THE BLUE HERON - Bras d'Or Stewardship Society

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					       Bra s d 'O r
                                       The Blue heron
                                        The Bras d’Or Stewardship Society
 St                               ty
                                                P.O. Box 158, Baddeck, Nova Scotia B0E 1B0
      ew a
             r ds hi p S o ci e

 VOLUME 14                                                  JULy 2011                                       NO. II

O     nce again, it is time for Issue
      number 2 of the 2011 Blue
Heron Newsletter. The Bras d’Or
                                                very costly proposed 70 slip marina have caused costly siltation and
                                                facility at the head of East Bay erosion within the Bras d’Or Lakes
                                                adjacent to the Ben Eoin Golf course. watershed.
Stewardship Society is approaching              Minimal public discussion has been
its 13 th full year as a non-profit             aired regarding these two projects.
membership entity championing                   As usual, debates do not arise until
the responsible stewardship of the
Bras d’Or Lakes and its watershed.
                                                people are made aware of the threats
                                                to the environment or concerns over
Just as you think stewardship and               personal property surface. More           ThE ANNuAl GENErAl
environmental matters are at rest,              detailed clarification is a must.       MEETING Of ThE SOCIETy
items arise that need to be addressed.          Fortunately, there have been recent           wIll bE hEld ON
If the Society was not extent, there            community meetings that will lead                SATurdAy,
would be no collective credible voice           to hopeful further debate regarding           AuGuST 6, 2011
to deal with issues that are brought            these two potential projects. However,          AT 10:00 A.M.
to the Society’s attention.                     one or two meetings are not sufficient         MASONIC hAll
The two current issues that stand               to address the concerns, as much                 bAddECk
out are a proposed expansion of a               information is lacking with regards      All MEMbErS ArE INvITEd
rock quarry on the New Harris Road              to the long term economic and
                                                                                           TO ATTENd AS wEll AS
south of the Seal Island Bridge and a           environmental repercussions.
                                                                                         INTErESTEd CITIzENS whO
                                                Weather is still a major concern
                                                                                         ArE CONCErNEd wITh ThE
                                                given increased volatility of weather
             In This Issue                      systems that pass over Cape               fuTurE STEwArdShIp Of
                                        Page    Breton. Spring 2011 has been an            ThE brAS d’Or lAkES.
                                                unpredictable one as low pressure
 News Items                               2,3
                                                systems stalled in the area creating
 AGM Nova Scotia Naturalists               3
 Summer Student Projects 2010:
                                                cloud, rainy and windy weather.            “Our goal
                                                A presentation by Bill Danielson
 A Review                                  4
 Summer Student Located at
                                                author of “Cape Breton Weather              is to
                                                Watching” at the Society’s AGM
 Highland Village, Iona                    5
 2011 Summer Student Profile: Emily
                                                in April 2011 provided excellent          protect,
                                                information on changing weather
 MacDonald                                 5
 2011 Summer Student Profile: Elizabeth
                                                patterns based on the warming            conserve
 MacLellan                              5
                                                of the ocean temperatures that
 Quarries: Must Development Negate
                                                increases Cape Breton’s vulnerability        and
 The Environment                           5    of experiencing storm conditions.
 The Highway is a Path of Life:
                                                The dollar value of damage to land       restore the
 A Clean Running Brook Sustains Life       6    and harbors in Cape Breton from
 Evolution of Transportation in
                                                storms in the fall of 2010 was in the     Bras d’Or
 the Bras d’Or Watershed                   6    millions of dollars. Both fisherman
 Letter to Malcolm Gillis                  7
                                                and private property owners were           Lakes”
                                                storm victims. Excessive rains also
                                         dust, truck traffic and future accretive   Lakes as a recreational boating
     NEWS ITEMS:                         mining rock from the hillside. A
                                         meeting was held with the Nova
                                                                                    destination. A committee has been
                                                                                    formed to work with Enterprise Cape
                                         Scotia Department of Environment.          Breton Corporation to embark upon
         AnnuAl AGM:                     (See article by Pate Bates)                a three year marketing campaign

 T   he annual general meeting of
     the Society was held on April 30,
 2011 at St, Michaels Hall in Baddeck.     Ben eoin MArinA:
                                                                                    that would target both Canadian
                                                                                    and American recreational boating

 About 25 individuals attended. Both         he proposal to construct a 70
 the President’s report and that of          berth marina at the head of
 the Treasurer were presented.           East Bay adjacent to the Ben Eoin              BrAS d’or lAkeS
 William Danielson was the guest
 speaker. His book “Cape Breton
                                         Golf Course property is moving                    FeStivAl:
                                         ahead. ECBC has been petitioned
 Weather Watching” is an excellent
 read. Bill resides in South Harbor
                                         for financial assistance by the
                                         proponents who also have an interest
                                                                                    W     ork still continues under the
                                                                                          egis of Enterprise Cape Breton
                                                                                    Corporation to build a program of
 after retiring from a professor of      in the golf course. The shorefront
 meteorology at the University of                                                   festivals for the communities on
                                         property requires rezoning. An
 Hartford in Connecticut. His weather                                               the shores of the Bras d’Or Lakes.
                                         application has been made to the
 knowledge is exemplary and his                                                     A committee has been selected
                                         municipality of Cape Breton county
 book a great addition for those                                                    to work with ECBC to bring this
                                         for rezoning. Meetings have been
 interested in the details of local                                                 program to fruition. ECBC has
                                         held to inform the public about this
 Cape Breton weather phenomena.                                                     been concentrating on festival
                                         project. To date little information
                                                                                    type promotion to enhance the
                                         has been put forward regarding the
                                                                                    profile of the Bras d’Or Lakes
                                         cost and the long term sustainability
         novA ScotiA                     of this project. There are concerns
                                                                                    as a recreational destination.
                                                                                    Information may be accessed at
         nAturAliStS:                    about the location of this marina

 N    ova Scotia Naturalists held its    as excavating and dredging of
      AGM at the Gaelic College          wetlands are involved. (See Pat
                                         Bates’s Letter to Malcolm Gillis,
 from June 3-5, 2011. Society Board
                                         Planner CBRM)
                                                                                          2010 SuMMer
 member, Dr. J. V. O’Brien, was
 instrumental in organizing this
                                                                                        Student report:
 very successful gathering. Board
 member, Tim Lambert, spoke on               celeBrAte tHe                          S    ociety board member Lynn
                                                                                         Baechler has provided a review
 the Bras d’Or lakes and its water                 lAkeS:                           of the work of the two summer
                                                                                    students hired in 2010 to carry our
 shed. Jim O’Brien has provided a         summary of the “Celebrate the
 detailed summary if the meeting in                                                 various projects initiated within
                                          Lakes” contest is provided in
 this Newsletter.                                                                   the Bras d’Or Lakes Watershed.
                                      by Society board member Leah
                                                                                    C u m u l a t i v e l y, t h e s e p r o j e c t
                                      Noble as published in the Victoria
                                                                                    introduce students to various issues
                                      Standard. This contest asked for
         new HArriS                   artistic and media submissions by
                                                                                    as well as build a better knowledge
                                                                                    base for better understanding of
            QuArry:                   students from schools that were
                                                                                    the complexities of the issues that

 T   he Society was informed about considered to be in the Bras d’Or
     the proposed expansion of a rock Lakes watershed. (See Victoria
 quarry on the New Harris Road. The Standard Reprint)
                                                                                    require on going attention.

 existing quarry is to be increased in                                                       2011 SuMMer
 size. Residents of the New Harris
 Road were not consulted about this        BrAS d’or lAkeS                                    StudentS:
 expansion. They are concerned
 about this quarry expansion with
                                           MArketinG Study:                         T
                                                                              wo students have been
                                                                              engaged through the federal
 regards to environmental issues and
 deleterious                             R    ecently, a proposal has been governments ‘Summer Student
                                              tabled to create a marketing
                                         strategy for promoting the Bras d’Or
  actions with regards to blasting,                                                         ...cont’d on page 3

Page 2                         
News Items...cont’d                                                             It turned out to be ideal for such
                                          AGM Nova Scotia                       a meeting with accommodation,
Employment Program’. Elizabeth              Naturalists                         meals, and all the necessary
MacLellan and Emily MacDonald,                             by J.V. O’Brien,     facilities at a remarkably good price.
both from Sydney NS, have                           Society Board Member        To top it Gail Montgomery and the
been hired to work in partnership                                               rest of College staff did an excellent
with the Bras d’Or Stewardship
Society and The Bras d’Or Lakes         T   he Federation of Nova Scotia
                                            Naturalists now better known as
                                        Nature Nova Scotia (NNS) is, like
                                                                                job; they were a credit to the College
                                                                                and Cape Breton.
Biosphere Reserve Committee                                                     The week end opened on Friday
and the Department of Fisheries.        the Bras d’Or Stewardship Society
                                        (BSS), a legally listed non-profit      evening June 3rd with a reception
A report will follow in the January                                             enhanced by the traditional music
2012 Blue Heron. The Society is         corporation and as such has to have
                                        by law an Annual General Meeting        played by Otis Tomas and Rocky
grateful for this opportunity to uses                                           Shore.
enthusiastic students to assist in      (AGM).
                                       However unlike the AGMs of               On Saturday morning the day
projects concerning knowledge
                                       many ‘non-profits’, NNS makes            started with a pre-breakfast birder
enhancement and stewardship
                                       an occasion of their AGM. It is a        spotting outing lead by Dave Harris.
                                       two day plus week-end with legally       After breakfast the day started
                                       required business meeting taking         with four in-house presentations
                                                                                starting with Don Anderson’s on CB
   nAturAl HiStory up only a few hours of one day. The                          Dragon Flies. This was followed
                                       rest is spent on biologically relevant
             SerieS:                   indoor presentations and out door        by Fenton Isenor on CB’s geology,

A   series of evening talks on natural field trips etc.                         James Bridgland on the Highland’s
    history of the area will be held Since it is a federated group its          National Park and last but not least
at the Bras d’Or lakes Interpretive AGMs are held in different locations        Bruce Hatcher the Bras d’Or Lakes.
Center staring on June 22, 2011. each year and sometimes in                 In the afternoon there were field
Two more talks with be given on association with other groups and           trips to Uisge Bann Falls lead
July 27, 2011 and August 22, 2011. ‘non-profits’. Last year’s (2010)        by botanist Sharon Sneddon, to
The talks are open to the public and NNS AGM in Sherbrooke was held         Meadow Rd. by birder Bev Brett,
start at 7PM, The center is located in association with the Nova Scotia     and separately to another Meadow
in Baddeck’s historic Old Post Office Nature Trust and the St. Mary’s       Rd destination to a sadly rare
at 532 Chebucto Street.                River Association.                   remnant of Acadian Forest by Bob
                                                                            Bancroft and Mary Ann Wilson
                                        Prior to that (2010) meeting,
                                                                            and by Dave McCorquodale in the
         MArriAGe                       members of the NNS board had
                                                                            College grounds identifying insects.
                                        suggested to me since an NNS
       celeBrAtion:                     AGM not been held in Cape Breton After the Banquet in the evening

S    OCIETY board members
     celebrated the February
marriage of Pat Bates, Society
                                        for some years and I was a BSS Bob Bancroft addressed the thorny
                                        board member I might consider Coyote issue. Though Astronomer
                                        organizing the 2011 NNS AGM in Tim Donovan had hauled his
chair, and Patricia Fricker, Charge     the Baddeck area in association telescope from Middle River for
d’Affaires of the Nova Scotia Sydney    with the BSS. This I agreed to the occasion sadly the weather did
Legal Aid Office, at a dinner at the    do provided the BSS board also not co-operate on either night. The
Inverary Inn after the April 30,        agreed. It did and also agreed also foggy night though did not deter the
2011 annual general meeting. Pat        agreed to sponsor two students for ‘owlers’ lead by ornithologist and
has guided the Society since its        the NNS meeting. Two such post bird photographer Dr. Richard Stern.
inception and now has embarked graduate students, Molly Simon                On Sunday morning BSS board
on a new adventure! We wish the BSc from Antigonish and Jennifer             member Tim Lambert made a
both of them the very best.          MacPhee BSc from Sydney were            fascinating presentation on rising
                                     chosen and attended the meeting.        water levels. This was followed by
                                        After looking around for a suitable the NNS annual business meeting.
                                        location at the suggestion of my In the afternoon a large group went
                                        neighbour Dan Banks I contacted                           ...cont’d on page 4
                                        the Gaelic College in St.Anne’s Bay.
                                                                    Page 3
 AGM Nova Scotia Naturalists...cont’d   largest tributary (Indian Brook) flows   logs to Whycocomagh Bay (in the
 on a Puffin Tour trip to the Bird into the Skye River within 2 km of            spring), and was a favourite spot
 Islands and in Whycocomagh on the river mouth (deltaic environment              for trout fishing. A new publication
 their way back to the mainland a in the Bras d’Or Lake).                        “Glimpses” was used to become
 few people broke their journey and The main branch of the Skye                  familiar with the historical aspects
 joined John Gillis on a local ‘walk in River watershed is a relatively well     of the area.
 the woods’.                            populated rural area, with agriculture   Findings:
 As the organizer my job was made being the prime land use. Four large           •       The Skye River branch became
 easier by the fact that all but two dairy farms are located in the main             turbid (dirty) after heavy rainfall
 one of the presenters and field trip branch Skye River watershed. The               events.
 leaders turned up and the ones who Indian River branch is relatively un-        •      The Skye River branch has
 couldn’t gave me ample warning. populated with forestry being the                   abundant growth of “whitewater
 make; not bad. And last but not main land use.                                      crowfoot” in its channel, all the
 least the help obtained from the We determined the watershed areas                  way up to its headwater area.
 NNS executive, President Bob for the 2 branches of the Skye River                   Photographs show this plant growth
 Bancroft, Secretary Doug Linzey, to be 48.3 km2 for the Indian River                was not present in the channel 10
 Treasurer Jean Gibson Collins and branch and 62.8 km2 For the Skye                  years ago (Sta S-1).
 Nature Canada representative Joan River branch. The Skye River
 Czapaly.                                                                        •       Fecal bacteria counts are
                                        watershed is underlain by at least 13
                                                                                     relatively low in headwaters of
 At the meeting on behalf of Nature mapped bedrock units. Portions of                Skye and Indian branches (very
 Canada board representative Joan the watershed are covered in thick                 low in Indian Branch headwaters).
 Czapaly presented Bob Bancroft surficial deposits (glacial sand and
 with the Pimlott Prize in recognition gravel deposits).                         •      Fecal bacteria counts were
 of the work he has done over the Activities:                                        higher in the Skye branch,
 years for the Natural World in Nova Each of the 8 monitoring sites                  especially at Sta S-2.
 Scotia.                                                                             • Indian Branch has a population
                                        was visited at least 6 times. Field
                                                                                     of trout (fishers frequent at Sta I-3).
                                        Conductivity and temperature were
                                        collected with a YSI 30 conductivity         • The relatively ‘clean’ water
                                        meter. Turbidity was measured                flowing from the Indian branch
                                        using a turbidity meter. Discharge           serves to dilute the higher bacteria
    Summer Student                      estimates were calculated using              concentrations from the ‘Skye’
    Projects 2010: A                    the cross sectional area x velocity          branch.
                                        method. During the latter half of            • Except at the headwater
        Review                          the monitoring period samples were           stations, conductivity values reflect
                    By Lynn Baechler,   collected for determination of PO4,          the dilution effects of precipitation
                Society Board Member    SO4, NO3-N, color, turbidity and             events on the water chemistry in
                                        TSS using a portable HACH kit.               the Syke and Indian branches.
                                        Bacteria samples were submitted to
 O   ur project was attempting to
     answer a question: “Is the
 water quality in the Skye River
                                        Maxxam Analytics in Sydney. The
                                        lab assisted us with costs. J. Foulds,
                                                                                     • The underlying bedrock in the
                                                                                     Indian branch is mainly resistant
                                                                                     metamorphic rocks that are not
                                        aquatic biologist, accompanied the           easily eroded, creating deeply
 more dependent on land use or
                                        student in the field one day and             incised channels and waterfalls.
 underlying geology”.
                                        they described the aquatic habitat           The geology underlying the Skye
 The Bras d’Or Stewardship Society      at several of the monitoring stations.
 carried out a preliminary water                                                     branch consists of more easily
                                   The student interviewed several                   eroded bedrock with extensive
 quality monitoring project in the
                                   longtime residents of the Skye                    unconsolidated deposits creating
 Skye River watershed between
                                   River watershed, including the                    fertile agricultural land. Increases
 June 28 and August 19, 2010.
                                   late Hugh Austin. The interviews                  in stream velocities due to
 Project Description:              were very informative, and showed                 precipitation events subject the
 The Skye River watershed covers the Skye River branch to have                       stream banks to erosion, resulting
 approximately 111 km2 of the 3566 been quite different in the past.
 km2 Bras d’Or Lake watershed. The The river was used for running                                           ...cont’d on page 5

Page 4                        
Summer Student Projects 2010:                                                      be involved in research that could
A Reivew...cont’d                          2011 Summer                             potentially have an economic benefit
 in turbidity in the water column.        Student Profile:                         for my home, Cape Breton.

 • The Skye branch is heavily             Emily MacDonald
 farmed, with a population of dairy
 cattle. Topography near the river      M   y name is Emily MacDonald;
                                            I am currently undertaking a
 channel is gentle.                   M.Sc. program from Ulster University            Quarries: Must
 • On the other hand, the Indian of Northern Ireland. As a graduate                    Development
 branch is more forested with student studying Coastal Zone
 steeper slopes, and less agriculture Management and a Cape Breton                      Negate the
                                      girl who grew up next to the Bras
 in the watershed.
                                      d’Or Lake, I could not ask for a more           Environment?
Conclusions:                          fitting summer job than with the                        By Pat Bates, Chairman

Based on this very preliminary Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve                         he Bras d’Or Lake Stewardship
summer project, we found that both Association ( As                       Society (BSS) frequently finds
the underlying geology and the land the BLBRA eagerly anticipates the              itself playing a determining role
use practices contribute to the water official designation of ‘Man and             in whether development projects
quality in the Skye River.            Biosphere’ (MAB) from the United
                                                                                   proceed or not. The Society’s
Recommendations:                      Nations Education Scientific and
                                                                                   primary purpose, if it need be
                                      Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Further work should be done to preparation work is well under way to               restated, is “Conservation,
document changes in the Skye ensure the whole island will be made                  Protection and Restoration of The
branch river channel. Perhaps aware of this unique opportunity. My                 Bras d’Or Lake.” Yet, like most
this could be carried out by local role over the next eight weeks will             citizens, we understand the need
watershed group.                      cover a variety of tasks ranging from        for development of the economy,
                                      developing educational outreach              usually manifested in new projects,
                                      material, administrative assignments,        improvement to our infrastructure,
                                      and collaborating with groups around         including roads, buildings and
                                      the watershed in delivering art shows        bridges necessitating paving,
   Summer Student                     and plays produced by school aged            cement plants and quarries for
         located at                   children living around the lake.             aggregate.
                                                                                   Such is the case for expansion
  Highland Village,                                                                of the long established sand and
        Iona                                                                       gravel pit on the New Haven Road,
                                             2011 Summer
T  he student constructed an index                                                 Victoria County, to Quarry status.
   of the items published in the           Student Profile:                        The new classification means that
                                                                                   blasting will now become part of the
Blue Heron.                              Elizabeth MacLellan                       operation, a likelihood of increased
He assisted the Highland Village
staff with a similar project. He
made a short video of the Bras
                                        M    y name is Elizabeth MacLellan. I
                                             was hired as a summer student
                                        by Bras d’Or Stewardship Society.
                                                                                   traffic in an area adjacent to a camp
                                                                                   for Boy Scouts and there exists
                                                                                   potential for higher levels of run-off
d’Or Lake as he saw it. With            Over the past month, this has entailed     into the Lake. Officials for BSS met
staff from the Highland Village         collaboration with Department of           on two occasions with staff for the
Museum he collected several             Fisheries and Oceans in working on         Dept. of Environment including one
archived pictures in the Grand          a project to improve life for oysters in   meeting attended by residents of the
Narrows area, and attempted to          Bras d’Or Lakes. We are conducting         New Harris Road area. Some of the
re-photograph them in the present       fieldwork for further research of          concerns of the residents include
and determine shoreline changes.        MSX disease through cultivation            risk to residential water supply from
This was impossible however due         and collection of oysters, as well as      blasting, scarification of elevated
to the significant tree growth, which   monitoring green crab predation at or      land from excavation and damage to
obstructed view planes.                 near three oyster sanctuaries in the       local roadway and bridge from high
                                        Bras d’Or. I am very grateful for the      levels of heavy truck traffic.
                                        experience the Stewardship Society
                                        has provided me and am excited to                                ...cont’d on page 6

                                                                         Page 5
 Quarries: Must Development Negate The     to control run off sediment is an      I personally am pleased with the
 Environment..cont’d                       important component in construction    effort shown by the Construction
 BSS officials raised the spectre of       site design. This company Dexter       Company, once reminded, to protect
 risk of higher levels of sedimentation    Construction “failed the test          the lake even though MacLean’s
 and other contaminants flowing into       until they were reminded of their      brook is still showing lingering signs
 the Lake because of the absence of        responsibilities.”                     of siltation.
 a sufficient number and capacity of       Sediment is produced when soil         I live very near MacLean’s brook and
 settling ponds. In addition, when         partials are eroded from the land.     it has been a source of enjoyment
 elevation of the Kelly’s Mountain         Signs of runoff pollution during       from the quiet peacefulness of this
 lands are considered, current             road construction include obvious      brook, to summer cottage people
 capacity of culverting appears            changes in streams downstream          who use the water for a variety of
 inadequate or non-functioning,            from the construction such as;         reasons to my children and now
 risking over-road type flooding at        muddy water heading for in this        grandchildren being able to catch
 even greater rates with increased         case the Bras d’Or Lakes.              smelt and speckled trout.
 activity levels.
                                           Early in the construction phase I      Will there be speckled trout this year
 Officials were considerate in listening   checked the brook and to my horror     I doubt it but I will keep checking.
 to all the concerns expressed and         the water looked like pure mud and
 were expected to weigh the issues         running into the lakes. I called the
 in determining if the requested           chair of the Bras d’or stewardship,
 permit would be granted. In the           Pat Bates, to report this and to           Evolution of
 event the necessary permitting is to
 be granted, it is hoped that project
                                           inquire how this sediment could be       Transportation
                                           kept from entering the lakes. Pat
 proponents will be obliged to amend       immediately went into action and         in the Bras d’Or
 project plans to accommodate
 public concerns.
                                           spoke with Sharon Munroe at the             Watershed
                                           Department of Environment, two
                                                                                                     By David Gunn,
                                           days later I checked the brook again
                                                                                              Society Board Member
                                           and now there was a salt water berm
                                           installed at the mouth of the brook.   Transportation in the Bras d’Or
    The Highway is a                       The water in the brook was still       watershed has undergone dramatic
  Path of Life: A Clean                    looking like mud but there was no      changes over the last 50 years.
                                           longer any sign of sediment entering  Until the 1950’s there was regularly
     Running Brook                         the lake.                             scheduled steam ship service on the
      Sustains Life.                       Now, Mother Nature often likes to Lake. The last vessel to operate was
       By Mabel MacEachern,                show who is boss and in doing so the SS Lakeview. Her predecessor
        Board Member and                   the material used in that berm was was the SS Marion.
      home owner in Irish Vale.            on the shore on more than one T h e L a k e v i e w l e f t S y d n e y

 W     e all enjoy the great pleasure      occasion but the construction Co. Monday, Wednesday and Friday
       of driving our vehicles             was diligent and they kept replacing and proceeded to Whycocomagh
 on new beautifully constructed            it until the water began to run clear where it spent the night. She left
 highways or any road way. This            in the brook.                         Whycocomagh Tuesday, Thursday
 major reconstruction job took place       In late November I checked the and Saturday for Sydney. Enroute
 between June and December of              brook the water was clear but the the ship stopped at Government
 2010. Like most everything there          build up of sediment on rocks and wharves located at Ross Ferry,
 are consequences for someone or           other material in the brook was very Boularderie, Big Harbour and
 something when natural habitats           heavy. In mid June I walked most Baddeck.
 are inhibited. In this case when this     of the brook between the highway
                                                                        This service carried freight and
 major road construction was started       and the shore. There are great
                                                                        passengers as well as occasional
 on Middle Cape Hill and through           improvements but the pools still
                                                                        livestock. The Lakeview was
 Irish Vale one brook in particular,       show heavy signs of siltation.
                                                                        equipped with the classic steam
 MacLean’s Brook at the bottom ofOverall I feel it’s safe to say we the whistle which allowed people on
 middle cape was greatly disturbed.
                                 general public are very happy with shore to mark her passage.
 Using best management practices the newly constructed highway.                            ...cont’d on page 7

Page 6                           
Evolution of Transportation in the Bras d’Or
Watershed...cont’d                              Mr. Malcolm Gillis
The Lake was also well served by                Planning Dept.
rail – The Inter Colonial Railroad was          Cape Breton Regional Municipality
opened in 1886. It served a number
of lake side towns, Orangedale,                 Sent by e-mail to:
Alba, Estmere, McKinnons Harbour,
Iona, Grand Narrows, Christmas
                                                Dear Mr. Gillis:
Island, Bigbeach, Shenacadie,
Beaver Cove and Boisdale. The
Inter Colonial (later Canadian                  Subject: Proposed Ben Eoin Marina
National) offered good service.
In 1953 there were three passenger                     The Bras d’Or Lake d’Or Stewardship Society has consulted and
trains each way….six days a week.               been consulted on the proposed establishment of the subject project.
The night train carried sleeping                        While we can’t ignore the potential economic benefits of the project,
cars between Sydney, Halifax and                the two areas of specific interest to the Society are: (a) the importance of an
St. John. The day train offered a               additional sewage pump-out station, and (b) by converse, the destruction of
                                                a Barachois to enable the project to proceed.
parlour car and food service. The
trains had railway Post Office cars.                     At the time of the Public Open House, May 4th (?), the Society neither
Mail was sorted enroute. Mail a                 publically objected nor supported the initiative as several important pieces of
                                                information were absent: one, a clear picture of the scope of the environmental
letter to Montreal at Orangedale on
                                                review of which the UINR piece had not been completed, and second, the
the platform before the evening train
                                                formal or official position of the N.S. Dept. of Natural Resources in respect to
and it would be in Montreal the day             the proposal. The matter of re-zoning is a less important issue for the Bras
after next in less than 48 hours.               d’Or Lake Stewardship Society. The position of BSS generally is if there are no
Major stations such as Orangedale               long-term damages to the environmental integrity of the Lake and Lakeshore,
sold thousands of money orders                  we do not object to projects. However, in the case of the Ben Eoin Marina,
since men did not have checking                 we have to note the concerns expressed by some of the full-time residents
                                                of the area.
accounts received and accepted
express, less than a carload.                            We understand the reasoning for the selection of the proposed site and
                                                it would appear that the adjacent shoreline has similar physical characteristics
Movements and carloads:                         also requiring inland excavation to create a sheltered harbor site. Absent
Orangedale was open 24 hours a                  from the discussion to date is the compensation by the project proponents
day, seven days a week. Order a                 enabling creation of an alternate Barachois. This is not a new concept but an
canoe from Chestnut’s Fredericton,              option believed, considered and implemented in other jurisdictions enabling
it came on the train . In 1960 an               authorities to approve the projects as originally designed.
O’Day sailboat ordered from Toronto                      It is important to find the right balance in considering all the impacting
came on the train . Fresh oysters               factors related to project approval. Hence the importance of a broad-based
were shipped from Orangedale                    environmental review, including public forms or hearings. Ben Eoin has
to Montreal. People arrived at                  become the site for a succession of projects all considered as discrete or
these stations by boat . A John                 individual initiatives. There are hints of more projects being contemplated. It
MacLean ran a ferry service from                may be important to have a “time out” to examine the exceptional attractiveness
                                                of the community and set out a broader framework within which all existing
Malagawatch to Orangedale early
                                                and future projects and residents can find consensus.
in the last century.
With the coming of good roads and
                                                Respectfully yours,
the automobile the steamer and
the railway services disappeared
- the steamer service disappeared               P. J. (Pat) Bates, Chairman
after the war - the railway service             Bras d’Or Lake d’Or Stewardship Society
was gradually abandoned. The
Orangedale station closed in 1980’s
                                                27 Wyndale Crescent
and is now a museum.
                                                Sydney, NS B1S 3L4

                                                                                  Page 7
                        The Bras d’Or Stewardship Society
                   Addresses and telephone numbers of the Board of Directors
  Pat Bates,                      Henry W. Fuller,                  David L. Gunn               Stephen Sober
  Chairman                        Treasurer                         2792 rr#2                   rr #2
  27 Wyndale Cresent              rr#2 #1065 Big Harbour            West Bay, N.S.              river Denys, N.S.
  Sydney, N.S.                    Baddeck, N.S.                     B0E 3K0                     B0E 2y0
  B1S 3l4                         B0E 1B0                           (902) 345-2263              (902) 756-2390
  (902) 567-0827                  (902) 295-2664
                                                                    Leah Noble                  James M. Crawford
  Rosemary Burns,       Dr. James V. O’Brien                        32 long Hill road           #894 ainslie Glen
  Vice Chair            rr#2 #1180 Big Harbour                      rr#2                        P.O. Box 277
  3042 West Bay Highway Baddeck, N.S.                               Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0         Whycocomagh, N.S.
  St. George’s Channel  B0E 1B0                                     (902) 295-1059              B0E 3M0
  rr #2 West Bay, N.S.  (902) 295-2344                                                          (902) 756-3556
  B0E 3K0                                                           Walter MacNeil
  (902) 345-2896        Timothy Lambert, Ph.D.                      41 Grove St.                James Foulds, Ph.D.
                                  lower Ship Harbour                Sydney, N.S.                6025 Kempt Head rd.
  Lynn Baechler,                  rr#1,                             B1P 3M7                     Boularderie, NS
  Secretary                       lake Charlotte #752               (902) 562-5434              B0C 1B0
  92 Crestdale Drive              Nova Scotia                                                   (902) 674-2578
  Sydney, N.S                     B0J 1y0
  B1l 1a1                         (902) 845-2189
  (902) 564-9303

   Mabel MacEachern                                          Bras d’Or Watch
   93 rigby Street                        to report any observed acts, incidents and violations
   Sydney, NS B1P 4t5                   that threaten the integrity of Bras d’Or Lakes please call:
   (902) 562-6138

                                        1 800 565 1633
                                   Our Email:

              Bras d’Or stEwardshIp sOcIEty
  MEMBEr                                 $15.00                     yes, i am in favour of conserving and restoring the
                                                                          Bras d’Or lake and watershed through
  FaMily                                 $25.00
                                                                                  responsible stewardship.
  CONtriButOr                            $50.00
  SuPPOrtEr                             $100.00        Name
  liFEtiME MEMBEr                       $500.00
  Mail check or money order along with your name
  and address to:
  Bras d’Or Stewardship Society                        Phone                                   e-mail
  P.O. Box 158
  Baddeck, Nova Scotia, B0E 1B0                        Fax

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