Saturday, August 23, 2014
Every year, I end up in Richmond or Tsawwassen early on a Saturday morning in August, prior to catching the ferry over to Salt Spring Island. And every year, I have a choice of beaches to visit. This year, I went back to Beach Grove (2009) and Centennial Beach (2009).
Beach Grove is built on low land - old spits, marshes, that kind of stuff - on the eastern side of the Tssawwassen-Point Roberts hill (once an island, before claimed by the growing Fraser River delta). It receives beach sediment from Lily Point and Maple Beach to the south, although most of this material probably wound up in the series of spits that form Centennial Beach. Most of Beach Grove's shoreline consists of a narrow foreshore in front of a continuous lone of concrete seawalls. Offshore are the broad tidal flats of Boundary Bay.
Beaches can be narrow for a lot of reasons. In this case, I suppose they include 1) a dearth of coarse sediment from the south, 2) the fact that the community was pretty much built on top of the berm and backshore, and 3) the broad fine-grained flats essentially bury the intertidal beach (the flats intersect the beach face at a very high tidal elevation).