Programs | green ribbon champion
Great Lakes beach-dune ecosystems are some of the most rare and fragile ecological features in North America. Lake Huron's dunes are found only along 2-3% of the lake's 6,000+km shoreline, yet these are the areas of the lakeshore that attract thousands of people each summer, placing them under great pressure. Healthy intact dunes provide a range of benefits for coastal communities, including shore protection, water purification, increased biological diversity, erosion control, and better quality beaches.
By participating in the Green Ribbon Champion program 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 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 can be helpful 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.
After you have registered for the program our staff will contact you to schedule a free assessment of your shoreline to look at the health of the beach, vegetation, and dunes between the property structure and the water.
Our staff will arrange a date and time that works for you to visit your shoreline property and conduct a beach assessment. Assessments may take up to 2 hours and representative photographs will be taken. Participants will also receive a free Beach Care Toolkit on site. The assessment results will be discussed with you on the day of the assessment and you will receive a Beach Health Report following the visit summarizing what we talked about.
Results are summarized in a short Beach Health Report after the site visit and will be provided to you by email. This report will describe current conditions and provide recommendations on how improvements could be made to the shoreline adjacent to your property. These recommendations are completely optional and there is no obligation to implement anything described in the Beach Health Report. There may be properties that are faced with severe erosion issues beyond the capacity of this program and it should be noted that we are not able to provide advice on shoreline engineering and shore protection structures.
As a Green Ribbon Champion participant you will be provided with a Beach Care Toolkit containing educational literature such as a dune planting guide as well as the option for sand-fencing and a dune protection sign. If you decide that you would like to implement some of our recommendations for beach restoration we may be able to work with teams of volunteers to assist with some restoration work on your property. Moderately degraded shorelines can see great improvements to beach-dune health by planting native dune grasses, removing invasive species, and installing sand-fencing. Educational videos demonstrating these conservation methods can also be found at the bottom of this page.
Do you live on the shoreline in the Township of Huron-Kinloss, Municipality of Kincardine, or Town of Saugeen Shores? Do you want to learn more about the best ways to care for your beach?
GREEN RIBBON CHAMPION IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY:
The Importance of Healthy Dunes
USING Sand Fencing TO PROTECT YOUR BEACH
Properly Accessing the Beach
Harvesting and Planting BEACH Grass
Invasive Species in a Beach-Dune Ecosystem