The year 2020 has been a tough one for Nova Scotia, and natural places have been where many of us have sought solace, especially those close to the ocean. Turning our precious coastal areas into golf courses — enclaves of privilege for wealthy Americans such as the one now exiting the White House — does not serve the interests of average Nova Scotians, the environment or the endangered species trying to live here.
Mr. Gilbert is intent on building his golf course, with its attendant heavy pesticide use, and razing the natural topography of this unique coastal landscape, let him do it on his privately-owned 138 hectares next to the intended Owls Head Provincial Park. That the Nova Scotia government secretly entered into a private sale agreement of public park land is an example of their cowardice and lack of accountability to the public who elected them, a public that needs green spaces like Owls Head now more than ever.
Office of the Premier 7th Floor, One Government Place 1700 Granville Street Halifax, NS B3J 1X5
March 10, 2020
Dear Premier Stephen McNeil:
Owls Head is an ecologically significant area along the Eastern Shore that is deserving of legal protection. It contains a number of rare ecosystem types, as well as important habitat for migratory birds and species-at-risk. It is a key headland within the “100 wild islands” ecosystem.
“Owls Head is characterized by repeating bedrock ridges that support a coastal barrens ecosystem. A globally rare heathland plant community occurs on the crests of the ridges and biodiverse bog wetlands predominate in the depressions between the ridges. This landscape pattern on the coast is only otherwise known from Blue Rocks, Lunenburg County, amidst residential developments with no conservation protection.”
Picture this: the ocean breeze is blowing through your hair. Imagine the sand underneath your feet. Think back to days spent at a quiet beach or walking along a rocky shore. You are building sandcastles, watching the seals following the fishing boats, looking for sea glass, digging clams, or collecting shells. Can you imagine life in Nova Scotia without these things? No, neither can I. Continue reading “Disappearing Coastline”
If you think the provincial cabinet’s secret decision to remove Owls Head Provincial Park reserve (or an “undesignated” provincial park in government-speak) from a list of public properties slated for permanent protection is of interest only to a few Eastern Shore locals, think again.
Many other provincial parks in HRM, and elsewhere in Nova Scotia, are “undesignated” under the Provincial Parks Act and hence enjoy only administrative protection—not legal protection. On the Eastern Shore, they include Paces Lake Provincial Park, Lower East Chezzetcook Provincial Park, Liscomb Point Provincial Park, and others farther east. Closer to home, they include the immensely popular McCormacks Beach Provincial Park in Eastern Passage and Herring Cove Provincial Park and Blind Bay Provincial Park outside Halifax.