Travel-hungry Quebecers flock to the sandy beaches of the GaspÃ© for pandemic stays during the annual construction vacation. But they left an alarming amount of garbage and the mayor is fed up. “We do not know what is happening this year,” said the mayor of GaspÃ©, Daniel CÃ´tÃ©, on Thursday. “It’s like we’re living in a nightmare.”
CÃ´tÃ© said the situation on the beaches was “hell since the start of summer.”
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Every day, he receives dozens of messages from worried residents about the piles of garbage and vehicles illegally parked on the beaches near his community, located at the tip of the GaspÃ©, leaving the shore littered with garbage.
In addition, people are illegally camping in swamps, parking lots, provincial lands and protected areas, he said.
While most visitors clean up after themselves, a few bad apples, “unable to offer a minimum of respect for our environment,” spoil everyone’s enjoyment, he said.
The situation has deteriorated so badly that city officials have even considered closing the roads to the beaches – but they will not do so for fear of making life more difficult for local residents and fishermen, he said. .
The municipal authorities have taken a number of measures to combat the worsening scourge of waste.
Signage has increased where camping is prohibited, although some thoughtless people have “camped in front of the signs,” CÃ´tÃ© said.
So the community takes a more practical approach.
Sad to see that GaspÃ© and the surrounding area wake up the day after waking up too regularly theseâ¦ https://t.co/iepMXpc8bk
– James Keays (@James Keays)
From Thursday, “beach squads” responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules and the environment will patrol the area.
The squads will have no formal legal authority to punish wrongdoers, but they will be able to report illegal activities to the police, CÃ´tÃ© said.
The litter pile is a constant problem throughout the region.
On Thursday, Les MÃ©chins, a town in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, announced that a number of people were driving to the beach and dumping their recreational vehicle directly onto the sand.
In a July 23 statement, the Mi’gmaq Gespeg Nation said it deplored the “current situation regarding wilderness camping in the hinterland on its territory, which has gotten out of hand.”
âOn beaches, stranded wood, which is important in slowing erosion, is burned without knowing its consequences. Migratory birds are disturbed on their nesting grounds. We can’t even keep track of the amount of garbage littering the waters, beaches, parking lots and rest areas, âthe Nation said.
MÃ©ganne Perry MÃ©lanÃ§on, the member for GaspÃ©, described the situation as “catastrophic“and asks for measures to control it.