Changes could be coming to Carters Beach

Published on March 7, 2017

There could be changes coming to Carters Beach this summer in an effort to keep the crowds at bay.

PORT MOUTON - There could be changes coming to Carters Beach this summer in an effort to keep the tourists at bay, and to educate beach goers about the delicate ecosystem of the area.

Last year, the popularity of Carters Beach took off, some days seeing up to 300 vehicles parked along Carters Beach Road. That many visitors posed a threat to safety vehicles coming in and out, and also caused a lot of garbage in the dunes and damage to the delicate environment.

Sally Steele, regional director with the Provincial Department of Natural Resources, made a presentation to the Region of Queens municipal council recently.

She said Carters beach is still a pending nature reserve, and it needs to be protected.

“There are over 20 different ecosystems tied to a relatively small area.,” she said. “There are several species at risk, mosses lichens, rare orchid and until recently it was a nesting sport for the piping plover.”

The beach also represents historical and cultural values, with evidence of Mi’kmaq habitation and two provincially registered archeological sites.

She said the  beach can have upwards of 150 people or more on a sunny day,  and that is causing a number of impacts to the dunes.

“There’s been human waste in the dunes and improper garbage disposal, and parking problems that are posing a public safety concern, and the impact that this is having on the local landowners,” she said.

The department proposed that for the summer of 2017, the parking lot remain the current size, with parking on one side of the road only.

She says the one garbage can that is there could be taken out, and the public would be advised to take their garbage out with the.

“We could put up signage, there could be a summer student at the beach who are welcoming and saying this is a beautiful area, please enjoy it, stay off the dunes, take your garbage home with you and so on,” she said.

She also said natural resources wants to form an advisory committee for Carters Beach that would include the province, the region, and groups interested in the area.

She said natural resources is also proposing that outhouses be installed, to reduce the impact to the dunes.

They also want to undo some of the social media impact that led to the huge popularity of the beach last year.

“So that people know they can come to Carter’s beach, but it’s a short stay. And there are other tourist opportunities around the area. Not to promote it as a tourist destination.”

Council passed a recommendation that the issue be deferred to region staff for a report, and then be directed back to work with government and have further community engagement.