Province investigating sand removal from beach in Tignish

Conservation officers with the province are investigating a report of sand being removed from a beach in Tignish.

Tignish resident Clifford Bernard said he has noticed signs of sand and gravel being removed from the beach on the north side of Tignish Run.

"This has been going on for years," said Bernard. "I couldn't take it any more."

He said for the last four or five years he has seen piles of sand and gravel on the beach, as well as holes where it had apparently been dug up. He has also noticed track marks, which he said appeared to be from a tractor, or other vehicle.

Concerns about erosion

Bernard said he is worried about possible erosion of the shore if sand and gravel continues to be removed. 

"When you look there's not much of that protection left there ... to stop the ocean from going to Judes Point," said Bernard. He is worried about protecting the fisheries for future generations.

"I don't know how many years, but I know it's just a matter of time before the ocean moves in," he said. "That'll be an awful disaster then."

Province investigating

A spokesperson for the province's department of Justice and Public Safety said conservation officers are investigating the issue. On April 13, conservation officers fined a person in North Cape who was removing gravel with a tractor. 

Officers also visited the site in Tignish, where they found gravel had been illegally piled and moved. The spokesperson said the province receives similar complaints every year, and typically issues several fines each year. 

People are not allowed to use large equipment to haul sand or drive on a beach without a permit from the Minister of Communities, Land and Environment.

Individuals can be fined up to $1,000, and corporations can be fined up to $10,000.

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