Erica McClaren

BC Parks
Restoring the Coastal Sands Ecosystem at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park After Seawall Removal

At the BCPARF conference in Victoria in 2016, we presented on the seawall removal portion of the shoreline restoration project at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. This year, we will share work that has occurred since 2016 to further assist with shoreline restoration including: split-rail fencing and signage to clearly delineate public access to the beach; and the planting and seeding of three areas along the old seawall footprint to restore and diversify the coastal sand ecosystem. In the fall of 2017, split-rail fencing was used to delineate 11 beach access trails along 780 m of the shoreline where the seawall was removed. For the most part, this method effectively limited park visitors from walking within three areas that were highly disturbed from previous foot traffic. Therefore, in the fall of 2018, we initiated planting, seeding and sprigging within these three disturbed areas to restore the coastal sands ecosystem. This restoration work was done under contract, with assistance from BC Parks staff.   Approximately 5,537 m2 were restored during this work. Seeds from five species were collected from the Park and were used in restoration areas. Sixteen species were planted into restoration areas to restore coastal sands ecological diversity and distribution throughout the Park. Rabbit fencing was installed within split-rail polygons in an effort to protect plants from browse by invasive rabbits. Future work will include monitoring of planting and seeding success/survival, development and installation of interpretive signs, and invasive species control. Additional seeding and planting may be required along the original seawall footprint area.