Engineers PEI has recognized an innovative engineering project, which protects the causeway and shoreline in Souris from the effects of climate change and storm surge events, with the 2018 Environment Award.

“The Engineers PEI Environment Award recognizes an outstanding engineering project that has had a significant positive impact on the natural environment through the application of science, technology, and engineering to environmental management in PEI,” said Jim Landrigan, executive director and registrar with Engineers PEI. “We were pleased to present this award jointly to the PEI Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy and Coldwater Consulting Ltd. for the Souris Beach Intertidal Reefs Project.”

The province worked closely with a local contractor, the Town of Souris, the Souris Wildlife Federation, and a specialist consultant to study sediment patterns in Colville Bay and come up with a method to reduce coastal erosion that threatens the causeway, a critical piece of infrastructure.

The intertidal reefs, which were installed last winter as an experimental pilot project at a cost of $115,000, are made of sandstone so they blend into the natural environment.

The reefs have two functions. They provide an obvious barrier between waves and the beach, thus dampening the effects of wave action on the beach and dunes. They also help sand build-up to add to the existing beach, causing the beach to extend offshore.

“Our government continues to design roads, bridges and other infrastructure with the environment, watersheds, and climate change front of mind,” said Paula Biggar, Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. “We are protecting our communities from the effects of climate change, and often, innovative engineering projects like this one can create additional benefits to the watershed and the area as a whole.”

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