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Elbow Harbour Area Gets Shoreline Fix (Leader Post)

Friday, August 26, 2011

BY ANGELA HALL, LEADER-POST

Work to stabilize the shoreline at Elbow Harbour Recreation Site will get underway as soon as this
winter, provided the weather cooperates.

The provincial government announced Tuesday that a contract has been awarded to Saskatoon
company Allan Construction.

The marina at the south end of the recreation site is located in a natural harbour that is protected by a
point of land.

High winds and water levels along Lake Diefenbaker have over the decades caused "extensive"
erosion to the harbour point and adjacent shoreline, the government said.

"The marina and Elbow Harbour Recreation Site are among the most popular areas for water
recreation in southern Saskatchewan," Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Bill Hutchinson said
in a news release.



"Our government is dedicated to investing in this important infrastructure, while protecting the safety of
the public and ensuring a first class experience for visitors."

The cost of the shoreline rehabilitation is about $928,000, said Lin Gallagher, associate deputy
minister.

The work will involve putting in place a "rip-rap" armouring system, where rock over top of a base will
be used to reinforce 330 metres of shoreline.

"It actually works to dissipate or slow down the wave action and then that prevents the erosion of the
natural shoreline," Gallagher said.

The government said similar armouring systems have been used with success in other areas along
Lake Diefenbaker.

"Once we've done this we believe we will have stabilized the shoreline in that area," she said.
"You can launch boats that need deeper water to launch them in, and so it's an important harbour for
us and for sailors in particular."

As long as water levels have receded enough the work can begin this winter and should be finished by
next spring, Gallagher said.

"We believe this is important work to get done, and we're just hopeful if nature will co-operate with us
then we'll move forward. We are putting plans in place to stockpile the rock at the site to get ourselves
ready for it but all of that can't happen until the ground is frozen because we certainly are wanting to
minimize any environmental damage and inconvenience to local citizens."

Erosion in the area has been a source of concern for some local residents, with one Elbow village
councillor urging government officials last fall to commit to a plan of action.

The announcement Tuesday was also welcomed by Bryan Cafferata, who along with his brother owns
the marina facilities at the recreation site.

He said the plan is the"right fix" to address erosion that has been taking a toll for several years.
"We've been waiting for probably 15 years to get it done, because our point has eroded about 50 per
cent," Cafferata said.

"If they lose the point, basically, they lose most of the protection for the harbour so it's absolutely
critical."
 

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