Public consultations on the future of Nova Scotia’s Coastal Protection Act, launched on June 26th.
“Nova Scotia is a leader in the fight against climate change. We have increased our sources of renewable energy, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions, and we are putting in place a cap and trade program that will maintain our momentum,” said Iain Rankin, Nova Scotia’s Minister of the Environment. “We are now focusing on protecting our coastline.”
The provincial government is proposing a law on coastal protection that clearly defines what is allowed and what is prohibited in coastal areas. The law would ensure that new construction will be restricted to areas that are less likely to be threatened by coastal erosion, sea level rise, and storm surges.
“We know that climate change is already having an impact on the sea level. Our law will protect this important natural resource, while allowing the industries and cultures that depend on it to continue to do so for generations to come.”
The law would also protect salt marshes, dunes, and other coastal wetlands so they continue to filter water, provide habitat for birds and marine animals, and adapt more naturally to water.
“The coastline is dynamic and has its own ways of adapting and recovering,” said Nancy Anningson, senior coordinator of coastal adaptation at the ecology action center. “We must let nature do the work necessary to adapt to sea level rise, storm surges, floods, and other impacts of climate change. The dunes, salt marshes, and natural vegetation provide us with some protection and we need to protect these natural defenses.”
The public can submit comments online at novascotia.ca/coast . The consultation will last until Friday, August 17th. Members of the public who do not have access to the Internet can call 902-424-2547 to request a paper copy.
Ministry staff will also hold summer consultations with municipalities, Mi’kmaq, fishing groups, and other interest groups.