8 pages (2.5 MB)
|Green Ribbon Champion Registration Form|
|Jul 28, 2015: A brief interview with Karen Alexander, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation about the Green Ribbon Champion Program in Ontario, Canada.|
This Stewardship Guide is intended for all who have an interest and a passion for the beaches and bays, dunes and wetlands, bedrock and river mouths. It is focused on the area between Tobermory and Port Severn along southern Georgian Bay. >>> more
|Dune Planting Guide 2010
South Georgian Bay Stewardship Guide
Lake Huron Shoreline Stewardship Guide (Self-Assessment workbook)
Dune Conservation means Healthy Beaches
Protecting Our Beaches
Beach Grooming - Position Statement 2011
|Cobble beaches factsheet
|Bluff Stewardship Guide
Importance of Coastal Vegetation (factsheet)
Lake Huron Coastal Bluff Plants Guide
|Register for Green Ribbon Champion!|
|Pilot Project for Tiny Township
Program Guide 2014
Our Great Lakes beaches are special places, where people enjoy a unique ecosystem created over thousands of years through the action of wind and waves. These coastal dunes, wetlands and bluffs are important, yet vulnerable, features forming the character of our shores.
While it is important that people have the opportunity to experience and enjoy the coastal environment, it is equally important that the quality of our coastal ecosystems are not compromised because of overuse, or due to a lack of proper stewardship.
These costs can include:
Care for our coastal corridor, (the ribbon of sand, vegetation and nearshore waters), will help toward water quality improvement, protection of biodiversity and the maintenance of the natural processes and functions that contribute to a high quality coastal environment.
Green Ribbon Champion is a shoreline stewardship and education program designed to provide advice, resources and support to shoreline residents in Georgian Bay.
Green Ribbon Champion begins by registering online. Once registered, the Centre will visit your shoreline property and evaluate the health of the beach and dunes between the cottage lot and the water using standardized protocols.
The evaluation results are summarized and provided to the shoreline resident as a Beach Health Report. The report will describe current conditions and provide recommendations on how improvements could be made to the property. Some reports may indicate no improvements are necessary, in which case the property is eligible for a Green Ribbon Champion award. Other sites may require extensive restoration beyond the capacity of this project. In this situation, the Centre will seek to provide advice for the resident but will be unable, within the capacity of this project, to help restore severely degraded shoreline areas.
Moderately degraded shorelines can see great improvements to beach-dune health by installing sand fencing and planting dune grasses. If these actions are appropriate for the site, the Beach Health Report will pre-approve the resident for free beach restoration materials. (Beach grasses may require some investment by the participant).
Beach restorations take place in the fall and will be implemented by the resident with support from the Coastal Centre. The Green Ribbon Champion program will repeat annually from 2014 to 2016. The program has limited resources and will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Register early to avoid disappointment.
It is highly recommended for residents to work with neighbours to restore larger stretches of shore. Neighbours who choose to work together will be considered one site and will receive one Beach Health Report.
Coastal Centre staff will be providing support and resources to participants throughout the summer and fall seasons.
Beach-dune shorelines are the most diverse ecosystem in the Great Lakes Basin. They are also the most vulnerable to human pressures. This video introduces the topic of dune conservation and outlines some of the ways beach-dune ecosystems can be protected and restored.
There is a right and wrong way to design beach access through freshwater dunes. This video describes important considerations for creating and maintaining good beach access, including shape, size and orientation.
Sand fencing is commonly used to manage blowing sand on beaches along freshwater shorelines in the Great Lakes. Proper positioning and installation can make a big difference in how effective sand fencing is. This video outlines the principles of using sand fencing.
Marram Grass is the pioneer plant on a beach. It is a tough plant that is able to endure the harsh conditions of a freshwater shoreline. It is commonly used to restore dunes because of its ability to capture blowing sand and stabilize a dune. This video describes how to properly harvest and plant Marram Grass.
Invasive species are a constant threat to beach-dune ecosystems. Shoreline residents can do well to learn how to ID aggressive invasive species in their early stages so that the plant can be quickly removed before it establishes and takes over a beach area. This video introduces the topic of invasive plants on beaches.
Residents living away from the shoreline can still participate in the program by either working with their neighbours who do live on the shoreline, or by registering an access path that they would like to work on. If a non-beach front resident selects an access path, they must make sure both residents on either side of the path support the project by obtaining written permission.
Beach Health reports are meant to provide simple and effective actions for landowners to improve beach-dune health. Implementing recommendations will take time and effort during the summer and fall seasons.
This commitment to improve coastal health deserves recognition. Green Ribbon Champion awards are provided to all residents who choose to implement recommendations, or where beach health is already preserved and protected.
Green Ribbon Champion is a symbol of environmental excellence, established to acknowledge, promote and protect the environment of privately managed rural beaches along Lake Huron and south Georgian Bay.
Privacy policies and data use policies will be provided to all participants. These policies state:
“the intent of the shoreline survey is to engage you in efforts to protect your beach. The survey data will not be used for any regulatory purposes. Individual beach-front report cards will not be shared with anyone other than the registered applicant for that site. The purpose of collecting data is to provide you with some simple actions you can take on the property to help protect the health of the beach and Georgian Bay. Your property report is intended to provide recommendations only. Landowners, and /or property stewards make a choice to implement recommendations; they are not required.”
Beach-dune ecosystems have evolved as a finely-tuned ecosystem over thousands of years. The majority of time that dunes have existed, the shoreline was scarcely populated by people. Therefore, dunes are not accustomed to the impacts we inflict on them. When they are degraded due to such impacts, the long history of their development is lost and may not be replaced in our lifetime, or even our grandchildren’s lifetime.
Many impacts to beach-dune ecosystems happen because of activities or alterations that interfere with natural beach processes that can lead to sand erosion, sand drifting and beach degradation. The Green Ribbon Champion program will provide support and educational resources so residents in Tiny Township can learn about ways to improve the health of their shoreline.
The program also provides support and materials so residents can restore moderately degraded beach-dune ecosystems in Tiny Township. Healthy dunes equal healthy beaches.
The benefits of a healthy beach-dune ecosystem are numerous and include:
Green Ribbon Champion will repeat annually from 2014 to 2016.
|Green Ribbon Champion
Green Ribbon Champion is a newly designed program and is subject to change as the program progresses. Changes may be made to improve the success of the program. Feedback from participants will assist the development of this program.
This project was undertaken with the financial support of: