Beach Talk: Beaches – A Lot More Than Sand

Alicia Fortin Sauble Beach, Updates from the Beach

With only one Beach Talk left to go, now seems like the perfect time to discuss the way in which our series is wrapping up. Peter Middleton is known to many as a knowledgeable interpreter and engaging presenter, and he certainly drew us in to his talk about beaches on Wednesday night. Beginning with the way in which waves shape the beach, Peter drew us in to a story about the importance of all flora and fauna growing on our Great Lakes Beaches.

We learned about the age-old sand on the shores of Lake Huron and how the grasses on the beach help to hold the sand in place. Peter explained the lichens that anchor the dunes together, and the small orchids (various species of Twayblades) that grow in the local area. Peter went on to discuss the ways in which plants on beaches have many similar adaptations to desert plants, for example, fuzzy leaves to help retain moisture, and explained how morning mists help plants to take in the moisture they need to survive the long dry days at the beach. We learned of the insects along the shore and the camouflaged grasshoppers we may not have noticed before. Peter brought these diverse species together, continually pointing out their place and the way in which Piping Plovers fit into the complex living puzzle. We’re positive that we will notice the incredible biodiversity on our local beaches in the weeks to come.

Our Beach Talks are not finished yet though! Join us next week for our final talk, Coastal Ecosystems and Turtles as we continue to expand our knowledge of the species living along the Great Lakes with an expert from The Lake Huron Centre For Coastal Conservation. The Talk will take place at Huron Feathers Presbyterian Centre on Wednesday, August 2 at 6:30pm! Hope to see you there!