The following letter was sent to Mr. John Festarini, Acting Superintendent, Bruce Peninsula National Park, F. F. N. M. P.
I raise the following as I understand that the area known as “Little Cove” is under the management of Parks Canada, and that Parks Canada may be unaware of serious issues associated with this area.
On Sunday August 4th 2019 I had the privilege of acting as a volunteer guide/interpreter for about sixty German Scouts which entailed hiking from their camp to the Bruce Trail south from Little Cove. As a consequence of this, I made some disturbing observations on route through the Little Cove access point.
I was not surprised that this area was busy on a holiday weekend however, I was appalled and embarrassed that the visiting international scouts were exposed to very visible evidence of roadside and trailside open defecation and discarded used diapers along with other trash. Although portable toilets were within view of the site of some of the open defecation in evidence, it appears that some visitors may be choosing not to use them. I noted that vehicles were parked on both sides of the road as far west as I was able to see at that time. The area was clearly being “over used” in my estimation.
This access point appears to be degrading into a “fecalized” open latrine and is on the way to becoming a public health risk to local water quality due to lack of soil and surface runoff. Also the road portion east of the parking lot down to the beach has deteriorated to the point that it is clearly impassable to emergency & service vehicles.
I did not observe any toilets located down at the beach level with the consequences being clearly evident.
This area requires more active management (Parks Canada, Parks Ontario, Municipality, or all of the above) during high use periods by identifiable “authority” personnel, and controlled (as in reduced) access, along with universal signs posted clearly indicating what is “not allowed”.
Some form of toilet facility is required at the beach level as I would wager that the visiting public is choosing to not climb the hill back to the parking area to use the toilets. A gate is required east of the parking lot with sign indicating access to emergency and service vehicles only.
These matters need immediate attention. It is troubling to see that visitor overuse and abuse is threatening the very natural resources that they came to experience.