Quinte Conservation closes Little Bluff to car travellers

Beach goers at Little Bluff Conservation area in 2019. While Quinte Conservation has reactivated paid parking at other conservation areas, Little Bluff remains closed until further notice (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

 

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

In the “This is why we can’t have nice things” category, the regional conservation authority has taken the unprecedented step of restricting visitors at a conservation area in southern Prince Edward County.

Quinte Conservation announced this morning that effective Friday, the road into and the parking lot at Little Bluff Conservation Area will be closed to vehicles. Pedestrian use of the area is permitted. Parking on municipal roads to access Little Bluff is not encouraged.

According to QC, the natural ecology of Little Bluff Conservation Area has become a growing concern as residents and visitors flock to the area in an attempt to spend more time in nature during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The conservation area, which provides panoramic views of Prince Edward Bay and is home to a significant wetland that is protected by a cobble stone beach, has always been a popular swimming and hiking spot for locals, and, over the last few years, Quinte Conservation says the area has become “a destination site for visitors.”

“Conservation Areas are protected lands that are available for the public to enjoy. Overuse can have a negative impact on the ecology of an area. Recent reports of overcrowding on the beach where individuals were not able to meet the 2 metre physical distancing requirements, and non-permitted activities such as garbage dumping, campfires, and overnight camping have led the Conservation Authority to temporarily restrict access,” The Conservation Authority said in a press release.

Nature enthusiasts may still walk into the area and are encouraged to report back to Quinte Conservation if they have any concerns.

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. It provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership. Quinte Conservation’s main goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. More information about Quinte Conservation is available at www.quinteconservation.ca