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
Continue reading “How Golf Courses Would Jeopardize Important Marine Ecosystems”

Protecting Canada’s Hidden “Meadows of the Sea”

Collaborative research is uncovering the secrets of coastal seagrass beds to help keep them healthy

Sarah Joy Bittick 
Canadian Geographic
Published: October 30, 2019

Full Article Here>

People Benefit From Seagrass Meadows

All people living on the coasts of Canada have a close relationship with seagrasses, even if it’s not immediately apparent […] Besides their role as habitat for important food fish, seagrass meadows protect our coasts from high-energy waves from the ocean. This protection is especially important during storms; without it, our coastal towns and cities would not exist. Large seagrass meadows also absorb carbon through photosynthesis and store it in their tissues, which can help slow climate change. We certainly owe a lot to these meadows of the sea.

Keep Reading

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”

Now vs Then

Every property that made it onto the list of Parks and Protected Areas Plan had a reason to be there. Each had a history. Owl’s Head Provincial Park was property #694 until an arrogant, duplicitous Minister and Cabinet removed it. Now the government is trying to erase Owls Head from the public record. The initial CBC article by Michael Gorman, published on December 18, points to a backroom deal fabricated by lobbyists and political dinosaurs who think that anything is for sale. A secret deal, a Letter of Offer to sell 661 acres of public coastal land to a private developer. At this time, two Ministers have made misleading public statements in attempts to cover the smell of a deal that would not stand the light of public scrutiny or professional review.

Pristine coastal barrens, rare plants, endangered species, water frontage on 5 coves and a lake, sand beaches, ideal coves and inlets for coastal kayaking, did I mention publicly owned? Continue reading “Now vs Then”