Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bay of Fundy counting on tide of support in 7 wonders contest

Yahoo Canada News - Tue Dec 30, 8:50 AM

NEW BRUNSWICK (CBC) - A Maritime treasure is up against Mount Everest and the Grand Canyon to become one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. But before competing with those world favourites, the Bay of Fundy must beat out stiff competition from various Canadian candidates in an online contest to determine a new list of the world's greatest natural attractions.

The world's highest tides are up against Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador, which currently tops the Canadian nominees in voting, and Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, which is trailing the Bay of Fundy. The top five Canadian candidates also include Long Point Sand Spit in Ontario and Perc? Rock in Quebec's Gasp? region.

Supporters of the Bay of Fundy, such as Terri McCulloch, are urging people to cast their last-minute votes before Wednesday's deadline. She's spearheading the official supporting committee to make the bay one of the seven natural wonders of the world in the international contest.

"This is kind of the big times, like the Olympics for popularity contests when it comes to natural attractions," McCulloch said.

As the only Maritime attraction in the contest, McColloch said support has been coming in from Cape Breton to Prince Edward Island. McCulloch said the Bay of Fundy has more than just the highest tides in the world.

There are also fossils, including the smallest dinosaur bones, along with whales, sandpipers and the potential for tidal power.

McCulloch, who lives in Parrsboro, N.S., said the competition has given her a better feel for the region. Each country gets to nominate one natural attraction. Anybody can vote until the midnight Dec. 31 deadline.

McCulloch said she'll find out in early January whether the bay makes it to the next round.

The online contest is being led by the New7Wonders Foundation. According to its website, the foundation was started in 2001 by Bernard Weber, a Swiss-born Canadian filmmaker and adventurer, to create greater cultural diversity for the planet and protect the world's natural heritage.

This is the second worldwide vote to honour the new seven wonders of the world. In 2007, more than 100 million votes selected the wonders listed below:

- The Great Wall of China.

- Petra in Jordan.

- Chichun Itzu in Mexico.

- The Statue of Christ Redeemer in Brazil.

- The Colosseum in Italy.

- Machu Picchu in Peru.

- The Taj Mahal in India.

Today (Dec 31) Your Last Chance to Vote Fundy as One of 7 Natural Wonders

The Bay of Fundy is now competing in a worldwide contest to declare the New7 Wonders of Nature.

The Bay of Fundy is one of only 5 Canadian sites (& only Maritime site) selected to participate in this global contest.

Vote online at before December 31, when only one Canadian site is selected to represent our country during the 2009 phase of the contest. We want to be in the #1 spot by Dec 31, when only one site will go on to represent Canada in the 2009 phase of the contest.

If you need some reasons, here’s Fundy’s awesome case for becoming a New7Wonder of Nature:

- home to the highest tides in the world
- world renown geology and palaeontology
- summer feeding area for endangered North Atlantic Right whales
- critical feeding ground for 90+% of world’s semi-palmated sandpipers
- best site in the world for tidal power potential
- UNESCO has recently recognized upper Bay of Fundy as a Biosphere Reserve and Joggins Fossil Cliffs as a World Heritage Site

Currently the New7Wonders of Nature contest has over 400 worldwide sites participating and expects 1 billion online votes by the contest’s conclusion. It’s kind of like the Olympics for nature destinations!!

Canada AM is already planning to film in the winning region... That should be Fundy!!

Remember: you can vote with as many email addresses as you own. Please, if you haven’t already voted, go to our campaign domain address or use the links on our regular web page (see below).

If you have any questions, contact Bay of Fundy Tourism manager, Terri McCulloch 902-254-2772 or or visit:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fundy Bird of The Week - Hawk Owl in Fredericton

This week we've chosen the Northern Hawk Owl that NatureNB members have been reporting from the Fredericton area. It could have been the Snowy Owls that are being reported here and there throughout the area or the Bohemian Waxwings, but this is a favourite of mine. I think Fenwick Landsdown did a great portrait many years ago.

Wikilpedia has the following:

The Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) is a medium sized owl. The term "hawk" refers to its falcon-like wing shape and long tail. It is the only living species in the genus Surnia. The species is sometimes called simply the Hawk Owl; however, many species of owls in the Ninox genus are also called hawk owls.

This bird is 35-43 cm long with a 69-82 cm wingspan. It has a rounded head with yellow eyes, dark brown upperparts and barred underparts and tail. The song is a bubbling lulululu. More ...

Thanks to Wikipedia for the photo.

Newest Bay of Fundy LNG Proposal - Comments to FERC is publishing the following links to submissions to FERC as of December 26th, 2008.

Comment of Mary Barnett in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF08-24-000
Submission Date: 12/7/2008
Comment of Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission under PF08-24. This comment corrects an error on page 2 of the original comment filed Dec. 4, 2008 and replaces the words "Downeast LNG's" with the words "Calais LNG's".
Comment on Filing: St Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce submits comments re Calais LNG under PF08-24.
Government Agency Submittal: Maine Department of Conservation submits a list that identifies (rare and exemplary botanical) features with potential to occur in the area of the Calais LNG Project under PF08-24.
Comment of Joyce Morrell in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF08-24-000
Submission Date: 12/8/2008
Comment of Art A. MacKay in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF08-24-000
Submission Date: 12/9/2008
Comment of Town of Baileyville under PF08-24.
Comment of Douglas B Bartlett in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF08-24-000
Submission Date: 12/13/2008
Comments of Joyce E. Morrell and Janice R. Meiners concerning Calais LNG terminals under PF08-24.
Transcript of the 12/04/08 Public Hearing held at Washington County Community College in Calais, Maine under PF08-24.
General Correspondence Calais LNG Project Company LLC's Monthly Pre-Filing Status Report No. 4 for the period of October 31, 2008 through December 05, 2008 under PF08-24.
Comments of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under PF08-24-000.
Comment of St. Croix Estuary Project Inc. under PF08-24.
Comment letter from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on NOI to prepare EIS under PF08-24.
Comment of Art A. MacKay in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF08-24-000
Submission Date: 12/18/2008
Comments of SPB Canada regarding the LNG terminal proposed by Calais LNG under PF08-24.
Comment of Douglas B Bartlett in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF08-24-000
Submission Date: 12/20/2008
Comment of Ronald C Remick, JR under PF08-24-000.
Comment of Herm Gadway under PF08-24-000.
Comments of Sherly L King.
Comments of BAYSIDE PORT CORPORATION under PF08-24-000.
Comment of madonna mae soctomah in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF08-24-000
Submission Date: 12/22/2008
Comment of EPA Region 1 under PF08-24.
Comments of Williams R. Bridgeo's re Calais NLG project under PF08-24.
Comments of Mac Greene, Captain of Campobello Whale Rescue Team concerning marine mammals at risk in Head Harbour area submitted for Mac Greene by Joyce E Morrell under PF08-24.
Comment of Donald Soctomah in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF08-24-000
Submission Date: 12/21/2008
Comment of Conservation Law Foundation under PF08-24.
Comment of NOAA Fisheries, Northeast Region under PF08-24.
Comment of Downeast LNG, Inc. under PF08-24.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay Scoping Comments re Calais LNG under PF08-24-000
Additional Comments of SavePassamaquoddyBay in PF08-24.
Comment of National Park Service under PF08-24.
Comment of St. Croix International Waterway Commission under PF08-24.
Comment of laird higgison in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF08-24-000
Submission Date: 12/23/2008
Comments of Bernard J Lukco et al re Calais LNG Project under PF08-24.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fundy Tides - One Day Left to Comment on Calais LNG

The proposed Calais LNG scoping period with FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) ends tomorrow. This development threatens the environmental integrity of Passamaquoddy Bay, the most productive site for its size in one of Canada's Seven Natural Wonders, the Bay of Fundy. You can register with FERC and make your views known at This initial decision period ends tomorrow, Monday, December 22, 2009.

Please send your comment today, and help us save our vital ecosystem by stopping the industrialization of Quoddy.

Original posted at

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fundy Bird of the Week - Painted Bunting at Grand Manan

Painted Bunting (
If you follow the Nature NB listserv postings, you too will be fascinated by the strange and wonderful avian creatures that frequent the Bay of Fundy and its shores. So, we have decided to pick a "bird of the week" from the various postings so that everyone will enjoy these beautiful creatures.

This week it's a male Painted Bunting reported by Laurie Murison at North Head Grand Manan. Beautiful.

Bay of Fundy Nature Park being squeezed by LNG Terminal and Quarry Developments.

The Ganong Nature and Marine Park is the culmination of many years of work by many people and the fulfillment of Whidden Ganong's dream to have his 350 acre country property turned into a nature park. Owned and operated by the St. Croix Estuary Project Inc.(SCEP) there are now fears that years of effort and two million in investment may be negatively impacted by continued pressure from the Bayside Quarry expansion and the proposed Calais LNG development directly across from the Todd's Point site.

A letter of concern has been sent to FERC regarding the Calais LNG proposal at Red Beach and a similar letter is being drafted to submit to the Province of New Brunswick relative to the Bayside Quarry expansion proposal.

The FERC letter can be read at:

What's the Rush? Dump the Cat? Opinion
Item - Bleak future for The Cat
The Working Waterfront)

Last month, The Cat made her last trips from Maine to Nova Scotia before packing it up for the season. There's plenty of reason to fear the high-speed catamaran won't be back next year.

Our region's long-haul ferries had a brutal season. Battered by sky-high fuel prices and a downturn in U.S. travel to Canada, the private-sector car ferries that bridge the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy are on government life support, while prices have soared on the government-run services that connect Newfoundland to the rest of the continent. More at:

The Way I See It

When I was a wee youngster it seems to me I vaguely remember something about being constantly cautioned that "moderation in all things" was the way to go. I guess no one out there has heard about this or, perhaps like me, it was scoffed at or ignored. Well, looks like another fancy development might crumble this year. The sad thing is that proven, long-term solutions are "tarred with the same brush" and may collapse as well.

It's a short century since we moved from "environmentally friendly"and "sustainable" sail as a method of shipping our goods to huge, fuel guzzling ships that frantically move us and our precious goods back and forth across the globe. I hear we even ship our fish to China so that they can process them (more cheaply) and sell them back to us ... all the while consuming precious, limited fuel. The Cat is a high speed transportation system that zooms between Maine and Yarmouth consuming about 1,300 gallons of fuel per hour. Well, in the current economic climate the users are not coming and the cost of fuel has been and will continue to be, a serious limiting factor; not to mention it is a diminishing resource that some folks estimate will be in limited supply within 25 years.

Unfortunately, traditional ferries are suffering during this crisis as well, the result of big-time government divestiture. So now we see privately owned highways, railway, generating stations, ferries, airlines, and the list goes on. Encouraged by their friends in business, it seems that governments on all levels have sold off our essential public utilities and services, apparently to profit private companies; many of which seem to be constantly in trouble. Well smart folks in charge, your predecessors were wise enough to realize that some services SHOULD be publicly owned and operated. They knew this because private land owners once set up their own toll fences where they charged travellers for passing over their lands and essential transportation was subject to the whims of business. So they all worked hard to protect their constituents and succeeded in placing essential services under public control or regulation. Today we are selling this all when we should be controlling essential services for the people of Canada. More particularly, we desperately need to build business expertise in government, examine alternate "sustainable" strategies for the future, and get on with it before we totally consume this planet in our headlong rush to consume!

Let the Cat go. Check out assisted sail for our short-sea shipping needs and let's all slow down a bit. There's no need to rush to oblivion!

Photo from More information about the Cat at:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SPB Canada Speaks Out about LNG Threat

LNG Tanker compared to large freighter currently
using Passamaquoddy Bay

Save Passamaquoddy Bay Canada (SPB-C) bills itself as the organization that "... was formed to inform Canadians of the LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay – St. Croix Estuary, to provide a voice for Canadians who oppose these proposals, and to ensure that voice is exercised in appropriate fora." SPB-C was a rocky spin off of the original community organization Save Passamaquoddy Bay-USA which, together with its Passamaquoddy counterpart Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon ("We Take Care of Our Land") continues to do the heavy lifting and is actively engaged in the front-line battle against LNG along the Maine shore of Passamaquoddy Bay.

Unfortunately, at least 2 individual environmentalists who are perceived by many as representing a radical fringe position, were seen to be representing SPB-C at the Calais LNG scoping session last week. According to newspaper articles, they were accorded a less than friendly welcome by those in attendance; a further crumbling of the once co-operative international community that once circled the Bay.

While LNG proponents have been less than charitable in the past, SPB-C needs to broaden its community base if it ever wishes to cast off its image as a bunch of radicals that represent their own best interests not that of the community they purport to represent.

That said, SPB-C has certainly put together an impressive array of documents and submitted them to FERC. While I haven't had the time to review all of them, those that I checked appear to be well constructed and thoughtful expressions of concern relative to the Calais LNG proposal. Check the links below for the full list of submissions.

There's always room for your comments here. So let's hear them.


LNG FERC scoping letter - Calais 2008.DOC
Cultural Impacts of LNG in Bay.DOC
Ecological issues.PDF
Fisheries Issues.DOC
LNG impacts on lifestyle - Susan Lambert.PDF
Passamaquoddy Nation.DOC
Safety and Security paper - Jan Meiners.DOC
Tourism Impacts.DOC

Composite photo created by Art MacKay. Original freighter photo from Bangor Daily News, LNG tanker from online source.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Will Saint John Continue to Turn its Back on its Heritage ... and its Old Friends?

News Item, Telegraph Journal - Wildlife Officials of cash-strapped facility say it may be in jeopardy without stable support - Common council wants surrounding municipalities to help fund the financially strapped Cherry Brook Zoo .. more ...

The Cherry Brook Zoo's financial woes are back in the news and I continue to wonder if the "movers-and-shakers" in Saint John really understand that in their excitement to create THEIR vision of the future, they are turning their back on the colourful history and heritage of a city that is one of the important foundations of our culture in Southwestern New Brunswick.

Saint John is no longer the "Loyalist City", the Reversing Falls are about to spiral down in a "Vortex" and the "Loyalist Man" replacement looks more like "Clip Art Man" with a serious back problem. And with the old hospital gone, the skyline has gone from interesting and dynamic to condo heaven.

I remember when the Hungarian refugees arrived in Saint John many, many years ago. It was winter and the city looked dismal. I suspect that many tears flowed as the arrivals questioned their choice of this bleak and dismal land. The City is changing, that is for certain and in may ways that is a good thing as the old city becomes alive again. The harbour-front trail system is spectacular, the condos are well designed and attractive, the new plantings along Route 1 are beautiful, and future plans are encouraging. But turning your backs on your history, heritage, and old friends is not!

The Cherry Brook Zoo is an important component of Saint John and people from other areas as well. We come, we pay our admission, and some of us donate. But the City of Saint John is ultimately responsible. To suggest that somehow the poor of the city will suffer if the paltry $175,000 annual need is provided to the Zoo is a cheap shot of the lowest order.

Get it together Saint John! If you think that you are building a modern, dynamic city then realize that you have to take care of the entire fabric not just the gaudy and slippery silks.

Art MacKay