Posted in New thinking

A Heritage River ?

In response to my last blog, Jane Nicholson mentioned that the region was unable to meet the criteria of Heritage River status because of the tidal power pilot project in Annapolis Royal. This caused me to reflect on the issue.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I recall from the 1980’s the efforts of Diane Legard and Stephen Hawboldt to seek this designation. Indeed, I believe that the Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP) was established as a non-government organization (NGO) to address questions related to water quality and pollution. This included the volunteer River Guardian network.

Since that time, we have seen new infrastructure on the river. The latest evidence is the boat ramp by the Lawrencetown bridge.

To achieve heritage river status for the Annapolis River, the community would have to agree on the following actions:

a) removal of the tidal power pilot and dam. This would allow fish species to migrate up and down the Annapolis River, without human impediment.

b) collaboration throughout the watershed to guarantee water quality. This means municipal governments working together e.g. Annapolis County and Kings County.

CARPThe concept of CARP was as a ‘project’. Reaching the goal of heritage river, would allow us to take it off the project, ‘to do ‘ list. Of course, the quality of the water depends on the activities in the Annapolis watershed. This means the removal of forest cover would need to managed, with these criteria in mind.

In the spirit of harmonious active living within the landscape, travelling up the Annapolis River by canoe/kayak would offer a quality experience. This could be complemented by hiking, biking or ATV along the Harvest Moon trail on the repurposed rail line. Although, we still need B & B and other accommodation for those travelling from Grand Pre to Annapolis Royal.

A third option, which would allow us to monitor the watershed, would be to create a hiking trail that follows the height of land along North and South Mountain.

Between these three types of travel, residents and visitors would develop an intimate understanding of both ‘the Mountain and the Valley’. There would be the opportunity to share common values: community, landscape and heritage integrity and respect. The CARP project would meet its goal, and we, collectively, would leave a legacy for the future inhabitants. Perhaps, sightings of sturgeon and other marine species would become commonplace in Bridgetown and higher up the river.


Jane Nicholson for her comment. Heather Stewart as CARP Board member for our conversations, and Edward Wedler for adding graphics and links from Florida.

Canadian Heritage Rivers System

CARP, Clean Annapolis River project video


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