Dumping glass on beach?
“Don’t let the opinions of a few discourage you from speaking up when you see something wrong.”
As a resident of the Town of Souris for over 50 years, I was embarrassed and shocked by the way that Mike MacDonald was treated. I agree with Mike MacDonald’s assessment: “It’s so scary. The mayor should be advocating for his constituents, that if there is an issue with the park they take care of it rather than attack the person who is raising the issue.’’
The Town of Souris should be proud of “these come-fromaway kids” and the fact that they are returning to P.E.I. They offer a different perspective and have ideas that may work.
Mike is correct: “If you walk down on the beach, there is a crazy amount of broken bottles, shards that can literally go through your foot. It’s terrible. It is really frightening.”
The ex-mayor said the town has been doing what it can to clean up the beach. The only effort that I see the town making is an annual one-day cleanup, the occasional removal of a dead seal, grass cutting and garbage removal around the shops. I don’t think the ex-mayor, councillors or staff have ever gone for a walk on this beach.
I cannot believe that the ex-mayor claimed to be concerned about the environment. I assume it is the town that gave approval of permits for the new buildings — less than 20 feet from the beach. I’m sure as a resident, I would not be allowed to put a building in a sand dune less than 20 feet from the shore. I used to walk Souris beach almost daily from April to October and I was also frustrated by the amounts of sharp glass. During the spring/summer, I would try to pick up a bag or two of the larger pieces of sharp glass and deposit them in my own garbage. I would complain and all that ever got done is the one-day annual cleanup.
This year, I have pretty much given up on picking up the sharp glass. I now choose to walk my dogs elsewhere and if I had young children I wouldn’t let them play in the sand or walk near the water at high tide. I believe that Patricia O’Brien is incorrect about the source of the sharp glass being an old dump. The sharp glass is too large and would surely have been broken over the years of being tossed by the sea. The shards include bottoms of bottles, plates, and look quite new. These pieces do not end up in areas surrounding Colville Bay. They do not even land on the sandbars when the tide is low. Only on certain parts of the beach do these large pieces of glass show up - practically in a straight line.
As someone who frequents this beach, I suspect that someone is dumping the sharp glass on the beach during their walks. A few years ago, Souris Beach became an attractive place to pick sea glass. Prior to the explosion of sea glass pickers, you would seldom find large pieces of sharp glass on the beach.
I have tried to discourage the dumping by telling a few of the regular sea glass pickers that I was setting up a web cam with the intention of catching who was dropping sharp glass. It seemed to work for a short time, as there was a decline in the level of sharp glass.
Mike was legitimately very upset with the lack of effort that the town staff was making to clean up the glass on Souris Beach. It sounded like Mike was not concerned for himself, as much as he was for the general public that goes to the beach.
As a resident of Souris, I would like to thank Mike MacDonald for showing concern about this hazardous situation. I would also like to apologize to him for the actions of the town staff and ex-mayor. I am one resident that hopes he continues to come home and enjoy his vacations.
Don’t let the opinions of a few discourage you from speaking up when you see something wrong.
Mike MacDonald, a former resident of Souris, was home visiting recently, when he started observing broken glass all over Souris Beach. He invited The Guardian for a walk along the beach to show some of what he found.