The Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) has been working to protect our critical marine environments.
Fundy Baykeeper, part of our Marine Program has been working to defend the Bay of Fundy since being founded in 2003. Through active patrolling in the Baykeeper boat, Fundy Baykeeper assesses the threats to the bay and works toward solutions with wide ranging partners. Our founding Baykeeper and long time member of CCNB, Dave Thompson, retired last month but remains active in CCNB on our board of directors. Matthew Abbott, the Marine Project Coordinator, has moved into the role of Fundy Baykeeper. Over the past year we have been active members in a number of campaigns with wide ranging partners including a call for a halt to the use of eco-toxic pesticides in the open netpen salmon aquaculture industry; a campaign to stop the approval of genetically modified Atlantic Salmon; and the ongoing campaign to restore gaspereau (alewives) to the St Croix River. In the summer of 2010, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans quietly released its assessment of the health of Canada’s major marine ecosystems. The key findings were blunt and chilling; marine food webs are crumbling and ocean waters are acidifying. Conservation Council worked to shine the light of public attention on the report card and build awareness about its findings among national environmental organizations and parliamentarians. We encouraged Tides Canada to help convene a three oceans summit to develop a course of action in response. CCNB was the driving force behind the establishment of the Musquash Estuary Marine Protected Area (MPA). Estuaries are some of the most productive ecosystems on earth, their preservation is critical. As the last intact estuary in the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine and the largest remaining salt marsh in the Bay of Fundy, the protection of Musquash is essential. CCNB has continued to defend Musquash by serving on the Advisory Committee for the MPA, stopping the development of an aquaculture site just outside the borders of the MPA, and carrying out regular patrols at key sites to clean up marine debris and curb illegal dumping. We host an annual Musquash Paddle to allow citizens to fully experience Musquash from the water. Baykeeper was instrumental in organizing the Atlantic Coalition for Aquaculture Reform (ACAR) and continues to serve as co-coordinator of the coalition. This coalition of fishermen’s associations, environmental organizations, and concerned coastal citizens from both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia has banded together to highlight and address the environmental damage and threats to traditional fisheries caused by the salmon aquaculture industry. Given the ongoing expansion of salmon aquaculture into Nova Scotia, ACAR has served as an important forum to organize coordinated regional activities to highlight the folly of industrial feedlot aquaculture and put real pressure on federal and provincial governments to appropriately regulate the industry. ACAR has also served as a critical venue for collaboration with groups on the West Coast also highlighting the impacts of salmon aquaculture. Despite abandoning plans for a second oil refinery in Saint John in 2009, Irving Oil continued with the provincial and federal environmental assessment processes for the associated marine terminal. Fundy Baykeeper was an official intervenor and provided expert evidence of the damage the construction and operation of such a marine terminal would cause in the coastal ecosystem. While it remains critical, partly because of the monitoring, reporting, and advocacy work of Baykeeper, the marine debris problem in the Quoddy Region, in the outer Bay of Fundy has improved considerably. For instance, we have secured the clean-up of several more large debris sites through our work this patrol season. To learn more about CCNB’s Marine program and Fundy Baykeeper, contact Matthew Abbott, Fundy Baykeeper: firstname.lastname@example.org; (506) 529-8838 For further information, please contact us at: CCNB 180 St. John St., Fredericton, NB E3B 4A9 Tel: 506 458-8747 Fax: 506 458-1047 Email: email@example.comGet the pictures and subscribe at: http://fundytides.blogspot.com