Two community groups in Cape Traverse, P.E.I., are looking for $332,000 to revitalize the local beach and protect it from erosion.
As part of the project, residents are hoping that more than 150 concrete blocks will be removed from the shoreline. They were placed on the beach in the '90s, to prevent coastal erosion.
Some have described the blocks as dangerous debris and a hazard to children playing on the beach.
The Cape Traverse Ice Boat Heritage Group has teamed up with the Cape Traverse Historical Society, which was granted a small parcel of land along the beach by the federal government decades ago.
Last week, the community hosted a virtual meeting for residents to hear from Mike Davies of Coldwater Consulting, who has prepared a plan for the beach.
It includes removing the concrete blocks from the beach and placing them on the remains of the old jetty.
"He suggests that we can use utilize the concrete blocks and put them on the old pier 65 and then cap that with Island sandstone to make it look a lot better and hide the concrete," said Scott Cutcliffe, a member of the ice boat group.
"The hopes are the sand that is drifting from the west side to the east side will get captured in the area and stay on the beach."
Cutcliffe said the idea of removing the concrete blocks from the beach was originally met with concern from some residents.
"It was two-sided for a little bit there because people weren't 100 per cent sure as to what was happening or what would happen," Cutcliffe said.
"I think now the report's out, more people in the community are supportive."
The concrete blocks have become a source of tension in the community in recent years, as parents in the area have raised concerns about exposed rebar and other hazards.
"I have kids and there's a lot of kids in the area, they climb on them, they jump on them," Cutcliffe said.
"You're always at them to stay off the blocks so they don't slip or fall or get hurt. So, in a sense, we'd like to see that cleaned up and utilized in a different manner."
No new wharf
The Cape Traverse Historical Society is also endorsing the consultant's report, despite some members initially calling for a new wharf.
"The pipe dream would be that you rebuild the structure that we had in years past, but we know that's not financially an option," said Kirk Haddock, president of the historical society.
"To be putting a structure where the original wharf was is fantastic and we're very happy with that."
Haddock has been visiting residents of Cape Traverse, talking to them about the project.
"There was some hesitation with some of the people, just because they've been through this before," Haddock said.
"There was an effort to rebuild the wharf years ago and it came to a stop. But this option that we have right now is much more plausible."
'A long time coming'
Once the Cape Traverse groups finish the community consultation process, they will start to apply for federal and provincial funding.
Haddock would like to see the work get underway as soon as possible.
"It's a long time coming and it'll be a great huge relief for the community to see something finally happen here," Haddock said.
"It's a beautiful beach and the end goal is to make it safe for everybody."
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