Sea-level rise is a reality of our future, so what can we do to plan for it? The Coastal and Water Team is working on the Educating Coastal Communities About Sea-level Rise (EACoAS) project which aims to do just that: educate communities about sea-level rise and encourage fishers, councillors, residents etc. to take it into consideration when planning for the future. The project consists of workshops, a website, videos, and infographics. Click on the link below to find out more about sea-level rise and some resources to help you out. More info...
Coastal Protection Act
Nova Scotia's coast is our most precious asset. Yet 'Canada's Ocean Playground' lacks any formal, comprehensive protection for our coast. The Ecology Action Centre is seeking long term, legal protection through a Coastal Protection Act. A Coastal Protection Act would recognize the value and significance of Nova Scotia's coasts, set targets and standards to protect and restore coastal ecosystems and habitat, and put in place an effective, easily understood, system of land use planning measures to keep people and property safe from rising sea levels and extreme weather. This was an EAC 2017 Provincial Election Priority, find out more about the commitments made in the election here. More info...
Our Past Work
Many coastal property owners in Nova Scotia are concerned about property loss or damage due to erosion (sediment movement caused by water and wind). Traditionally, boulders or rock walls have been used to reduce property loss. But this type of hard infrastructure can be expensive, require regular maintenance, and even interfere with sediment movement and beach formation, increasing erosion elsewhere along the coast. Living Shorelines are a softer approach for stabilizing shorelines. Learn more here.
Groundswell is a community-based groundwater monitoring project that connects volunteers to simple groundwater level monitoring around the province. It is aimed at improving our understanding of groundwater resources in small communities. This project, initiated by the Ecology Action Centre, is currently being run by the Nova Scotia Community College waterfront campus. We continue to work with NSCC to publish student research via annual reports, found here.
The Sawmill River is a historic river that once flowed through downtown Dartmouth. In 1972, after extensive flooding caused by Hurricane Beth, the river was buried into a stormwater sewer. The City of Halifax has embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expose and restore Sawmill River. Halifax Water is in the process of replacing the aging culvert in which the Sawmill River now flows between Sullivan's Pond and the Halifax Harbour. Phase one is now complete. Learn more about our past involvement with this project here.
Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking)
From 2011 - 2014, we worked alongside thousands of people dedicated to protecting our communities and the environment from Fracking. On November 14, 2014 the Government of Nova Scotia released legislation to prohibit fracking in Nova Scotia. Recently, the fight against fracking has resurfaced. We've been supporting the work of NOFRAC to keep the moratorium in place. You can stay up-to-date with the fight against Fracking at http://www.nofrac.com/
Cheticamp Climate Change Adaptation Project
Between 2011-2013, the Ecology Action Centre worked with community and provincial partners on a climate change adaptation project in Cheticamp, Cape Breton. The project focused on helping the tourism and fisheries sectors in Cheticamp understand climate change risks and opportunities specific to their sector. This project was funded by Canada’s Rural Secretariat under the Knowledge Development Partnership. Reports and presentations created as part of the Climate Change Adaptation Project in Cheticamp can be viewed below. A group of students in Mount Saint Vincent University's Tourism program undertook a project as major research assignment, within the context of the fourth year course THMT 4440 (Special Topics in Hospitality Management).
Well Worth It
Our Well Worth It project provided support well owners in learning about drinking water testing to keep families and communities healthy and strong. Through this project we were able to offer workshops and guides for water testing, and water testing kits that include resources, testing forms, water collection bottles, and grants for testing fees. This is a past project and we are no longer able to provide well testing. You can find water testing labs in Nova Scotia here, and a series of fact sheets with information on different water quality parameters, such as bacteria and chemicals, that may be present in well water, here.
Turn on the Taps:
Turn on the Taps and Ditch the Bottle coalition was formed in September 2008. The coalition led to some important successes, including the adoption of a bottled water policy by the provincial government in 2010, which limits the purchase of bottled water for events and promotes the use of tap water within provincial government departments. Additionally, six municipalities (County of Richmond, District of Clare, County of Antigonish, Town of Digby, Town of Antigonish and the Town of New Glasgow) established policies to ban the purchase of bottled water, and Halifax Regional Municipality banned the purchase and sale of bottled water in City Hall.
From 2010 – 2013, The EAC worked to increase the adaptation capacity of municipalities, developers, builders, and homeowners make improved decisions for managing stormwater in order to reduce the risk of infrastructure damage and the negative impact to water quality caused by extreme weather events. Part of that work involved educating the public about stormwater, which we did through videos and blog content. You can read articles and watch videos created as part of this past project at www.stormwatercentral.ca
On Solid Ground
From July to October 2012, the Ecology Action Centre and Sierra Club Atlantic contacted members of some community groups who had experiences with exploration, mining, environmental assessments and quarries. Community groups were selected who were known through personal professional contacts, or through the media, to be active on mining and quarry issues. Notes were kept, and privacy was maintained where appropriate. The result is the report "On Solid Ground: Community Voices for Changing Nova Scotia's Mining Policies". This report documents what we heard, and also gives 28 recommendations for change in the Mineral Resources Act and also in other policies.
ParCA - Partnership for Canadian-Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation
ParCA is a research project led by the University of Waterloo and the University of the West Indies. ParCA seeks to foster learning and collaboration between coastal communities in Nova Scotia, PEI, Jamaica, and Tobago, to understand adaptive strategies in the face of climate change. EAC is a community partner in ParCA project, and we support the research in the Nova Scotia study sites of Shelburne and Queens County. Learn more about ParCA here.
Resources, Presentations, and Reports:
- Creating a culture of water and energy efficiency in Nova Scotia communities (2015) - Jennifer West, PGeo, MSc
- Coalbed Methane in Nova Scotia A Comprehensive Guide to the Technology, Risks, and Activities (2015) - Jennifer West
- Keep it in the Ground: the impacts of fracking in Nova Scotia (2014)
- Losing Ground: Dealing with Erosion (2012)
- "What is Climate Change?" (2012) - Veronika Brzeski presentation given to 5th and 6th grade students at Baddeck Academy (Baddeck, Nova Scotia)
- "Le Saumon atlantique face au changement climatique" (2012) - Glen Bourgeois (only available in French. Developed for students in context of Oceans 11 course)
- "Changement Climatique"(2012) - Jillian Baker and Veronika Brzeski; (only available in French. Developed for student presentations grade 6 - 9)
- An Assessment of Climate Change and Tourism in Cheticmap, Nova Scotia (2011) - Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4
- "A Geological Perspective on Coastal Erosion along the Cheticamp Coastline" - Garth DeMont (Nova Scotia Natural Resources)
- "Climate Change: What will it mean for Chéticamp?" - Will Green (Climate Change Directorate, Nova Scotia Environment)
- Building a Better Boardwalk” What to do about Le Quai Mathieu (2012)
- "Cheticamp Boardwalk Project: Historical Overview of the Boardwalk" - Conrad Taves, BAAS, M. Arch
- "Wave Climate and Coastal Protection at Chéticamp - Summary of 2007 Study" - Vincent Leys, CBCL Limited Consulting Engineers
- "Case Studies, Boardwalks and Coastal Paths: Coastal Engineering and Climate Change Considerations" - Mike Davies, Ph.D, P. Eng. Coldwater Consulting Ltd.
- "Chéticamp Boardwalk/Le quai Mathieu: Pictures by Rosie Aucoin-Grace and la Société St-Pierre" (slideshow)
- "An Introduction to Risk Assessment" - Veronika Brzeski
- "A Tool to Assess Coastal Infrastructure Relevant to the Fishing & Aquaculture Industries in ACAS Study Areas" - Gordon Smith, CBCL Engineering Consultants
- "Options for Managing Coastal Erosion" - Ashley Sprague
- "Beach Processes: Chéticamp Area Beaches", Christopher Trider, Nova Shorelines
- "An Assessment of Climate Change and Tourism in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia (Fall 2011)" - Dr. E Wanda George, Mount Saint Vincent University
- "Our Possible Futures" - Anne Warburton, Elemental Sustainability Consulting Ltd.
- "Cheticamp's Boardwalk: a Waterfront re VITALIZATION plan" Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 - Conrad Taves, Conrad Taves Consulting
- Research Project Summary: Tourism Study in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia English / French - Mount Saint Vincent University
- Coastal Climate Change Adaptation: An Opportunity for Nova Scotia’s Towns & Municipalities - Jen Graham and Robin Musselman
You can also find reports and resources related to the Coastal Protection Act HERE.
Stay up-to-date with our Coastal Water work by joining our eNewsletter here.