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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JIM VIBERT: Without answers, Rankin’s credibility suffers

Naturalist Bob Bancroft and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch were in court last week making the case that the secret removal of Owls Head from the list denied the public an opportunity to be heard. There was broad public consultation to develop the list.

… Rankin’s defence of the behind-closed-doors machinations was vague and vapid. He talked about listening to Nova Scotians and following the right process.

Yet, all available evidence suggests Rankin and the government listened only to the golf course proponents and their well-connected Liberal lobbyists. As for the process, it was hidden from Nova Scotians, who just happen to own the land.

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“Does the Premier regret forcing communities to take his decisions to court for a third time?”

Gary Burrill questions Premier Iain Rankin about a pattern of judicial reviews brought forward by citizens

GARY BURRILL: Mr. Speaker, the Premier’s decisions as minister are now in court a third time. This time, it’s the judicial review from last week of his decision to secretly delist Owls Head Provincial Park with a view to selling it to a developer who would turn it into a golf course.

Does the Premier regret forcing communities to take his decisions to court for a third time now?

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Rally in Review

On April 1, 2021, approximately 100 supporters participated in a demonstration outside the Law Courts in solidarity with judicial review applicants Bob Bancroft and Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association.

Mi’kmaw Grandmother Darlene Gilbert (Thunderbird Swooping Down Woman) gave a land acknowledgement. Scheduled speakers at the demonstration included local resident Beverley Isaacs, Lindsay Lee of Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association, Tynette Deveaux of Sierra Club Atlantic, environmental activist Jacob Fillmore, and Facebook group founder Sydnee Lynn McKay. Nina Newington of Extinction Rebellion emceed the demonstration.

Gary Burrill (leader of the NDP Party) addressed the crowd, as did Thomas Trappenberg (leader of the Green Party) and Jessica Alexander (deputy leader of the Green Party). An Eastern Shore resident who has asked to remain nameless also chose to speak in support of Owls Head Provincial Park.

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