The owner and a contractor building a beach home on Eagle Head Road have been fined for violations of the Environment Act. Tickets were issued by the Department of Environment and Climate Change for changing a watercourse without approval.
Fines of $1,157.50 have been levied against the contractor and $697.50 against the owner. The department is still investigating reports of wildlife habitat being impacted by the construction which is taking place close to the beach but above the high-water line.
The new home build has upset local residents who mounted a protest Monday at the construction site. They say the new home is disturbing sensitive beach grasses, waterways, and wildlife habitat.
One of the administrators for the Facebook page Protect Eagle Head Beach Talla Corkum says the destruction of the dunes and waterway flies in the face of the community’s values.
She says many of the protestors at Monday’s demonstration are seeing the property for the first time.
“The biggest reaction was just, how? Because these are people who have grown up around this beach for years, for so long and they've seen it and growing up around here we have been taught to respect the beach, that we can't take any sand, we can't move the rocks, we can't take the rocks off the beach. That the dunes are sacred, basically,” said Corkum. “We have learned so much respect for this beach then, to see the, the change, the flip on the way that this beach is being treated, I think was very jarring for a lot of people who haven't got a chance to see the site yet.”
While Corkum is pleased to see the province take some action, she doesn’t feel the fines are a real deterrent and is looking for stronger action to be taken to protect the beach.
“It’s a step and it‘s encouraging to feel like people are listening, people are trying. The investigation isn’t just open and shut and that, they are still looking at things that could be going wrong.”
She says the community has rallied behind the group’s efforts and they will continue to pressure officials and are planning more protests to raise awareness to keep this from happening again.
“It has been a lot of work. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Corkum. “If this protects one more beach, I will be happy.”
Reported by Ed Halverson
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