Wetlands: Nova Scotia’s Goals

Objective 1

To manage human activity in or near wetlands, with the goal of no loss in Wetlands of Special Significance and the goal of preventing net loss in area and function for other wetlands.

A. Wetlands of Special Significance (WSS)

Government will consider the following to be WSS:

  • all salt marshes
  • wetlands that are within or partially within a designated Ramsar site, Provincial Wildlife Management Area (Crown and Provincial lands only), Provincial Park, Nature Reserve, Wilderness Area or lands owned or legally protected by non-government charitable conservation land trusts
  • intact or restored wetlands that are project sites under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and secured for conservation through the NS–EHJV
  • wetlands known to support at-risk species as designated under the federal Species At Risk Act or the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act
  • wetlands in designated protected water areas as described within Section 106 of the Environment Act

B. Other Wetlands

Government will:

  • update the provincial wetland inventory to assist government and the public in identifying wetlands around the province, with the intent of eventually being able to use the inventory as the primary source for wetland identification. The inventory must not be used as the only source for identifying wetland locations or be considered a substitute for obtaining field confirmation of wetland locations when evaluating the suitability of a site for any particular project. DNR wet areas mapping tools (http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/forestry/GIS/) can also be used to help identify and predict where wetlands are likely to be located during the project planning phase.
  • require all those proposing projects that will negatively affect wetland areas or function to submit an application through the Wetland Alteration Approval process and/or Environmental Assessment process, as appropriate and adhere to the mitigation sequence (see definitions) to achieve the objective of preventing net loss.

Source: Nova Scotia Wetland Conservation Policy

Abbecombec Marsh by Stan Frantz
Abbecombec Marsh by Stan Frantz

Note from Christopher Trider:

The Nova Scotia Wetland Conservation Policy was updated and signed by the Minister of Environment, Gordon Wilson, October 25, 2019.

This means that Minister Wilson signed the Wetland Conservation Policy fully engaged in the Cabinet approval of the secret delisting and sale of the public lands at Owls Head. He did so even though Owls Head has extensive wetlands, as researched by biologists who have worked extensively at the site:

“Our data show that at least 28% (and up to 51%) of the area of Owl’s Head Provincial Park is wetland. The largest area of these wetlands consists of interconnected and biodiverse bog wetlands that occur in mostly linear-shaped features distributed across the entire area of the site.”

– Caitlin Porter and Dr. Jeremy Lundholm

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