Mary's Point

Coordinates: Lat 45.725467°N, Long 64.670401°W


Description: A sandy beach with tremendous mud flats that are exposed at low tide. The middle and distal end of the beach are backed by a series of rocky, treed islands that are alternately connected and then cut off at low and high tides. The entire beach is attached to a rocky point, largely composed of fine-grained sandstone that was once quarried extensively as a building stone.

Nature Notes: This extraordinary place is part of the Shepody National Wildlife Area and part of a larger Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve for the Semipalmated Sandpiper, a small, arctic-nesting shorebird. This reserve is managed by Environment Canada and is part of a network of sites found in the Upper Bay of Fundy and on their wintering grounds in northern South America (Suriname and Guyana). As mentioned in greater detail in the story of Johnson’s Mills, up to 85% of the world population of this species stopover in the Bay during their yearly migration in July-August to ‘re-fuel’ before making their way to northern South America to spend the winter. Visitors should take the same precautions as at Johnson's Mills and avoid visiting the beaches during the migration season so as not to disturb the shorebirds. The interpretive centre at Mary's Point is an excellent resource for visitors who wish to learn more about the birds and the area.

This site also has an interesting geological story that ties into the Carboniferous period, similarly to Cape Enrage. Further down the beach, there are large sedimentary, fine grained sandstone rock formations that are rich in fossils, including fossilized tree trunks and understory horsetail-type, plant fossils known as Calamites; the fine-grained sandstone was once quarried as building stones. Some of this attractive sandstone was exported as building stone and made its way into the United States; it can be found in structures at the Bethesda Terrace and Central Park in New York!

Veins of coal-like Albertite are also found in between some of the layers of sandstone that form the rocky shoreline on the series of islands that are cut off during high tide. It is the same mineral found at Albert Mines inland and up the coast. The first distillation of kerosene by Abraham Gesner was attained by using this mineral. Gesner was NB’s first provincial geologist and the inventor of kerosene.

Links: Environment Canada


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