Examining the ecosystem
Bras d’Or Watch Field Day expected to attract several hundred participants
Organizers of the first-ever Bras d’Or Watch Field Day are prepared for upwards of 200 participants at six sites along the Bras d’Or Lake.
The event will take place on Saturday, July 18.
“We won’t know until people show up, but at the Ben Eoin site they figure they are going to get at least 100,” said Annamarie Hatcher, adjunct professor at Unama’ki College, Cape Breton University.
“The main purpose is to set up a network of citizens and visitors with scientists that are actually working in the Bras d’Or.”
Bras d’Or Watch is a citizenbased monitoring project of the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve Association.
There will be two scientists at each site that know about the ecology of the area and will be able to answer questions and show people some of the important components of the ecosystem.
The Bras d’Or Watch Field Day will involve sampling of several ecosystem properties on the lakeshore and in the shallow waters of the Bras d’Or Lake.
“These types of activities are useful in looking at long-term changes in climate. To better understand how global climate change might impact the Bras d’Or Lake, we are asking citizens to help in observing, testing or recording various aspects,” Hatcher said. “They can also just follow along and see what is involved.”
She added that the results of these observations will help to develop a “report card” on the ecological health of the Bras d’Or
Hatcher, who has had experience in offering similar events like the Bras d’Or Watch Field Day, is confident this will engage people.
“The more people understand their ecosystem, often the more willing they are to protect and to look after it for future generations,” she said. “The plan is to hold it at this time every summer, which seemed to work out for the six sites. We are looking at expanding and doing it another season as well, but that is in the future.”
Hatcher said it is important that children who participate are accompanied by an adult.
“We have activities designed for children, but only with adult supervision. “