Government of Canada invests over $11.6 million to support PEI National Park rehabilitation and repairs following Hurricane Fiona in preparation for the 2023 visitor season

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PEI National Park officially opened for the visitor season on June 6; campgrounds and most beach accesses will be ready to welcome visitors

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE, June 9, 2023 /CNW/ – In September 2022, Hurricane Fiona’s ferocious forces left an unprecedented wake of destruction across the province. In Prince Edward Island (PEI) National Park, storm impacts included the falling of thousands of trees, road and beach access washouts, and the significant erosion of the park’s shoreline, including sand dunes. Since the first days of disaster response, the Government of Canada has been helping keep people safe, and communities recover and rebuild.

Today, Heath MacDonald, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, on behalf the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced a federal investment of $11.6 million for Parks Canada administered sites on Prince Edward Island. This funding will support ongoing rehabilitation efforts throughout PEI National Park following the impact of Hurricane Fiona, including: the buried revetment in Dalvay; Stanhope beach access infrastructure; visitor experience infrastructure at Oceanview; the rehabilitation of Robinsons Island; and repairs to the Gulf Shore Parkway. 

Today’s announcement is an important step in the Government of Canada’s assistance to communities and businesses affected by Hurricane Fiona as part of the $300 million Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund. Parks Canada is looking at ways to make PEI National Park more resilient to climate change.  This includes adapting and rebuilding damaged infrastructure that is better able to withstand the effects of adverse weather events. 

National parks are gateways to discovering, learning about, and connecting with nature. There are countless opportunities to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of being outdoors in these treasured places. PEI National Park, including Stanhope and Cavendish Campgrounds, will all be open for business in 2023. Many of these places will look very different to visitors as Hurricane Fiona left a profound mark on coastal and forested areas of PEI National Park.

Beginning June 6, entrance gates, most beaches, day use areas, trails, and all washroom facilities are open. The Greenwich Interpretation Centre is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Beginning June 13, the camping season gets underway in PEI National Park. This year, visitors will be able to enjoy:

  • all day use areas (public washrooms and shower facilities will be open)
  • accessible trail riders reservable by calling 902-566-5070; three are available: one at Cavendish Campground, one at Stanhope Campground, and one in Greenwich
  • surfguard services which resume June 28 and 29 at supervised beaches in PEI National Park
  • free entry to the park on Canada Day
  • opportunities to learn more about Indigenous history and cultures, including through Park Promise, A’Tuken, Mi’kmaw interpretive programming and Ninna L’nu exhibit on offer in Greenwich, and Mi’kmaw wigwam at Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site

Visitors to PEI National Park can stay informed about parking availability, surf conditions, and more by subscribing to our Info-Line. Sign-up is easy: Text OPT IN to 902-200-4499. To stop receiving alerts, text “STOP” to the same number.

For details and updates on PEI National Park, please visit: https://parks.canada.ca/pn-np/pe/pei-ipe.

Green Gables Heritage Place – including grounds, trails, Green Gables House and the Visitor Centre – is currently open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to guided tours and interpretation on site, special after-hours programming will again be available this year:

  • “Ropes Down” tour on Sundays and Tuesdays (English) and Mondays (French), 5:30-6:30 p.m., July 2 to September 5, 2023
  • “A Cordial Visit” on Thursdays (English) and Fridays (French), 5:30-6:30 p.m. from July 2 to August 1, 2023, and on Thursdays and Saturdays (English) and Fridays (French), 5:30-6:30 p.m. from August 3 to September 2, 2023

For details and updates visit parks.canada.gc.ca/greengables.

Grounds and trails are open at Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site, and washrooms reopen June 12. The Visitor Centre reopens July 1. For details and updates visit parks.canada.gc.ca/skmaqn.

Parks Canada staff at PEI National Park are excited to welcome new and returning guests back to experience everything that the park has to offer.

Quotes

“Canadians are increasingly feeling the impacts of climate change, and our Government is committed to supporting Canadians be better prepared and to build a stronger economy. We are taking ambitious climate action to cut our pollution and create an all-hands-on-deck approach to climate adaptation. The Government invests in Parks Canada’s administered places to help combat the effects of climate change, while supporting the health of our natural environment and ensuring public safety and enjoyment of these national treasures.”  

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault

Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Prince Edward Island National Park plays a vital role in the local economy and tourism industry, attracting thousands of visitors year-round. When Hurricane Fiona devastated our region, our government created the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund, administered by ACOA, to help repair and rebuild critical infrastructure that communities depend on for economic activity. Today’s investment will help Parks Canada ensure that roads, trails, beaches and campgrounds are ready for this year’s tourism season and more resilient to climate-induced weather events in the future.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor

Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

“PEI National Park is an iconic destination in our community. Visitors from near and far are welcome to experience the many facets of PEI National Park including the beaches, trails, campgrounds, interpretive programs and renowned destinations like Green Gables Heritage Place. The funding announced today is contributing to the repair and rehabilitation of coastal infrastructure throughout the park, ensuring that visitors have safe access to their favourite treasured places. Make the most of the warmer weather and enjoy all that Parks Canada administered sites on PEI have to offer.”

Heath MacDonald

Member of Parliament for Malpeque

Quick Facts

  • PEI National Park is within the traditional and un-ceded Mi’kmaq territory of Epekwitk.
  • Hurricane Fiona made landfall on PEI on September 24, 2022. While it is not uncommon for hurricanes to reach Atlantic Canada, as the climate changes, the frequency and severity of extreme storms is intensifying. One of the known impacts of climate change on coastal locations such as PEI is a potential increase in the rate of coastal erosion.
  • Through the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund (HFRF), the federal government is providing up to $300 million over two years, starting in 2022, to support local communities, businesses and organizations affected by the storm and to help long-term recovery efforts. 
  • The Fund is coordinated by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), which is working with other federal departments and agencies to address and determine local recovery needs, develop targeted initiatives to assist in recovery and rebuilding, and allocate funds accordingly to the departments and agencies that will deliver their portion of the HFRF.
  • Parks Canada takes wildfire preparedness very seriously. The safety of the public, our crews, and neighbouring lands is always Parks Canada’s top priority. Throughout PEI National Park, wildfire fire risk is actively managed by implementing guidelines developed by FireSmart Canada, the preparation of fire suppression systems throughout the park and the maintenance of municipal, provincial, and national partnerships all directed at wildfire response. The FireSmart program helps reduce wildfire risks to homes, neighbourhoods, critical infrastructure, and vital natural resources.
  • Parks Canada administered places are a source of shared pride for all Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada is pleased to continue to offer free admission to all Parks Canada’s administered places for youth aged 17 and under. By encouraging young people to discover and connect with these incredible natural and cultural places, we can inspire the next generation of stewards for these protected places.
  • A full dune closure remains in effect for PEI National Park. Visitors must not walk over dunes for any reason. Anyone found in violation of this prohibition may be prosecuted under Section 7(4)(c) of the National Parks General Regulations. The minimum fine for a violation of this prohibition is $150.

Related Documents

Backgrounder: Prince Edward Island National Park Post-Fiona Operational Updates

Associated Links

  • Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund
  • PEI National Park website
  • Green Gables Heritage Place website
  • Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site website
  • Parks Canada website
  • Parks Canada mobile application
  • Parks Canada Reservation System
  • Parks Canada Shop

SOURCE Parks Canada

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