Lighthouse at Sandy Point, Newfoundland and Labrador (Photo by Aiden Mahoney)
NCC’s Sandy Point Nature Reserve contains 11 properties, totalling 67 acres (27 hectares). Situated 35 kilometres south of Stephenville, Sandy Point is an uninhabited island renowned for its tidal flats and sandy beaches. This habitat is uncommon in Newfoundland and Labrador, where much of the coast consists of rugged, rocky shoreline. Sandy beaches and dunes are important nesting habitat for numerous bird species, including the endangered piping plover. In addition, Sandy Point’s unique salt marshes are home to several rare or uncommon plants, like seaside lavender and saltwater cordgrass.
Sandy Point was once a thriving community in southwest Newfoundland. When the peninsula became an island due to erosion, the people of Sandy Point resettled, many to the nearby community of St. George’s. Remnants of Sandy Point’s human history can still be seen today, including foundations, cemeteries and the old dock and breakwater.
Since 2013, NCC has been leading an annual beach cleanup to clear garbage and marine debris from Sandy Point. In that time, NCC staff and volunteers have removed almost 3,000 pounds of garbage from the island. NCC’s stewardship work on the island would not be possible without the dedicated support of the St. George’s Forestry Services district office.