Un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Mill River beach walk marred by heavy equip­ment driven through wet­land

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ERIC MCCARTHY

The Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment is aware of deep ruts along a beach near Cas­cumpec. An of­fi­cial says he is not aware of a per­mit for ma­chin­ery.

Liv­ing along the Mill River af­fords Con­nie Gallant the lux­ury of get­ting in some ex­er­cise while en­joy­ing long beach walks.

There is one short wet spot near her Ferry Road home where walk­ers have to tip-toe through early in the year, but it was dry­ing up nicely un­til a lit­tle over a week ago. That’s when heavy ma­chin­ery drove along the beach and through the wet spot.

Deep ruts are still vis­i­ble on ei­ther side of the walk­ing path.

She be­lieves the ma­chin­ery was on the beach to de­liver, or help place, a float­ing dock struc­ture.

She has no prob­lem with the float­ing docks be­ing placed for fam­i­lies’ en­joy­ment, but she doesn’t be­lieve de­liv­ery of the in­fra­struc­ture should in­ter­fere with other peo­ple’s en­joy­ment of the beach.

“That’s just un­ac­cept­able,” she said point­ing to the ruts.

“It’s not the first year this has hap­pened,” she added. And she wants it to stop. “Now, when it rains, we’re not go­ing to be able to get through here. We will have to turn back, and that is not right.”

Greg Wil­son, man­ager of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment’s land man­age­ment di­vi­sion, said the in­ci­dent is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

He said heavy equip­ment is not per­mit­ted on beaches with­out a per­mit, and he is not aware of a per­mit hav­ing been is­sued for the sec­tion of beach near the Ferry Road in Cas­cumpec.

“Most of the time, we try to avoid a wet­land,” Wil­son added.

Wil­son sug­gested the dam­age on the beach might be reme­died with a shovel and some beach sand, but he em­pha­sized heavy equip­ment should not be on any beach with­out a per­mit.

“I just want them to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for it and clean it up,” Gallant said.

“And then not to let it hap­pen again.”

ERIC MCCARTHY/TC MEDIA

Cas­cumpec res­i­dent Con­nie Gallant is up­set with the dam­age heavy equip­ment has caused to a sec­tion of wet­land along the Mill River beach near her home.

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