Why Owls Head is Worthy of Protection

Owls Head Park is a biologically diverse property with undisturbed coastal heathlands, salt marshes and bogs, a freshwater lake, estuaries, beaches, and a pristine, rugged coastline. It is bordered by offshore eelgrass beds and is home to several species of conservation concern, including a “globally rare” Broom Crowberry (Corema conradii) ecosystem. Scientists from Saint Mary’s University have been studying the plant communities of Owls Head for 15 years, and emphasize that it needs our protection.

Owls Head has a “Tier 1” (top priority) conservation rating based on extensive consultations with citizens, environmental organizations, industry representatives, and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. Even a private real estate valuation commissioned by the prospective developer declared that the “highest and best use” for the property would be ‘conservation’ or ‘recreation’ (such as hiking and kayaking).

Owls Head is ecologically unique and it provides vital ecosystem services, biodiversity, and coastal habitat. As a 268-hectare, undisturbed coastal landscape on the Atlantic Flyway, Owls Head is an important habitat for native bird species and a refuge for migratory birds. Its shoreline has been identified as habitat for the endangered and beloved piping plover. In Nova Scotia, there are fewer than 40 breeding pairs of piping plovers, so we must make every effort to protect them.

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Piping Plover photo courtesy of Jason Dain

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