Access to Water Quality Reports

— John Sollows

Folks have been asking me about public access to the various reports on water quality done by the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment, Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture, a raft of volunteers, and us TREPA folks.

They are on the Yarmouth municipal website. Things have recently been rearranged, and they are now harder to find. To reach them now, click or copy-and-paste

The final phase of sampling is happening this month so it’s a little premature to say how things are going this year. Once again, we had a hot, dry summer. That made for warmer water and less runoff. Less summer runoff means likely drops in both colour (from decaying leaves) and nutrients.

Warmer, clearer water means that lakes are more vulnerable to blue-green algal blooms, so we all need to be increasingly careful about what runs into our rivers and lakes. Waterfront landowners need to maintain wild shoreline buffers. The mink industry and other users who can potentially pollute need to follow regulations and voluntary guidelines, as well.

Blue-green algal blooms are not just hard on property values, they are hazards to public health.

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New TREPA shoreline protection brochure available

TREPA is pleased to announce that its new shoreline protection brochure is available. It has been redesigned to assist developers, contractors and owners meet shoreline protection regulations and develop properties in a manner to protect the water quality of their home locations. Unfortunately, improper development of the shoreline can lead to pollution of the very resource, the lake or river, for which the property was purchased. To get copies contact John Sollows <>

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Yarmouth Chimney Swift Walk July 24

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More on Saving Hemlocks from the Woolly Adelgid

— John Sollows

Ron Neville of Canada Food Inspection Agency, who gave April’s talk on this serious pest, gave me contacts for Donne McPhee, when I asked about banking seed.

Ron advised that the seed bank in Frederiction is at the Canadian Forest Service Atlantic office in Fredericton and there are some plans in the works to enhance the locations of where seed has been collected.

Natural Resources Canada
National Tree Seed Centre
1350 Regent Street
Fredericton, NB E3C 2G6

Donnie McPhee
National Tree Seed Centre

I have contacted Donnie, who advises as follows:

“Viable Hemlock seed cannot be picked until they ripen on the tree. Historically for NS we are looking at early to mid Oct. Seed collected before it is ripe results in low vigor, low quality seed.

“What can be done starting early July is forecasting if and where good seed crops are located.
To do this you are looking for small green cones at the tips of new shoots.

“There is a lot of interest is the preservation of seed of eastern hemlock due to HWA. We want to make sure we get collections from across its range in order to preserve any genetic diversity the remains in the natural forest.

“Please let us know what you are seeing out there regarding a cone crop. So that we can coordinate what is being collected and making sure energy and resources are being put in the right areas.

“Currently we do not have collections from South western NS so this is a priority area to collaborate collections from!
“We will be updating out website to include a section on Hemlock but for now the principles would be similar to those for ash collections.”

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Stewardship Opportunity with Nova Scotia Nature Trust

This in from Karen McKendry of Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Sounds useful and fun:

Hello fellow birders! Karen McKendry here, conservation biologist with the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. If you are looking to support bird conservation even more in the province, please consider sharing your excellent birding skills with our volunteer program that relies on birders, called Bird’s Eye View…

The Nature Trust is seeking experienced birders to join one of our field-based volunteer programs, called Bird’s Eye View. These volunteers are asked to visit one or more of our Conservation Lands (there are now 91, found all over Nova Scotia), identify birds, create bird lists, then share them with us via eBird. This helps inform us of important areas for birds on our Conservation Lands, and is a vital part of caring for our protected lands. Occasionally, volunteers are selected to visit properties being considered for protection, and help to gather some of the first biological data collected for these sites.

Bird’s Eye View volunteers are part of the Nature Trust’s official network of volunteer supporters, and as such they receive an orientation to the organization, support from staff, and recognition for the valuable work that they do.

Make your bird lists count by joining the Bird’s Eye View program this spring! Contact to find out more or to apply to be a volunteer.

Karen McKendry
Conservation Coordinator
Nova Scotia Nature Trust

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