Programs | green ribbon champion
Green Ribbon Champion (GRC) is a shoreline stewardship and education program designed to provide advice, resources and support to shoreline residents along the Lake Huron Coastline. By engaging the local community in wise coastal stewardship the Green Ribbon Champion program will improve the health of our lake and resiliency of coastal ecosystems.
2019 Registration for Huron-Kinloss residents has ended. Scroll down to learn how the program works and to see the results from 2019.
Congratulations to 2019's Coastal Champions!
The program is currently on hold and pending funding. If you would like to be added to the 2020 waiting list, please email email@example.com.
After you have registered the Coastal Centre will contact you to schedule a free assessment of your shoreline to assess the health of the beach, vegetation, and dunes between the property structure and the water using standardized protocols.
The Coastal Centre will arrange a date and time that works for you to visit your shoreline property and conduct an assessment. Assessments may take up to 3 hours and representative photographs will be taken. The Participant Guide found at the bottom of this page provides an example of the Beach Report that is used to assess the health of your shoreline. Participants will also receive a free Beach Care Toolkit on site. The assessment results may be discussed with you on the day of the assessment.
Results are summarized and provided to the shoreline resident as a Proposed Beach Restoration Plan following the assessment. The plan will describe current conditions and provide recommendations on how improvements could be made to the shoreline adjacent to your property. Some plans may indicate no improvements are necessary, whereas others may have some work to do. There may be properties that require extensive restoration beyond the capacity of this program. In this situation, the Centre will seek to provide advice for the resident but will be unable, within the capacity of this program, to help restore severely degraded shoreline areas.
As a Green Ribbon Champion you will be provided with a Beach Care Toolkit containing educational literature like a dune planting guide as well as the option for sand-fencing and a dune protection sign. Moderately degraded shorelines can see great improvements to beach-dune health by planting native dune grasses, removing invasive species, and installing sand-fencing. The Centre may provide assistance with restoration activities. Educational videos demonstrating these conservation methods can be found at the bottom of this page.
Great Lakes beach-dune ecosystems are very fragile and rare and make up only a tiny percentage of the shoreline. You will be helping to conserve and protect vegetation and wildlife only found on a dune environment. Native dune vegetation and sand-fencing will allow the dune to grow higher and re-establish. Vegetation on dunes keep sand in place, protecting from wind erosion, instead of moving sand to unwanted areas of your property structure or losing the sand altogether. Restoring dunes are crucial in protecting your property from flooding during high wind and wave events or during high water levels.
Green Ribbon Champions are recognized for their stewardship and commitment to improving the Lake Huron coastline and awarded for their efforts and participation.
Note: It is highly recommended for residents to work with neighbours to restore larger stretches of shoreline. Neighbours who choose to work together will be considered one site and will receive one Beach Health Report.
As we are a non-profit organization, a donation for this service is appreciated.
Example of Dune restoration in
Point Clark, ON
The Final Report for Green Ribbon Champion 2019 is now available!
To read the document, please click on the image below.
Generously Supported by:
The Importance of Healthy Dunes
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.
Properly Accessing the Beach
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.
Principles of Sand Fencing
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.
Harvesting and Planting Marram Grass
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 in a Beach-Dune Ecosystem
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.