Support Science at Owls Head Provincial Park

Marine biologist Dr. Kristina Boerder has launched a Go-Fund-Me campaign to fund important scientific research at Owls Head Provincial Park. If you can’t afford to make a donation, check out other ways to take action, here.

Donate Here

Please help us with this important research at Owls Head Provincial Park! Your contribution will cover essential costs for volunteers during our scientific expeditions, including:

  • Food and water
  • Transportation to and from the Eastern Shore
  • Research equipment rentals, such as snorkeling and diving gear for marine surveys
  • Photography and media support to help document our research and share our results

The findings from our 2021 expeditions will be publicly available so everyone can learn about the conservation value of Owls Head Provincial Park.

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One of the Most Valuable Ecosystems in the World

Despite its incredible benefits to the oceans and to our fisheries, nearly one-third of seagrass worldwide has been lost in the past century alone. Here in Nova Scotia, we have an incredible opportunity to protect it.

Contributed by Dr. Kristina Boerder
June 8, 2021
World Oceans Day

Also published here>

We have a treasure right in front of our doorstep that few people know about — eelgrass beds, a remarkable coastal ecosystem under the waves, just steps off the coast. Very few people know that eelgrass provides critically important ecosystem services, including supporting our fisheries, helping to prevent coastal and beach erosion, and storing carbon. The UN has even declared eelgrass meadows a “secret weapon” in the fight against climate change. Unfortunately, seagrass meadows are also one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems. It is estimated that the world loses up to 2 football fields worth of seagrass each hour. That’s the equivalent of 336 football fields each week.

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Photo by Nicole Tomasic

The Birds of Owls Head Need a Wingman

Love will soon be in the air—for barn swallows, that is. Courtship during the upcoming mating season will feature elegant aerial displays. Cobalt blue, cinnamon and chestnut-coloured, the barn swallow is a striking species. But it’s in flight that these birds go from interesting to incredible. Barn swallows are aerial acrobats, which have been recorded at speeds of up to 74 km/hour. They zip and zoom through the air, performing impressive manoeuvres to catch flying insects. Who knew that you could look so graceful while eating bugs all day?

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Dalhousie marine biologist calls sensitive eel grass at Owls Head ‘treasure’

Kristina Boerder says development would likely cause negative consequences on surrounding aquatic vegetation and marine life

Kristina Boerder completed work in the area last summer and says the rare eel grass beds at Owls Head are more effective at trapping carbon than forests on land. She says about one acre of eel grass can store about 330 kilograms of carbon per year. 

“This is about as much as a car travelling from Halifax to Vancouver would emit in carbon,” she says. “The function of eel grass beds trapping carbon is incredibly important if we talk about climate change and a warming planet.”

She says it also benefits humans and the environment by protecting the coast from erosion and improving water quality.

“It’s one of the most productive ecosystems in the world,” she says. “A square metre produces about 10 litres of oxygen per day, and really benefits everybody.”

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