Parlee Beach Provincial Park is now closed for the season, but a new corporate research associate’s poll shows that the majority of people in the New Brunswick area still have concerns over ongoing water quality issues.

In the survey, 400 adult Moncton residents were asked to rate their level of concern on a scale of one to ten – with ten being extremely concerned.

“It was hidden for some time,” says Lisa Jane Hudson. “I think it's been polluted there for some time.”

The telephone survey – conducted between July 19 and Aug. 7 – found that nearly two thirds of respondents rated their concerns for the beach’s water quality as very high.

The Red Dot Association is one of five groups that have banded together to fight against wetland development.

The association’s president, Tim Borlase says the poll shows that their group’s message isn’t getting lost. 

“It indicates to us that the wetlands and the effort that we're trying to make here to mitigate the water quality has received some public endorsement,” Borlase says.

Some say the water quality concerns at Parlee may be the reason the number of people using the beach is at its lowest since 2011.

Figures released by the New Brunswick Department of Tourism show that just over 17,000 day passes were sold in 2017, which is down more than 6,000 from the previous year.

Officials with the department say these numbers are misleading because there’s no fee for people to walk onto the beach; therefore, the data only includes people paying to enter the Provincial Park by vehicle. 

Parlee Beach resident, Bill Ross says characteristically the beach’s parking lot is full during the months of July and August, but this year it wasn’t.

“I’ve been hanging around here since the mid ‘70s,” Ross says. “We get a pretty good feel for what the crowds look like and what the parking lot should look like and it's something we've never seen before.”

Tourism officials say the popular beach was closed a total of nine times out of 106 days this season.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.