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.
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.”
A rare bit of footage shows yet another reason to save this unique and rare ecosystem.
Susan Vickery recalled someone mentioning the Eider Ducks who visit Owls Head and how it is an essential habitat for them. She also recalled having spotted one and gotten footage a couple of years ago. She dug it up and sent it to me.
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”