Nature Canada
Jennifer Downey

Help Protect a Seascape of Wonder! Make Your Voice Heard for the Bay of Fundy

Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, is encouraging Canadians to make their voices heard about a plan to protect the Bay of Fundy.

Calling all Maritimers… and anybody else who cares about magical seascapes! We’re at a pivotal moment  in our continuing quest to protect the Bay of Fundy.

I hardly need to introduce Canadians to  the Bay of Fundy. World-renowned for its extreme tides and “flowerpot” rock formations, the Bay is a saltwater haven between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that shelters at-risk species such as the Right Whale, the  American Eel and wild Atlantic Salmon. Now the federal government is seeking Canadians’ input on how to protect this ecological gem as well as other significant marine areas on the Scotian Shelf (the section of the Continental Shelf off Nova Scotia).

To support Canada’s goal to protect 30 % of our oceans by 2030, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has launched a public survey to collect feedback from Canadians on the Scotian-Shelf- Bay of Fundy bioregion. The survey will help DFO decide which areas should be designated marine protected areas.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are vital to maintaining the health of the ocean around us. They protect habitats that wildlife need for feeding, breeding, and safe refuge. They help preserve important cultural and tourism opportunities for coastal communities. MPAs allow some activities such as lobster fishing, but prohibit harmful activities such as drilling, mining, digging, and dredging.

Based on feedback received, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will finalize a marine conservation network plan for the region. Click here or on the button below to access the survey:

Take the Survey

Cape Split headland in the Bay of Fundy (Photo: Rachel Reeve)

A survey is  a mini-town hall… without people talking over one another

We have a lot of surveys coming at us these days, but this one is well worth the time of nature lovers and people with a connection to the Bay. It allows citizens to make a case for protecting the areas they know and love, and so provides essential raw material for the planning process. And of course, It is also a measure of engagement: the more survey responses, the more enthusiasm for the topic in question.

And there is certainly enthusiasm across the country for protecting the Bay of Fundy: it is one of North America’s seven natural wonders and draws visitors from around the world. But like so many of the world’s natural wonders, it is under increasing pressure from human use and environmental changes. The challenge is to decide which stretches of the Bay should be conservation priorities.

Proposed conservation sites on the New Brunswick side of the Bay include the West Isles and Passages off southwest New Brunswick (also known as the Fundy Isles); the Horse Mussel Aggregations in the Bay of Fundy between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; Long Eddy (off the northern tip of Grand Manan Island);  South Grand Manan Island; Chignecto Bay;  and Salmon Rivers. Areas on the Nova Scotia side of the Bay of Fundy include Cobequid Bay, Southern Bight and Brier Island. (For a complete list of proposed sites, please visit the DFO page Marine conservation network sites for the Scotian Shelf-Bay of Fundy Bioregion. )

Survey guidance

To assist survey-takers, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (New Brunswick Chapter) has identified 13 special marine areas that represent the diverse habitats in the Bay of Fundy. We hope you will find inspiration that will spur you to do the survey. The survey is open to public participation until June 29, and  a final plan is expected in December.

Let’s not miss this opportunity to share our opinions, expertise, and enthusiasm in advancing protection for the Bay of Fundy. The only way to ensure that marine protected areas  get created is to speak up. Now’s our chance!

For more information, please see the DFO page: Marine Conservation Network Plan for the Scotian Shelf-Bay of Fundy Bioregion.

Want to Help?

Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.