Part of the West Mabou Park
- by Rankin MacDonald
Extra chairs had to be taken into Inverness County Council chambers on Monday to hear the presentation of the Protect West Mabou Beach Committee.
The spokesperson for the group was Nadine Hunt, a long-time champion of the West Mabou Park.
“We are not opposed to development outside the park, but in the park, no,” she said in her opening remarks.
She pointed out how the park was put together over the decades until by 2000 there was 215 acres set aside for a provincial park.
She said it is a very unique area with a beautiful beach, special dunes, rare plants, and wildlife including the Piping Plover, trails, and wildlife educational values second to none.
Hunt said public ownership is the only way to generate long-term ecological integrity. She added that the clay-silt soil is prone to erosion. “It is a natural environment provincial park with outstanding conservation values and public access,” she said.
She said the beach dunes are some of the most significant in the province, the water in the ponds provide habitat for rare plants, there are oysters, crab, and lobster hatchlings and unparalleled tidal flats.
“You can’t scrape any part without hurting it all, it needs to be protected,” she said. She showed how little of our Inverness County coastline is protected and as Canada’s Ocean Playground we should protect more not less.
Hunt said the park is used all year long with school trips from all over and this is one of the reason why we are the best island in the world.”
“Can we not appreciate this jewel?” she asked. “It’s our park, we all own it, this is the people’s park.” She said how important it is to local tourism.
She asked council to support the West Mabou Provincial Park.
All of the councillors said they are 100 per cent behind the West Mabou Park.
“The land is protected and that is all there is to it,” said Councillor MacLennan.
Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie said council has to listen to everyone and keep all lines of communication open. She said they should seek a win-win situation and listen to everybody before making a decision.
Council did not introduce a motion on Monday.
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