On Thursday, November 22, 2012, representatives from around the Coast of Bays gathered at the Vancor Motel to discuss the Coastal Planning process, review accomplishments to date and to determine if there is a need to continue the committee.
With facilitation by representatives of the Rural Secretariat, IBRD, DFA and DFO, the participants determined that there is a need to continue and steps will be taken in the near future to move forward with the committee.
Canada’s Oceans Act of 1997 allows for the development and implementation of integrated coastal and marine management plans by federal, provincial and territory authorities with input from local stakeholders. The Coast of Bays Corporation, the Regional Economic Development Board (REDB), for Zone 13 recognized the value of such a committee in the Coast of Bays and included coastal planning in the economic development plan for the region in 2002. The essence of this initiative was to ensure the fullest sustainable development of our coastal and marine resources resulting in sustainable communities
By 2005, after much consultation with the people of the region to determine the need and buy-in, the Coast of Bays Coastal Planning Committee was established.
With stakeholder representation of municipalities- including aboriginal communities, harbour authorities, fishery, aquaculture, tourism, recreational boaters and cabin owners, the Coastal Planning Committee provided a venue for these representatives to meet and discuss topics and issues concerning the region. The Committee has no legislative powers as these belong to the respective provincial and federal departments, but it provides a mechanism to provide input to these departments on various issues. Two of the main roles of the committee are communications and conflict resolution.
Since 2005, the Coast of Bays Corporation has been the Coastal Planning lead in the region and Conrad Collier, the Executive Director, has been the Chair of the committee since its formation. Listed is a chronological overview of Coastal Planning activities undertaken by the Corporation and the Coastal Planning Committee.
In 1997, the Community Coastal Resource Inventory, 2002, included into the Coast of Bays Corporation’s Strategic Economic Plan and the Stakeholder Assessment Survey.
In 2003, the Steering Committee was established and the Aquaculture Infrastructure Needs Study (NAIA) was completed. Two individuals, Conrad Collier and Steve Moyse, attended the CZ03 Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 2004, a Development Strategy was completed and there was a Coast of Bays Eco-system overview completed. In 2005 there was a Coastal Planning Coordinator on staff, a Coast of Bays planning committee was established and a communications strategy plan was developed.
In 2006, a Sediment Quality Assessment and Remediation Options for St. Alban’s and a MEQ investigation of odour at low tide were done in Morrisville.
A dispute resolution between fishers and aquaculture companies along with an Ocean Debris Awareness Poster developed and distributed in 2007. By 2008, an Integrated Management Plan was completed.
In 2010, a Database of Research and Studies was developed and Coast of Bays Oceans Conference was held in Harbour Breton. In 2011 the committee began input into the development of the Placentia Bay-Grand Banks LOMA, which is presently ongoing.
In 2011, the committee began an Identification of Ecological and Biological Significant Areas along with the monitoring of Aquatic Invasive Species in the region, also ongoing. In 2012, the Coast of Bays Coastal Planning Committee sponsored the Climate Change Forum with Dr. Norm Catto in Harbour Breton.
In 2012, the federal and provincial governments decided to end the funding for the regional economic development boards and therefore the Coastal Planning initiative in the Coast of Bays will need a new lead if it is to continue.
The meeting on Thursday evening is a “second wind” to look at changing opportunities and challenges in the region. Anyone can become involved. If you are interested, please feel free to contact Coast of Bays Corporation office at any time.