No watercraft zone to be established at Station Beach

Section: 
News

By Barb McKay

 

Kincardine will establish a no watercraft zone at Station Beach to allow the municipality to maintain the beach’s Blue Flag status.

 

Council agreed during its meeting April 16 to follow a staff recommendation to implement a zone at Station Beach where no watercraft, including boats and jet skis, would be allowed. The zone is a requirement of Environmental Defence, an organization that hands down Blue Flag Beach designations. Other requirements include water quality sampling, environmental education, environmental management and making lifesaving equipment available.

 

Municipal recreation staff met with water sports enthusiasts and environmental advocates on several occasions last year to determine if the municipality should maintain its Blue Flag Beach status and how a no watercraft zone could be implemented. The group will continue to meet and advise staff of any issues related to Station Beach.

 

“Our number one concern with everything is safety,” said recreation director Karen Kieffer. “The Blue Flag status has been a benefit to the municipality from an environmental standpoint and tourism standpoint.”

In terms of enforcing the zones, Kieffer said signs will be posted on the beach with the phone number for the recreation department so people can call if there is an issue. Ultimately, however, the municipality can’t do much to enforce the zones. Kieffer said she hopes the water sports and recreation community will help to ensure that the rules are followed.

 

“We hope there will be some kind of peer policing,” she said.

 

Council agreed to approve the plan for a no watercraft zone at Station Beach. As well, a large sign will be posted at the south pier notifying boaters of a no wake zone to deter them from coming to close too shore.

 

“We want to keep the Blue Flag status,” deputy mayor Anne Eadie said. “It’s a feather in our cap.”