Nova Scotia

Eskasoni counsellor rakes local beach for needles

A crisis counsellor from Eskasoni First Nation has spent four days raking a beach near his community, looking for needles discarded after illegal drug use.

Daniel Morris says he can rest easy knowing the area is safe for families

Daniel Morris spent four days this week combing Castle Bay Beach to rid it of needles. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

A crisis counsellor from Eskasoni First Nation has spent four days raking a beach near his community, looking for needles discarded after illegal drug use.

Daniel Morris said he did it after reading on Facebook that needles had been found on Castle Bay Beach, and he had a few days off from work so he decided to dig in.

"The objective was to find as many needles as I could and get them off of this beach," he told CBC News.

"I was pretty tired when I found my first one, but then I found another one shortly after on the first day and I just said then, I can't stop until I reach that point over there."

Morris systematically raked the length of the beach in a grid pattern — a process that took four days.

Then, he and his daughter swam along the water with a snorkel and mask to make sure there were no needles jammed between rocks or in plastic bags.

His work turned up only three needles, but Morris said it was worth it.

"It's still a number, right? That's three people, possibly, that didn't get poked by something which they could have gotten maybe hepatitis C or possibly AIDS," he said.

Morris said people have already thanked him for his work and he plans to rake the beach again next year before the warm weather arrives.

Dion Denny, an Eskasoni band councillor, works with Morris at the Crisis Centre in the community.

"I know the passion he has to help an individual, but I find this one, he helped the community. I think he has a good heart," said Denny.

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