Beach treasures - Metro US

Beach treasures

Better promotion of Great Lakes beaches and shorelines as marquee tourist destinations in Ontario might help protect them from further deterioration, a report released yesterday suggests.

The five-point plan, produced by a group of Ontario mayors, calls for more public appreciation and engagement about the waters, which contain about one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water and 95 per cent of North America’s supply.

“There may be no better way to strengthen the public’s connection to the Great Lakes than to enhance and promote beaches and other shoreline activities such as wetlands, natural areas and trails,” states the report, which was presented at the inaugural Provincial-Municipal Great Lakes Summit in Toronto.

There’s no question people value their waterfronts and are passionate about keeping them clean, said Toronto Mayor David Miller.

“They expect leadership about water quality and beach quality issues, and every time we’re about to make a beach swimmable or provide access to the water, by building a boardwalk for example, people come in droves,” he said.

“(The report) is about creating a partnership to ensure that these incredible treasures that we have — and the economic and recreational opportunities that come with it — are preserved and enhanced.”

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