Excerpt from CBC story, July 22, 2016, with two interesting pieces of news about Mactaquac
An interesting piece of news was hidden in a CBC article today about a minor oil spill at the Mactaquac Generating Station in New Brunswick. It seems that the Wolastoq Grand Council – engaged over the past few years in a separate and thus far private stakeholder engagement process with NB Power – have officially come out in favour of dam removal. They have also vowed to oppose the Energy East pipeline based on risks to NB waterways. Curiously, it also seems that the options for the Mactaquac’s future have been limited now to the two cheapest options: extend life or remove. The two rebuilding options, with or without power, were not mentioned in today’s article. Perhaps a journalistic slip, but perhaps not.
Fishermen and migratory birds compete for space along the Minas Basin (photo: Mark Elderkin)
Bird Studies Canada currently has year 1 funding (NS Habitat Conservation Fund) for a three-year project, Space to Roost, understanding human-bird conflict in important roosting sites along the Minas Basin during shorebird migrations in late summer. This funding includes support to hire a Nova Scotia (6-months prior residency) student the summer of 2016. This will be our first year of a 3-year project. We will be conducting human-use audits at 3-4 roost sites to gather baseline information at sites during peak fall migration (July – August) to understand spatial and temporal use of recreational activities (e.g., fishermen, swimmers, dog walkers) and other human-induced threats. The summer student position will require someone with an interest in outreach who’s not shy about approaching people, initiating conversations with individuals at roost sites, and contacting user group representatives. Basically, this first field season will lay the ground work for developing and piloting conservation strategies to reduce human pressures at roost sites in year two. The role would best suit a student entering their last year of a conservation, recreation or environmental studies degree. Someone who is seeking to collect data for a final year Honours thesis would be ideal, and perhaps even someone interested in continuing on to a funded MES on the topic. Please contact me if you are interested.
As CTV put it, “it’s the generation decision of a generation.” This week and next, there are five public sessions being held about the Mactaquac decision, in the region of the headpond. Information stations are manned by NB Power officials and a small army of young people hired to engage with attendees. Some of this information provision is two-way, with butcher’s paper available for people to record their concerns or values. I am still waiting to hear how such data, and that collected through their online survey , will be analyzed, reported upon and considered in the final decision.