Coastal Restoration of the beach at Cap-des-Rosiers, Forillon National Park – A Unique Project in Canada

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Daniel Sigouin, Mathieu Côté

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The Cap-des-Rosiers beach restoration project in Forillon National Park is one of the most impressive climate change adaptation projects ever carried out by Parks Canada. This project was conducted in response to more frequent extreme storm events and significant coastal erosion. In order to restore the natural dynamics of the coastal ecosystem and spawning sites of prey fish, Parks Canada restored a 1.7 km section of a beach by removing a protective rip-rap, dismantling a road, relocating a memorial site and planting native grasses. The historical establishment of infrastructures in a zone at risk represents a major challenge for infrastructure management and ecological integrity. In the Cap-des-Rosiers area, the protection of a road in a very dynamic coastal ecosystem was costly, restricted beach access and resulted in the loss of coastal habitat and capelin spawning sites. Major and more frequent storm events also threatened a nearby wetland and burial site. Following the completion of the project, the response of the coastal environment and the use of this newly created habitat by capelin is being monitored to evaluate project success. The results observed so far are beyond expectations. Since 2016, capelin spawning sites are constantly increasing and the beach profile is already stabilizing. More resilient to storm events, Cap-desRosiers beach is once again a rich habitat for biodiversity and an attractive area for nearby residents and visitors.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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