Principles of the Coastal Protection Act

Bill No. 106 (as passed).

Excerpt:

This Act is based on the following principles:

(a) portions of the Province’s coast are dynamic and naturally migrate landward and seaward as a result of the interaction of natural forces such as tides, winds, currents and wave action with varying geological conditions;

(b) preservation of the dynamic nature of the coast is important in order to protect and allow for the natural adaptation of coastal ecosystems that provide fish, wildlife and plant habitat and perform important ecological functions that Nova Scotians value;

(c) human-made structures designed to delay or obstruct the natural migration and shifting of coastal features may accelerate the effects of coastal erosion and may accelerate these effects on adjacent properties that do not contain similar structures;

Dune Erosion
Buffer Zone – Sand Dunes Grow and Recede as the weather dictates by Stan Frantz

(d) coastal features such as beaches, dune systems, barrier beaches, coastal lagoons, barachois ponds, coastal wetlands and salt marshes provide valuable habitat and provide other valuable ecological functions and services important to the health and well-being of Nova Scotians;

(e) sea-level rise, coastal flooding, storm surge and coastal erosion pose significant threats to the safety of future development in coastal areas;

(f) there is a link between economic and environmental issues and a recognition that long-term economic prosperity depends upon sound environmental management and that effective environmental protection depends upon a strong economy; and

(g) risk-informed decisions regarding development in coastal areas are an important part of climate change adaptation given the inevitability of relative sea-level rise, coastal flooding, storm surge and coastal erosion and their related impacts on the Province.

Source: The Coastal Protection Act

Editor’s Note:

First Reading of the Coastal Protection Act: March 12, 2019
Date Owl’s Head Provincial Park was secretly delisted: March 13, 2019
Second Reading of the Coastal Protection Act: March 14, 2019
Date of Royal Assent of the Coastal Protection Act: April 12, 2019

What do these dates mean? Owls Head had already been delisted (and therefore excluded from the protections afforded by the act) before it became a law. The fact that Owls Head was delisted the very next day after the first reading of the Coastal Protection Act does not seem like a coincidence.

Only about 5% of Nova Scotia’s coastline is still public. Even less is protected for conservation and for future generations to enjoy. We should be protecting what little public coastline we have left.

Lindsay Lee

Additional Sources: Freedom of Information Request re. Owls Head de-listing. The date of the delisting (via Minute Letter) is indicated on page 51. 

 

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