Unsuitable for Golf Courses, Part 1

Golfing in Pea Soup

The coastal location of Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve makes it unsuitable for a golf course for many reasons, including:

  • The need to protect the adjacent marine environment
  • Nova Scotians’ limited public access to the coast (less than 5%)
  • Coastal erosion
  • The storm surges that are intensified by global warming
  • The incompatible climate of the site

Due to the weather along parts of the Eastern Shore, locals have been sceptical of the plan to establish golf courses at Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve.

“It is definitely colder and a lot foggier than in other places. Starts in April. When it is foggy, sometimes we can’t even see across the street to the neighours.”

Carol Ann MacPhee
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Letter from CARP: In Opposition To Sale and Development of Owls Head

CARP NS (formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons) sent this letter to Minister Rankin on February 24, 2020.


On behalf of CARP NS (formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons), we want you to know of our concern for the proposed development of Owl’s Head Park Reserve. We believe the proposed development is not in the best interests of the people of Nova Scotia.

A recent national survey of seniors by CARP showed that the top three concerns for seniors are:

  1. Financial Security
  2. Our Environment
  3. Health Security
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How Do We Put a Value on Owls Head?

Corema - Broom Crowberry

How do we put a value on Owls Head Provincial Park?

There have been few valuations for rare plants, let alone globally rare plant communities. For example, a rare Shenzhen Nongke orchid is valued at $202,000 per plant. We would need to do a series of transects and plots at Owls Head Provincial Park to get an honest number of the rare plants and communities to put into the economic calculus of a ” balanced ” view.

“A mature tree can have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000.” So let’s do a survey of all the ancient coastal white spruce stands at Owls head and put an average value of $2000 on the individual specimens, but let’s be fair and only value the trees that are 75-100+ years old, the ones impossible to replace in a lifetime.

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Golf Courses & Fertilizer Effects

Hugh Chisholm - Eutrophication Leads to Suspected Algal Bloom on the Nine Mile River (adjacent to Links at Brunello Golf Course in Timberlea)

Eutrophication: the process by which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients (such as phosphates) that stimulate the growth of aquatic plant life usually resulting in the depletion of dissolved oxygen

– Merriam Webster

When fertilizers get washed into lakes or rivers, it can lead to eutrophication. In these photos, we see that eutrophication has led to a suspected algal bloom on the Nine Mile River (adjacent to Links at Brunello Golf Course in Timberlea).

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