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P.E.I. National Park Gears Up for First Summer Post-Storm Fiona with CA$12M Funding

Following the devastating aftermath of the post-tropical storm Fiona that struck last September, the Prince Edward Island (P.E.I., Canada) National Park is poised for a significant revival. 

The federal government has pledged close to CA$12 million in investment funds to breathe new life into the park’s battered sites, ushering in what park officials describe as a new era of resilience and renewal.

The destruction left behind by storm Fiona was both extensive and heartbreaking. Jason Lindsay, the park’s asset manager, graphically described how a ten-meter strip of the precious dune ecosystem was “wiped off the map.” 

Areas of the park once teeming with life and natural beauty were left scarred and desolate, posing significant challenges for restoration and regeneration efforts.

The government’s investment offers a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to rehabilitation. 

Among the slated construction projects is a buried revetment, a structure designed to dissipate the energy of incoming waves, at Dalvay Corner. 

The revetment strategy, which has proven effective at two other sites within P.E.I., Crowbush and Panmure Island, is part of a broader effort to restore and protect the park’s vulnerable coastal regions.

A significant part of the reconstruction focuses on re-establishing the dune system, which forms a natural barrier protecting the Gulf Shore Parkway. 

The plan involves the careful layering of riprap stone, which will be topped by a newly formed dune. 

The dune will then be vegetated with marram grass, a species known for its ability to stabilize shifting sand. 

The park’s resource conservation teams, aided by extra assistance, are preparing to undertake extensive planting efforts.

This commitment to nurturing the natural landscape also involves the introduction of 20 tonnes of imported sand to nourish the newly planted grass. By harnessing the power of natural ecosystems to mitigate the impact of future storms, the park is prioritizing sustainable, eco-conscious methods in its recovery strategy.

This transformative restoration effort does not just have implications for the park’s natural ecosystem but has wider consequences for local businesses, particularly private campground owners and operators in P.E.I. With areas such as the Brackley Beach’s dune-crossing stairs slated to reopen in early June, and accessibility ramps at Cavendish Main and Brackley Beach expected to be operational by July, there are reasons to be optimistic.

Changes in the park’s layout necessitated by the damage – including the permanent closure of the causeway to Robinson’s Island to vehicles, Flat Rock, Orby Head look-offs, and some waterside camping spaces at Cavendish campground – may require private campground owners and operators to adapt their services. 

The visitor’s service coordinator, Joel McKinnon, revealed that while some changes are inevitable, the park is keen to unveil a new camping loop in Cavendish as a creative solution to replace the lost spaces.

Despite these transformations, the P.E.I. National Park is eager to welcome back visitors and encourage the resurgence of tourism. 

This moment signifies more than a restoration project; it’s a testament to resilience, sustainability, and community spirit in the face of natural adversities. 

The rejuvenation of P.E.I. National Park is a shared victory for government agencies, conservation teams, local businesses, and the wider public alike, reflecting the collective commitment to cherish and safeguard our precious natural treasures.

For more information, visit Parks Canada

Featured image from Parks Canada

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jane_doe92
jane_doe92
May 23, 2024 1:13 am

Did you know the P.E.I. National Park is getting a makeover after Storm Fiona? They’re restoring the dune ecosystem and even planning educational programs and volunteer opportunities. Pretty cool, right?

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: P.E.I. National Park Gears Up for First Summer Post-Storm Fiona with CAM Funding! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/canada/prince-edward-island/p-e-i-national-park-gears-up-for-first-summer-post-storm-fiona-with-ca12m-funding/