A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘lennox island

[ISL] Five #PEI links: National Park, Lennox Island, traffic, Charlottetown mass transit, Cornwall

  • The Prince Edward Island National Park, unsurprisingly, was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. Global News reports.
  • The Mi’kmaq community of Lennox Island lost large amounts of frozen lobster after Hurricane Dorian. CBC PEI reports.
  • Peter Rukavina has mapped the busiest and sleepiest roads on PEI, here.
  • Growth in ridership on Trius Transit in Charlottetown continues to outpace expectations, CBC PEI reports.
  • The work that the Charlottetown suburb of Cornwall is doing, diverting the Trans-Canada Highway to build a Main Street, is authentically exciting urbanism. CBC PEI reports.

[ISL] “Indigenous Canadians face a crisis as climate change eats away island home”

The Guardian is the latest news organization to cover the erosion of Lennox Island, chief Mi’kmaq reserve on Prince Edward Island, into the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Ashifa Kassam’s article. Between erosion and rising sea levels, it’s an open question as to whether one of the most noteworthy centres of Mi’kmaq culture left can last to the end of the century.

His hands tucked tightly in the pockets of his jeans, Gilbert Sark nodded at the ice-covered bay stretched out before him.

Decades ago, his grandfather – at the time one of the few in this First Nations community to own a truck – would spend winters ferrying people across the frozen bay to Prince Edward Island. One wintry day, the truck hit a patch of soft ice, sending it plunging into the frigid waters below.

His grandfather didn’t make it out of the truck in time. “That bay has claimed a lot of people,” said Sark. “Now it’s claiming land.”

For as long as anyone can remember, life on Lennox Island – a community of some 450 people on the east coast of Canada – has been set to the rhythm of the waters that lap its shores of red sand. But climate change is drastically altering this relationship, sending sea levels rising, pelting the small island with fiercer and more frequent storms and bringing warmer winters that eat away at the ice cover that traditionally protected the shores for months at a time.

The result is impossible to ignore. “We’re losing our island,” said Sark. A survey of the island carried out in 1880 counted 1,520 acres of land. In 2015, surveyors mapped out 1,100 acres of land on Lennox Island – suggesting more than 300 football fields worth of land have been swallowed by the sea within the span of a few generations.

Sark pointed to the shoreline next to the cemetery where his mother and many other members of his family are buried. “There used to be a field right there. We used to play football in that area.”

The community recently spent tens of thousands of dollars to save the graveyard from the encroaching waters, building a wall made up of three layers of rock. “They had to fix it or there would be caskets going out into our bay,” said Sark. “It was that close.”

The scars of the island’s battle against climate change are visible across this low-lying island. Local people recall playing baseball where boats now bob in the water; homes that once sat 20ft from the shore now teeter precariously close to the sea. The shoreline has crept up to the edges of the community’s decade-old sewage lagoon, sparking concerns that a storm surge could send waste into Malpeque Bay, a world-renowned site for harvesting oysters.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm

[ISL] CBC News on how climate change is eroding Lennox Island

CBC News’s Nick Purdon and Leonardo Palleja’s photo essay “‘It’s a little scary’: On Lennox Island, no one debates whether climate change is real” tells the sad story of how Lennox Island, PEI’s main Mi’kmaq reserve, is being eaten away by a rising sea.

Rising sea levels, storm surges and coastal erosion threaten its very existence; an estimated 300 football fields of land have already fallen into the sea.

In Canada, Lennox Island is a place where you can see the effects of climate change happening right now — and it’s a community preparing for a changing world.

Scientists agree that the world’s climate has warmed over the past 120 years and that the warming is a result of human activities. The effects of this change in climate include melting ice caps, rising sea levels, drought in some parts of the world and extreme storms in other areas.

Looking west from the shores of Lennox Island sits the shining waters of Malpeque Bay. Locals say they used to play baseball where boats now float.

Gilbert Sark, 37, has skipped rocks on Lennox Island’s beaches since he was a little kid. Today he’s the comprehensive community planner for the island.

A generation ago, Sark says, Lennox Island measured 1,300 acres. Now it is down to 1,100. “We lose Lennox, we lose a lot,” he says.

“Honestly, I worry about Lennox Island not being here … In my son’s and my daughter’s generation, maybe my grandkids’ generation, there may be no Lennox Island. It will be eroding away if something is not done.”

Written by Randy McDonald

December 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm

[ISL] “50% of Lennox Island, P.E.I., could be underwater in 50 years”

CBC News’ article on Prince Edward Island’s Lennox Island tells a tale of catastrophe. That Lennox Island is also the dominant cultural focus of the Island’s Mi’kmaq further the catastrophe.

Lennox Island, a small First Nations community on Prince Edward Island, is beginning to disappear amid the rising waters of the Atlantic Ocean, having already lost one square kilometre of land in a single generation.

Dave Haley, the property manager for Lennox Island, lives just six metres from the ocean but is losing about a metre of his backyard each year as water continues to creep closer. In a few years, his house could be gone.

“A lot of people don’t realize the power of water,” says Haley. “A lot of people want to turn a blind eye, but, look, it’s happening.”

On average, Lennox Island is just four metres above sea level and is eroding twice as fast as the rest of P.E.I., losing nearly one hectare every year, says Adam Fenech, a Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist and the director of the Climate Research Lab at the University of Prince Edward Island. He believes shorelines will continue to rise in the next 50 years.

“A lot of the most recent science is telling us it could rise as much as three metres during that time,” says Fenech. “Probably in about 50 years, with the three-metre increase, we’d probably see half the island in the water completely.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 12, 2016 at 8:45 pm