One of the gems of Elphinstone is our shoreline, which stretches from Secret Beach to the end of Ocean Beach Esplanade. This area is covered by a unique license of occupation that protects 52.5 hectares of lands covered by water in front of Ocean Beach Esplanade from non-recreational development, so it can be used for activities such as swimming and walking. The SCRD first obtained the foreshore license from the province in 1988 and has renewed it every ten years since.
Renewal of the license came before the Planning Committee on February 7, and directors voted in favour of another renewal.
This foreshore license is unique in the SCRD, and staff say it may even be unique in the province. It does not apply to the area above the high tide line, however. The area between the high tide line and Ocean Beach Esplanade west of Chaster Beach mostly falls within road allowance managed by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI). The bluffs between Chaster Beach and Secret Beach, although parts are technically road allowance, mostly fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD).
There are erosion challenges along that shoreline, exacerbated by stormwater issues, illegal tree cutting, dumping of garden waste and other activities. If you have concerns about violations of environmental protection laws, they should be reported to Conservation Officer Services via the provincial RAPP site or 1-877-952-7277. Even if you don’t get an immediate response, it’s important to file reports because the Province does track them.