PEI

Sea carves new island from P.E.I. shore

A wild storm over the winter cut through Blooming Point in P.E.I. National Park and created a new Island.
The new channel is about 100 metres wide. ((Pat Martel/CBC))

A wild storm over the winter cut through Blooming Point in P.E.I. National Park and created a new Island.

The sea carved a channel about 100 metres wide through the five-kilometre stretch of sand dunes, cutting it roughly in half. The area has some of the highest sand dunes on P.E.I., rising as much as 20 metres.

Blooming Point almost closed off the mouth of Tracadie Bay, protecting the boats and the mussel buoys. Local fishermen were the first to discover the channel. They are not yet certain how it might affect the local industry.

"It's good for the bay. It's going to allow a lot more water flow, that's good for the mussel industry," Randall Clow, captain of the fishing boat Skippy, told CBC News last week.

"But if the sea ice comes in, that can cause a lot of damage, so we'll have to wait and see."

One immediate effect of the new channel is it makes access to the Gulf of St. Lawrence from Tracadie Bay easier for some fishermen. As the first to navigate the channel, by tradition Clow can name it. Unofficially, he is thinking of Randall's Run.

Blooming Point is not accessible by road. The only way to the area was by boat or by a long hike along the beach. April Laviguer has visited the secluded beach for years.

"Last summer, we were over here, it was pure sand and you could walk across it, and now there's what, 17 feet of water," she said.

Her friend Raymond Bain worries where the erosion might stop now that it has started.

"We're just going to lose more and more of them all the time and eventually, some day there'd be nothing left," he said.

DFO said it was not aware of the new channel, but will monitor it to make sure sand from the blowout doesn't clog up the regular channel. As well, the department says it will be watching to see if winter ice does come into the bay, and creates a problem for mussel farmers.