FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Natural Resources is reminding people that it is illegal under the Trespass Act to operate motorized vehicles on beaches, dunes and other coastal habitat in New Brunswick.

Motorized vehicles represent a significant threat to the conservation of coastal habitat, dunes and wildlife. Many wildlife species, including at-risk species, choose a gravel-sand beach for their habitat.  This can be located among pebbles, pieces of driftwood and other debris from the beach.

The department is asking for the public's help by taking simple precautions such as avoiding beaches where bird species may nest. In many cases, the areas where the public should be most careful are indicated by signs or fencing.

By staying close to the water line and moving through these areas quickly and gently, beach goers and hikers can reduce the potential impact on species at risk.

No one should operate a motorized vehicle on beaches, dunes or other coastal habitat as the damage caused by vehicles on coastal ecosystems can be extensive.  

Although education and public awareness have an important role to play in species at risk conservation, enforcement is necessary tool. Recently, the department started on-going special patrols to protect the province's coastal habitat and wildlife. As a result of these patrols some people are already facing charges under the Trespass Act.