Good intentions not enough to fix beach’s problems

Present council knows nothing about swimming beaches

There have been some references to the present Harrison council making improvements to the swimming beach, but aside from removing a previous council’s ugly “carport” and rock pile at the end of Hot Springs Road that is not what is actually happening. Present council members obviously know nothing about swimming beaches, and the people they have hired are apparently just as ignorant.

They are not improving the beach, they are destroying it.

Beach sand has its own high value, it is not a cheap material for building parking lots and grassy areas.

Rocks and concrete do not enhance a beach, they degrade it. (City people have concrete of their own, they don’t need to come to Harrison to see it.)

The first thing a swimming beach needs is water warm enough for comfortable swimming. At Harrison that is found only in the lagoon, where the summer winds can’t blow it away. It is for this that the lagoon was built.

The water in the lagoon flows in and out underground with the lake level. It is, by regular test, perfectly clean and pure. There was originally a serious problem because there was a steep drop-off into the trench the beach sand was dredged from, which was dangerous to waders when the water was low, but that has been fixed. Remaining problems are the weeds, which were always there, and the goose poop and the swimmers itch, which are recent arrivals. For the weeds and the geese there are proven solutions, they just aren’t being applied. In the past, removing the weeds every year was too expensive but thanks to a huge annual grant from the province for promoting tourism there is plenty of money to do it now.

The second thing a swimming beach needs is a slope flat enough for comfortable sunbathing, and where the water level has as great a rise and fall as it does in Harrison Lake that requires a wide sweep of sand. Sure a bothersome amount of sand blows some winters. That can be partially controlled and has proved tolerable over half a century. Also the sand was there before the people who complain about it chose to build or live beside it.

(Note that the short bit of the beach for which council discussed seeking international recognition fails both basic requirements of a swimming beach, the water is too cold and the slope is too steep for comfort.)

Past councils that didn’t understand beaches have spent a great deal of public money doing well-intended things that were destructive to Harrison’s beach, and later councils have had to spend a great deal more public money to partially correct them. Unfortunately a lot of damage remains, and now we see that same cycle underway again.

John Green

Just Posted

VIDEO: Harrison sailor looking for competitors to race model boats

Bernhard Van Velze is hoping to create a club for model sailboats at Harrison Lake

Community artists, amateurs wanted to create Kent anniversary logo

The 125th anniversary committee is hoping to choose a logo designed by the community

Kent to weigh in on ride-sharing policies

The district will be submitting comments to the province on what ride sharing should look like

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

Most Read