The Vancouver Park Board has presented two options for the "ecological restoration" of Jericho Beach: (A) concrete seawall or (B) concrete seawall. That's the bad news. The good news is that the public consultation is open until April 27 and they want to hear from you.
The two concepts presented are essentially the same from the high tide mark down and only differ in terms of the upland area development which was never included in the original scope or budget of the project. Consequently, the budget is now a little short for a goal of properly restoring the natural shoreline of Jericho Beach.
The City of Vancouver has a unique and important opportunity to live up to their environmental policy statements to restore natural shoreline. Jericho Beach has been the place where nature, people and the sea have come together for thousands of years. For the last seven decades there has been a concrete wall between the middle shore of Jericho Beach, nature and people. Complete removal of the wharf, leaving no concrete seawall, and restoring the beach as, once again, a place for nature and people is a logical ecological step toward making Vancouver a greener city.
The concepts call for large boulders, known to us shore birds as "sea mines" to be placed around the intertidal zone. Insidiously hiding just under the sea surface at lower tide levels, these monsters of the shallows covered with barnacles, seaweed and slippery muck can rip the bottom out of your hull as sure as they can break a leg if you hit one.
The final restoration plan needs to recognize that this area is immediately adjacent to Vancouver's largest public small boat ocean access area and should ultimately be able to facilitate the future growth of Vancouver citizens who would like to recreate on the city's largest playground. The Board of Parks and Recreation has an important opportunity to live up to some of the policy objectives stated in the Vancouver Sport Strategy they adopted in 2008.
The concepts proposed on April 12, 2011 were supposed to be a revision of the original Concept 1C approved by the Park Board in July, 2008.
The Park Board is asking for your input "to create an environmentally sensitive, sustainable and functional solution." To that end we have developed the following wording and encourage all users of the Jericho Sailing Centre and other natural beach lovers to participate by completing the "additional Comments" section of the Jericho Park: Marginal Wharf Site Restoration Comment Form:
"I would like to see the ecological restoration of Jericho Beach to it's natural state therefore I prefer
Concept 1C approved by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation in July 2008. I favour this
concept to the others proposed because:
It is consistent with the overall ecological restoration of Jericho Park. Meets a key Vancouver City
environmental objective to restore natural shore line. Provides the opportunity for safe ocean access.
It includes No Seawall. Would not require costly ongoing maintenance".