Report on the Ecological Importance of Owls Head Crown land: More Findings

Broom Crowberry

Today, we are sharing in-depth excerpts from the Report on the Ecological Importance of Owls Head Crown land. Dr. Jeremy Lundholm, PhD, and Caitlin Porter, MSc, voluntarily provided this information to the court and have subsequently given us permission to share it online. You can find their unabridged report at the bottom of this page. If you’d prefer, you can read the post of their conclusions instead.

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How Golf Courses Would Jeopardize Important Marine Ecosystems

Cover Photo courtesy of Nick Hawkins Photography

In Short:

  1. The proposed development would require large amounts of fill. Therefore, sediments would run into the marine areas, negatively affecting sensitive eelgrass beds and salt marsh habitats.
  2. Once established as golf courses, the use of pesticides and the threat of runoff of toxic chemicals (during rainfall events or through the site’s interconnected hydrology) would threaten these same marine areas.

“For a large development such as golf courses, the construction and subsequent run-off from the land as well as increased nutrient loads all have the potential to negatively impact these ecosystems.”

Marine Biologist Dr. Kristina Boerder
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Wetlands: Why We Need Them

“Owls Head is characterized by repeating bedrock ridges that support a coastal barrens ecosystem. A globally rare heathland plant community occurs on the crests of the ridges and biodiverse bog wetlands predominate in the depressions between the ridges. This landscape pattern on the coast is only otherwise known from Blue Rocks, Lunenburg County, amidst residential developments with no conservation protection.”

– Biologists Caitlin Porter & Dr. Jeremy Lundholm
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Letter from Karen Beazley, Dalhousie Institute for Resource and Environmental Studies

Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier,

Please do not sell public land. NS has very little public land. It should not be sold to or for private interests. The Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Nature Conservancy of Canada are working hard to purchase and secure ecologically significant lands in NS, with substantial (several millions of dollars of) funding being provided by both private and public individuals and organizations in support of their efforts. They are focusing on connected ecological systems along the eastern shore and elsewhere to complement Provincial conservation efforts. There is strong public support of their efforts, providing solid evidence of public economic and ethical valuation of public and private land conservation in NS.

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Protecting Canada’s Carbon Sinks

Back Road Bog

A short but beautiful video and article from WWF-Canada explains the value of carbon sinks, and protecting sites like Owls Head, Nova Scotia.

World Wildlife Federation – Canada

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In the face of widespread wildlife loss and climate change, WWF-Canada’s new nation-wide assessment maps gaps in essential wildlife habitat protection and opportunities to protect areas that benefit biodiversity while slowing climate change.

A national habitat crisis

Just as we need housing, wildlife need somewhere to live. Half of Canada’s monitored species are in decline, by a staggering 83 per cent, and even wildlife protected under Canada’s Species at Risk Act are failing to recover. Wildlife simply can’t survive with increasingly degraded or destroyed habitats. They need to find food, mate, migrate and raise their young. Climate change only makes matters worse.

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