Is it a public beach? A nature reserve? A place for locals only?
No one seems to know, and so far, the answers to the growing problem with traffic and garbage on the pristine beach are less than acceptable.
For years, Carter’s Beach was a place that only seemed to be known by locals. But then, the tourists found it.
Last year, people counted up to 150 or more cars crammed into the narrow road to Carters.
There were no washrooms, and no garbage can. The region finally put in a porta-pottie, and Natural Resources installed a garbage can. The department of transportation kind of widened the road so a few more cars could park in the tiny parking lot.
Yeah, that didn’t work.
When the locals did a clean-up, they found feces, dirty diapers, and even clothing in the delicate dunes. God bless them, they hauled out bags and bags of garbage.
For three years, the Department of Natural Resources has been working on making the delicate ecosystem a nature reserve. But that has not happened yet.
In the meantime, cars backed up to the end of the Carters Beach Road, blocking traffic, causing safety concerns, causing emergency officials to worry they couldn’t get an ambulance in.
This year, the Department of Natural Resources came up with a brilliant plan. And when I say brilliant, I am being sarcastic.
Take out the only garbage can, and “educate” the public.
Yeah, that’s going to work.
People who poop in the dunes and do God knows what else there are not the type of people who are going to be “educated” on the “garbage-in, garbage-out” theme.
They also thought it would be a good idea to have a summer student there, educating the public on the delicate nature of the beach. In a nice way, of course.
Right. People will nod and smile and go about their business of changing their babies in the dunes and throwing the diapers away.
Meanwhile, the cars will line up again and again. The RCMP will be out ticketing, maybe even towing.
Another brilliant idea from Natural Resources was to “control” the social media about the beach.
I have yet to hear about anyone able to control social media, except maybe Donald Trump, but this seems like an attempt to but the genie back in the bottle. The word is out – Carters Beach is beautiful and a beautiful place to go. You can’t put that social media back in the box.
Time is passing by, and as I learned growing up on the beaches of Prince Edward Island, it only takes three steps on a piece of mirram grass to destroy it.
Of course, we must wait for “consulting” with the public.
The time for consulting is over. Now is the time for action.
The region must decide how to handle Carters Beach, even if they have to rope it off for a year until they come up with a plan.
The message seems to be, though, we want tourists. But not too many tourists. We also want it to ourselves. How they can control that is beyond my understanding.
And we must wait until the nature reserve designation goes through, whenever that will be. A year? Two years? All the while, the beach is being degraded.
The time for action is now. The time for head-scratching was two years ago.
Taking out a garbage can is not going to solve anything.