The dunes in the National Park on the north shore of Prince Edward Island are magnificent. In the photo to the left you can see the Lighthouse at Covehead that sits on the top of one of the dunes and the marram grass in the foreground that is so vital to the maintenance of this fragile ecosystem. The roots and the rhizomes of the marram grass help to hold the dunes in place.
One of the biggest threats to the dunes and their important role in the ecosystem is people walking on them. Even a short walk by one person across a dune can damage the root system of the marram grass. Please use the boardwalks and paths at designated entrances to the beach. The photo above is a picture of the boardwalk over the dunes at Brackley Beach in the National Park.
The dune on the left at Ross Lane entrance to the beach in the National Park is under repair. It has been damaged by people walking through the marram grass and over the dune. Park staff have placed branches on the dune to encourage regeneration. It is vital that people refrain from walking through this area. The dunes are home to lots of wildlife including the savannah sparrow, the horned lark and even the red fox that likes to make its den in the dunes
The accessibility of the beach area in the National Park varies with the location. In the eastern section of the National Park when driving along Gulf Shore Way there are two beaches that have ramps down to the sand. One is located at Brackley Beach and the other is located at Stanhope Beach. Please follow the link to view a map of the Brackley to Dalvay area of the National Park. The slope on these ramps can be challenging. There are washrooms at both of these locations.
There are many wonderful photo opportunities when you are at the beach. Often we tend to want to go to the beach at the hottest part of the day when everyone else is there too. Try going on a slightly cloudy day, or early in the morning. You will notice more wildlife and will be able to take more photos of the beach and the dunes without a lot of people in them.
When taking a photo that includes the ocean watch the horizon line. The horizon should be square in your photo. If you get home and have a great photo but your horizon is a little off just use one of the many photo editing softwares on the market – many photos can be salvaged by straightening the horizon and cropping.