Two weeks ago, Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office issued an order closing the aboiteau at the Windsor Causeway. Oceans North echoes concerns expressed by Mi’kmaq, fishermen, and community members that this recent change in operations is harming the fish populations that use the Avon River.
Closing off the flow of rivers is a significant barrier to rebuilding fish populations, particularly for fish that use both freshwater and marine systems. Some of the species migrating through the Avon River, such at Atlantic salmon, are endangered or threatened.
In light of these concerns, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has kept the gates of the Windsor Causeway aboiteau open through a ministerial order for the past two years. This has allowed for the restoration of fish passage, improving the health and viability of important species that support both the ecosystem and recreational and commercial fisheries.
Oceans North joins the province and the country in their sympathy for all those affected by the recent wildfires and in their thanks to the firefighters and first responders. However, the chief of the Windsor fire department says he did not request the aboiteau’s closure and it’s not clear that doing so improves the region’s firefighting capacity. Given the clear and present impacts of climate change on our province, we should be looking at natural solutions that restore our ecosystems rather than hinder them.
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