The Petitcodiac River’s claim to fame is its tidal bore, forming twice a day as the tides from the Bay of Fundy push up the river towards Moncton. Depending on the amplitude of the phenomenon, the wave in the Petitcodiac River will vary today from a few cm in height to as much as 75 cm ( as high as 2 m before the construction of the causeway), and at speeds ranging from a few km/hour to 13 km/hour.
A tidal bore occurs in areas of the world where tidal amplitudes are strong, as is the case with the Bay of Fundy region. The phenomenon is created and influenced by a number of factors including river slope, downstream flow, river basin morphometry, moon phases, seasons and winds. The accompanying wave or vertical front moves upriver on the incoming tide, channelling itself into a narrower body of water such as the Petitcodiac River.
Depending on the amplitude of the phenomenon, the wave in the Petitcodiac River varies today from a few cm in height to as much as 75 cm (formerly as high as 2 m), and at speeds ranging from a few to 13 km/hour. With the opening of the causeway in 2010, the tidal bore is slowly regaining its former glory.
Since the time of the explorers and first settlers of this region, the Petitcodiac River tidal bore has fascinated visitors and residents alike. Through most of the 20th century, the Petitcodiac River tidal bore (2 m) was considered to be among the top tidal bore phenomena occurring in North America and worldwide, ranked with the Qiantang (China), the Hoogly (India) and the Amazon (Brazil) as one of the world’s most impressive.
In the summer of 2013, surfers from all over, eager to surf the newly restored tidal bore, attracted thousands of spectators to the riverfront. As a result, many international surfing magazines featured Moncton as a new surfing destination.
The Fundy Biosphere Initiative, an organization that works in synergy with local communities, conservation groups, natural resource sectors, tourism organizations and academicians have recently identified Moncton’s Bore Park and the Tidal Bore as one of their Amazing Places to visit in the Fundy Biosphere Reserve.
This watershed reserve adjacent to the upper Bay of Fundy is recognized by UNESCO and covers an area of 440,000 hectares stretching from St. Martins, around Moncton, including almost all of Albert County, to the Tantramar Marsh near Sackville.
250 Years of Anecdotes
The Petitcodiac River Tidal Bore in southeastern New Brunswick has fascinated people for centuries. Numerous written testimonies, some going as far back as 250 years, describe the passing of the Tidal Bore in various settings, with the unique perspective of its observers. Read more.