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: What Happens When We Lose Them?

West Marsh Clam Bay by Stan Frantz

The following is an excerpt from the Nova Scotia Wetland Conservation Policy. Protect our wetlands, protect Owls Head.

World Wetlands Day

It’s #WorldWetlandsDay! Time to celebrate vital wetland habitats like marshes, swamps, fens and bogs. It's also clear we need to better protect these important #ecosystems – the Global Wetland Outlook estimates that 35% have been lost in the past 45 years.

Posted by WWF-Canada on Saturday, February 1, 2020
Video by World Wildlife Fund Canada
Continue reading “Wetlands: What Happens When We Lose Them?”

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”