Coastal community connects around stories and images of coastal protection | Ecology Action Centre

Coastal community connects around stories and images of coastal protection


Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) – An event at the Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre, just outside Port Joli, Nova Scotia, is bringing people together to share stories around what it means to live in “Canada’s Ocean Playground” – and how we celebrate and protect that legacy.

The event, titled “Coastal Connections: an Afternoon of Southwest Nova Stories and Imagery,” will take place October 13 at the Harrison Lewis Centre. Located along Nova Scotia's South Shore, the Port Joli area is home to some of the last undisturbed pieces of Atlantic coastal landscape, from upland barrens and mixed woods to sand beaches, tidal flats and undersea kelp forests.

Seventeen distinct natural habitats have been identified in the Port Joli Basin. Jessica Bradford, Program and Development Manager at Harrison Lewis Centre says this has become increasingly important, and rare. 

“The minimal development and abundance of protected coastal lands here may provide a benchmark that allows researchers to assess changes in the environment brought on by human activities,” Bradford says.

Bradford looks forward to seeing members of the community share their passion and stories about the region.  “With several parks, nature reserves, and migratory bird sanctuaries in this area, there’s been no shortage of community work to protect the coastline,” says Bradford.

It’s a sentiment shared by Jordy Thompson, Marine Science and Conservation Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, “It’s inspiring to see a community come together to celebrate their connection with marine ecosystems,” Thomson says.

One of the story-tellers and collaborators for the event is Gabrielle Beaulieu, Project Manager for Coastal Restoration with Kejimkujik National Park Seaside. Beaulieu will be speaking about the work that’s been done to combat the invasive European green crab.

“Through focusing on the population control of invasive European green crab, Parks Canada has ‎recovered 38% of its eelgrass beds and improved juvenile soft-shell clam abundance,” says Beaulieu. “As such, Kejimkujik Seaside is the site of the first successful coastal restoration project of its kind in North America.”

The afternoon event will include a photo exhibit by Canadian conservation photographer Nick Hawkins. Hawkins spent two weeks this summer photographing marine life and habitats just off the coast of Port Joli.

“The diversity of life below the surface of the ocean around Nova Scotia is astounding”, says Hawkins, “Very few people have the opportunity to see beneath the surface of the waves – we want to bring the sea to life at this event.”

The event is free and open to the public. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. It is being hosted in collaboration by Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre, Kejimkujik National Park Seaside, and the Ecology Action Centre.

Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018 (Rain Date – October 14)

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location: Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre, 339 Sandy Bay rd., East Port L'Hebert, N.S.

More information about the event can be found online at

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For more information, please contact:

Jessica Bradford 
Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre 
(902) 440-5503

Jordy Thomson
Ecology Action Centre
(902) 446-4840 

Jeff Lansing
Media Officer, Parks Canada
(902) 426-1345 

The Ecology Action Centre is a member-based environmental charity in Nova Scotia taking leadership on critical issues from biodiversity to climate change to environmental justice.

The Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre was founded in 2007 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation of the natural environment and rural living. Located on Nova Scotia's South Shore, the Centre offers outstanding opportunities to explore, research, and experience the living landscape.

Nick Hawkins is a Canadian conservation photographer and photojournalists from New Brunswick. He has produced featured articles for Canadian Geographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine, and Canadian Wildlife Magazine, and was featured in the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards. 

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