Ottawa invests to protect P.E.I. National Park shoreline

The government of Canada is putting up $4.4 million to protect shorelines in P.E.I. National Park.

Work to be done around Covehead

The work will help protect the Gulf Shore Parkway from erosion. (Google Street View)

The government of Canada is putting up $4.4 million to protect shorelines in P.E.I. National Park.

The funding announced this week will support a project to reduce erosion along the Gulf Shore Parkway, between Brackley Beach and Dalvay and near MacKenzie's Brook.

Bill Courtney, asset manager with Parks Canada at P.E.I. National Park, said the project will include installing armourstone at Covehead Pond and MacKenzie's Brook on the Gulf Shore Parkway to protect the dunes and roadways from storm damage.

The project will also include road work to Covehead Wharf Road and Dalvay Crescent to make areas of the park easier for visitors to get to.

Courtney said the park lost a section of the dunes in 2010 after a storm blew them away, leaving the roadway and shoreline vulnerable to storm exposure ever since. 

"We're going to be doing armouring of the north embankment of the road which is at the south side of Covehead Pond," Courtney said. "That will protect the roadway infrastructure."

Improving visitor access

The funding will also allow the park to repave sections of the Gulf Shore Parkway frequently used by visitors, businesses and residents in the area.

"This is going to be an upgrade to the road to bring it back to a good condition so that staff, visitors, people from the area would have a nice, smooth driving surface," Courtney said. 

He said a section of the Gulf Shore Parkway near MacKenzie's Brook will also be completely replaced and include the installation of new drainage culverts. 

He added that all the work will aim to protect the sensitive ecology of the park and preserve the natural landscape as much as possible.

"We're always trying to strike a balance between letting natural processes happen and offering an experience to our visitors and protecting infrastructure," Courtney said. "We also have to think about bringing people to the park and letting them enjoy the park and experience the park and one of the ways is in a vehicle so they need these roads."

Courtney said the work at Covehead Pond is expected to begin in October 2018 and the replacement of the roadway at MacKenzie's Brook is set to get started in fall 2019.

He added there should be minor disruptions to visitors during the work done this fall, but next year the park plans to close the road at MacKenzie's Brook for the fall season. 

The funding is part of Parks Canada's $3 billion investment to support infrastructure at national historic sites over the next five years.

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