New Brunswick, Ottawa announce $3M to clean up Parlee and Murray Beaches

The improvement of water quality at Parlee and Murray beaches by New Brunswick is getting federal help, with the province and Ottawa investing a combined $3 million.

Environment Minister Serge Rousselle made the announcement Wednesday.

“This investment supports a total 18 projects, including new shorter term actions and studies, some of which are already underway,” Rousselle said.

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Some of the projects to be funded include upgrades to two pump-out stations used by boats to empty their holding tanks, as well as educating and enforcing responsible dog care at the beach, upgrades to the Murray beach sewage lagoon, and studies to help determine the cause of water contamination.

READ MORE: New testing protocol to start at New Brunswick’s Parlee Beach this summer

Rousselle said money had also been set aside to specifically target an issue at Parlee Beach.

“We are setting aside $500,000 to upgrade the Parlee Beach provincial park sewage station,” he said.

Environmental groups say a lift station was draining its overflow in a lagoon, adjacent to the Parlee Beach parking lot, that would eventually wind up in Shediac Bay.

This announcement comes on the heels of a last month’s announcement that the province said it would introduce tougher, federal, water quality testing at Parlee Beach. Over the last three years, figures showed that water quality at Parlee was considered poor on over twice as many days as was indicated.

Arthur Melanson is from the Red Dot Association, a group that wants the government to stop all developments in and around Parlee Beach.

“The announcement has positive things, at least they’re listening, but they ‘re not going far enough,” he said. “There’s two things in there for us … the wetland delineation and the moratorium because we view those two things going hand in hand. You need to delineate, you need to know where you can build, and then you can look at where you can build in the right environment.”

READ MORE: N.B. looking to improve water testing guidelines at Parlee Beach

The group also presented a petition to the minister, signed by more than 1,300 visitors to Parlee Beach, asking the government to stop all development until the issue of poor water quality is resolved.

“They’re spending the money to fix the problem, and yet they’re not doing anything to stop the problem from occurring,” Melanson added.