poetry and prose about place

between the salt marsh and the sea (day 21, 22 and 23)

with 2 comments

My virtual biking in early March took me along the last length of coast before Bathurst.  This is an area of coastal salt marsh and barrier beach.  It is also an area where a lot of coastal development has occurred.  My bike ride revived many memories of days when I worked on the provincial coastal policy.



distance travelled (map from Google Earth)


8-21  March 1, 2014   40 minutes  (Petit-Rocher-Sud to east of Nigadoo)

8-22  March 4, 2014   30 minutes (east of Nigadoo to  Beresford)

8-23  March 8, 2014   30 minutes (Beresford to south of Yougall Beach)


The prominent landscape feature in the area is a huge coastal salt marsh and a barrier beach.  I certainly understand why people would want to live near to the sea.  However, the development of the barrier beach can harm the beach environment, puts the health of the ecologically important salt marsh at risk, and sometimes creates a safety issue for the homes and cottages along the beach (people who live along the beach are at risk of coastal erosion, storm surge and walls of ice that build up along this coast).


Beresford Beach aerial

aerial view showing Beresford barrier beach, the coastal salt marsh behind it and the waters of the Baie-des-Chaleurs (map from Google Earth)


The community of Beresford has preserved a portion of the beach and marsh, creating the Passerelle, a long boardwalk to enable people to appreciate the marsh and the bird life there.  The Passerelle can also be seen in the upper left corner of the aerial view above (a white, curved structure crossing a corner of the marsh pond).


viewing area along Beresford Marsh

a view of the Passerelle boardwalk on the Beresford Marsh (image from Street View)


Once private land is developed, either for seasonal or year-round residential use, the only way to protect the beach and salt marsh is to encourage homeowners along the barrier beach to live as gently as possible.


Copyright  2014  Jane Tims



2 Responses

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  1. What a beautiful area to bike through virtually! This post is thought-provoking. The barrier islands are so fragile.



    March 30, 2014 at 12:15 am

    • Hi Sheryl. I hardly blame people for wanting to live in these places. But they are fragile and once they are developed, restoration is very difficult. Jane


      jane tims

      March 30, 2014 at 9:29 am

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