Meet the super-plant from Nova Scotia’s shorelines: eelgrass

The carbon converter found by Owls Head protects against storms and gives fish and lobster a safe place to grow up

Mira Dietz Chiasson
The Coast
February 27, 2020

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Dive below the waves somewhere along Nova Scotia’s coastline and you might encounter a thriving ecosystem that is vitally important to our fisheries, our ways of life and our climate: An underwater eelgrass meadow.

See the play of sunlight in the meadow’s swaying underwater forest, fish darting between the blades of grass and discover other creatures feeding and clinging to the vegetation. Eelgrass may resemble a seaweed, but it’s actually a plant, complete with flowers and roots, that spends its life under the waves.

Continue reading “Meet the super-plant from Nova Scotia’s shorelines: eelgrass”

Letter from N.S. Wild Flora Society

January 30, 2020 

We of the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society are writing to express our concern with the delisting of Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve and proposed golf course development on these public lands. The Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation and conservation of wild flora and habitat in Nova Scotia.

Continue reading “Letter from N.S. Wild Flora Society”

Water

Lily Pond

“The bogs and coastal wetlands of Owl’s Head are beautiful, complex, pristine, and undervalued. Development of the site would completely, irrevocably, and utterly destroy the natural hydrology of Owl’s Head and impact surrounding marine waters.”   

—Christopher Trider

Water. We take it for granted, but it’s important. Owl’s Head has this incredible relationship with water, both on the site and with the adjacent marine areas.

The entire headland of Owls Head acts as a water recharge area. Water is held in the sloughs between the ridges, it filters through the bogs and barrens, then finds its way into the sea at various points. The drainage patterns are a complex, uncharted maze with small ponds and pools, raised bogs, and Douglas Lake. This hydrology is just another layer, another reason to protect the natural integrity of these public lands. Continue reading “Water”

The Marine Side: By Kristina Boerder

Low tide on Sleepy Head

Marine biologist Dr. Kristina Boerder explains that Eastern Shore marine ecosystems and salt marshes are providing “important ecosystem services” that benefit humans and nature.

  • Protection from coastal erosion
  • Providing important habitat for a multitude of species
  • Benefiting local fisheries
  • Acting as important carbon sinks (absorbing & storing carbon dioxide)
  • Providing breeding and nursery habitat for terrestrial, near-shore, and migratory birds
  • Providing “shelter, foraging, and breeding habitat for marine invertebrates, such as shrimp and crabs, and small fish”

I’m a marine biologist working with Dalhousie University and have been doing a little research on the coastal and marine habitats and ecosystems around Owls Head, which might potentially be impacted by any large-scale development on the land. The best data comes from DFO [Department of Fisheries and Oceans] for the proposal for the Eastern Shore marine protected area as well as from some research going on at Dal. Continue reading “The Marine Side: By Kristina Boerder”