Town to clean up Providence Bay beach thanks to 25-year permit

    Volunteers work on cleaning up the Providence Bay beach as part of community’s annual event. photos by Robin Burridge

    Beach maintenance scheduled for next week

    PROVIDENCE BAY—The municipality of Central Manitoulin will be cleaning up Providence Bay beach next week, removing overgrown vegetation to help keep the beach clean and accessible for the public to enjoy. The work being completed is thanks to a 25-year permit the municipality received last October from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), which allows routine maintenance of the beach as needed.

    “We will be completing some maintenance work starting on Tuesday, May 23 and continuing over several days,” explained Central Manitoulin Economic Development Officer Nancy Kinoshameg. “We will be removing shrubs and their root systems at the edge of the water, along the east side of the Mindemoya River, which will span the entire length of the boardwalk. We will also be removing some vegetation in that area that is overgrown.”

    Ms. Kinoshameg said that the work will help maintain the beach for both Islanders and visitors to enjoy.

    “The area being worked on will be flagged and staked,” added Ms. Kinoshameg. “The boardwalk will still be accessible, but we are asking that the public stay out of the area that is being worked on.”

    In October 2016, the municipality received a 25-year permit from the MNRF to conduct work on the beach and boardwalk, Ms. Kinoshameg explained. “Rather than go back every year to the MNRF to request permission to do work on the beach or apply for permits for work, we put together an application for an extended period of time,” she said. “It covers us to do some removal of invasive species or non-native vegetation, as well as regular beach clean up such as overgrown vegetation. It will allow us to ensure the beach is clean so the public can enjoy the beach, but also it will allow us to protect species at risk like Pitcher’s thistle.”

    After receiving the permit in October, Ms. Kinoshameg did a test run, working on the beach to ensure the town’s equipment could handle the work.

    “We were successful in utilizing town equipment to do the work, so now we will be going ahead and starting to remove some of the overgrown vegetation next week,” said Ms. Kinoshameg. “Next year, we will continue to do the work as needed. The permit also allows projects like the annual volunteer beach clean up, which occurred last weekend. Previously, we had to get permission or sometimes permits from the MNRF for the clean up because the beach dunes are a protected habitat. Now, under the permit, the clean up activities are covered.”

    As for phragmites, Ms. Kinoshameg said that the town is continuing to monitor the invasive reed on the beach and working with Manitoulin Phragmities Project Coordinator Judith Jones on its eradication from the beach.