New Brunswick

'Super bore' attracts thousands to Petitcodiac River

More than 1,000 people lined the banks of the Petitcodiac River in the Moncton area on Tuesday to watch the tidal phenomenon known as the super bore.

Tidal phenomenon expected to boost tourism in Moncton area

Tuesday's so-called super bore produced the highest tides of the year along the Petitcodiac River. (Kate Letterick/CBC)

More than 1,000 people lined the banks of the Petitcodiac River in the Moncton area on Tuesday to watch the tidal phenomenon known as the super bore.

A wave of sea water rushes up the Petitcodiac twice a day, being pushed by the tide. But Monday's moon was 13 per cent closer than usual, meaning the gravitational forces on the tides were stronger, making for a bigger bore than usual.

Tourism officials say interest in the tidal bore has been waning in the last few years.

But Ben Champoux, the director of tourism and culture for the city, says the situation has improved since the causeway gates were opened three years ago after being in place for more than 40 years.

"When the gates were closed, we still had the phenomenon, it was not as impressive as it is now and we're told that over the coming years it'll be even more and more impressive," he said.

"So from a tourism perspective, there's no doubt that this is a major attraction that will continue to attract thousands of people from all over the world."

The tidal bore is listed in tourism guides, but its reputation continues to grow by word of mouth from those who have witnessed it, said Champoux.

"I have big hopes for the positive impact that the river and its tidal bore will have on long-term growth for the tourism industry as I said earlier, which is now a $400-million industry for Moncton," he said.

Daniel Leblanc, the former Petitcodiac Riverkeeper, said he believes it's time to lose the attraction's former nickname, the total bore.

"Today was the super bore, so I think that's the vision people need to keep in mind," he said.

"We won't have that every day, you'll have a few good bores every month around the full moon and the new moons."

The next so-called super bore won't occur until August 2014.