Newman’s Cove wharf still in disrepair

Jonathan Parsons
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The wharf in Newman’s Cove has been badly in need of repair for some time.
It was originally damaged during Hurricane Igor in 2010 and has been deteriorating since then.

The wharf in Newman’s Cove has been in very poor condition since it was damaged during Hurricane Igor nearly four years ago.

Clifford Baker is a fisherman of 25 years from Newman’s Cove and also the president of the harbour authority there. He told The Packet the wharf is pretty busy despite being in a small community.

In addition to being a harbour for the “five coves” area — Newman’s Cove, Birchy Cove, and Upper, Lower and Middle Amherst Cove — this year they’ve seen a lot of people at the wharf.

“There’s four or five fisherman here using the wharf, plus all the recreation users for the food fishery,” said Baker.

“This year we had a lot of tourists around with the whales around our area and out in boat tours. I had people from New Zealand, Switzerland, everywhere, with me … They were amazed at the way the wharf was.”

Baker says he has been trying to get some attention from Small Craft Harbours (SCH) to fund a reconstruction of the damaged wharf.

He says he was told by SCH not enough fishers land in that harbour to warrant the investment.

He said an engineer told him last year it would take $500,000 just to remove the existing wharf, so it would be better to repair the existing wharf.

Baker says he hopes to have the exterior of the remains of the wharf cleaned up, and that the inside is not as severely damaged.

Then he hopes to run harbour stone along the wharf from the end to beach, reinforcing and stabilizing the structure. While harbour stone can be expensive, Baker believes it would be a positive addition to the area.

If the wharf were repaired and reinforced with harbour stone, people would be able to keep their boats there longer and not worry about any complications from the current dilapidated wharf.

 “That would give us our protection and that wharf would last there a long time if you had that harbour stone there,” he said.

The wharf could even prove to be a danger in the future. Baker says it could damage the slipway or even the roadway.

“The people even come down on the wharf and visit us, even now we’re doing the commercial fishery … they come down and say, ‘What happened to your wharf?’… It’s an eyesore. Not many wharves around the island are like this one.”

jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca

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