and stay strong.

“Maybe the project is not dead,” he said.

Other seaside communities have been watching closely if the $2,500 fix would in fact work.

Geographic location: LOCKEPORT

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