The community group, “Restore the Port Hope West Beach” has a vision for Port Hope’s West Beach and are optimistic that now is the right time to restore the West Beach to its former glory. Following are the observances that the Restore the Port Hope West Beach group sees as benefiting a restoration:
New federal, provincial water pollution regulations and programs have been in place for a number of decades to prevent water pollution in the lake. Lots of progress made from 40 years ago.
Fish management of the lake was implemented by the government to ensure the lake and it’s species of the lake remain healthy and has had great success. The invasive species of Zebra mussels that could not be stopped but have actually benefitted the clarity of the lake water.
With the increase in value of inland waterfront properties over the years as well camping fees, gas prices, etc. many people have chosen to vacation locally.
Although the beach is smaller since the expansion of Eldorado Nuclear the new owners Cameco have made a long standing commitment to “reduce” their footprint on the waterfront and surrounding area. With the nuclear build boom over there should be no need for Cameco to expand further.
The PHAI is finally under way with funding and schedules to clean up the West Beach as part of their program. A long time coming, but the end is in sight.
The West Beach and the over 3100 feet of shoreline is completely owned by the town and not sharing parts of it with the old provincial Harbour Commission!
Today we know that a good lake front beach is extremely more valuable than ever thought of in the years gone by. It is a big plus for tourism that would be worth promoting and bringing revenue into the town.
What the Restore the Port Hope West Beach lobby group would like to see in addition to the above plans:
A groomed sand beach which is safe for swimming, extending the full length of the West Beach shoreline.
Cut grass parkland separated from the beach by the waterfront trail. The parkland would have large shade trees planted and picnic tables.
A building providing washrooms and change areas.
An open air shelter for large picnics and inclement weather changes.
These changes to the CMWP are not huge changes and we made a presentation of a new vision to the Parks and Recreation committee in September. It is with optimism and hope that they and the newly formed waterfront working group will accept the suggested changes and bring them forward to council for final approval.
Port Hope Ward 2 Councillor Greg Burns, who has the Parks and Recreation as his portfolio, when initially contacted felt a need to have another look at the West Beach and looks forward to a deeper look into the group’s new vision.