Now this is really good news and it is great to see that the West Isles, Quoddy Region and Head Harbour Passage are under consideration again.
The importance of this area at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy has been known for many years and, in fact, the West Isles was the area my company, Marine Research Associates Ltd, identified as the choice for the first Canadian Marine Park on the Atlantic coast. It was designated as an area of national significance in spite of the fact that the Marine Park initiative fell through as a result of local opposition.
Now things seem to have changed and DFO is back on track again after a decade hiatus. All of the materials are at hand and there are numerous able professionals to argue the case for protection of areas that are not just vital ecologically, but which add millions of dollars to our economy.
You can review some of this information at these links:
The following references relate to the LNG terminal proposals in Passamaquoddy Bay, but speak to the importance of this area to fisheries, tourism and other businesses that have been recorded to bring as high as a billion dollars to New Brunswick and Maine.
Hopeful! That’s how I feel tonight!
Large sections of Bay of Fundy could come under federal protection
15 regions within Bay have been identified so far as areas of interest
CBC News Posted: Jan 05, 2016 3:55 PM AT Last Updated: Jan 05, 2016 3:55 PM AT
Maxine Westhead, section head for the marine protected areas program for the Maritimes under the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says those targets are driving current consultations.
She says DFO has been talking with communities and industry groups on the Nova Scotia side of the bay, and now it`s New Brunswick`s turn and the possibilities are wide-ranging.
“The tidal range of the Bay of Fundy is the largest in the world and that drives and shapes the ecosystems you find here,” said Westhead, speaking toInformation Morning Fredericton.
She says the Musquash estuary is the only area of the Bay to have marine protected area status now, but that could expand to include areas such as Head Harbour and the West Isles and the whole Quoddy region, which she says has high biological diversity and productivity.
“Over 2,000 species in that area have been identified and it has the highest biodiversity range in the Bay of Fundy,” said Westhead.
Fifteen areas within the Bay of Fundy have been identified so far as areas of interest. Westhead says consultations are taking place with community and industry groups, as well as scientists, and “we`re open to anyone who wants to have a say.”
Once consultations are complete it can take between one and five years for the designation of a protected area to take effect.
Westhead says anyone interested in taking part in the discussions can contact her directly at Maxine.Westhead@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.