Worthy of Protection

Owls Head Park is a biologically diverse property with undisturbed coastal heathlands, salt marshes and bogs, a freshwater lake, estuaries, beaches, and a pristine, rugged coastline. It is bordered by offshore eelgrass beds and is home to several species of conservation concern, including a “globally rare” Broom Crowberry (Corema conradii) ecosystem. Scientists from Saint Mary’s University have been studying the plant communities of Owls Head for 15 years, and emphasize that it needs our protection.

Owls Head has a “Tier 1” (top priority) conservation rating based on extensive consultations with citizens, environmental organizations, industry representatives, and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. Even a private real estate valuation commissioned by the prospective developer declared that the “highest and best use” for the property would be ‘conservation’ or ‘recreation’ (such as hiking and kayaking).

Owls Head is ecologically unique and it provides vital ecosystem services, biodiversity, and coastal habitat. As a 268-hectare, undisturbed coastal landscape on the Atlantic Flyway, Owls Head is an important habitat for native bird species and a refuge for migratory birds. Its shoreline has been identified as habitat for the endangered and beloved piping plover. In Nova Scotia, there are fewer than 40 breeding pairs of piping plovers, so we must make every effort to protect them.

Timeline of Promised Protections >>

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Piping Plover photo courtesy of Jason Dain

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About Our Movement

Background & History

The Save Little Harbour/Owls Head Facebook group is a grassroots movement of over 3000 concerned citizens and scientists, passionate about saving the ecologically significant property known as Owls Head Provincial Park.

In March of 2019, the Nova Scotia government secretly removed Owls Head Park Reserve from the pending protection list (the 2013 Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan), in order to sell it to an American developer. Despite the property’s 45-year history of protection, the provincial government delisted Owls Head Park Reserve without consulting with – or notifying – the public.

In December of 2019, investigative journalist Michael Gorman of the CBC uncovered the province’s plan through a Freedom of Information request. Intense opposition was swift. Less than 24 hours after Gorman’s article was published, concerned citizen Sydnee Lynn founded the Facebook group Save Little Harbour/Owls Head Nova Scotia From Becoming Golf Courses.

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The Latest Word

This is our blog, where you can read letters from scientists and citizens alike. The topics cover everything from governmental ethics to wetlands and marine ecosystems.

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