Inau­gu­ral Bras d’Or Watch field day a suc­cess

Event drew ap­prox­i­mately 175 peo­ple

Cape Breton Post - - BUSINESS - BY LAURA JEAN GRANT lj­grant@cb­post.com

Peo­ple of all ages were lakeside Satur­day af­ter­noon ex­plor­ing and learn­ing about the Bras d’Or Lake.

The inau­gu­ral Bras d’Or Watch Field Day was held Satur­day af­ter­noon at six sites on the is­land and drew ap­prox­i­mately 175 par­tic­i­pants.

“We’re cer­tainly pleased with the turnout,” said An­na­marie Hatcher, chair of the Bras d’Or Watch com­mit­tee. “I think it was a very pos­i­tive first step and the peo­ple who came, most of them were re­ally com­mit­ted to learn­ing.”

Hatcher said it was re­ally nice to see the en­thu­si­asm of par­tic­i­pants as they took part in a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties aimed at ed­u­cat­ing them about Bras d’Or Lake and its ecosys­tem

Ac­tiv­i­ties at the six Bras d’Or Watch sites — Baddeck, Ben Eoin, Grand Narrows, Eska­soni, St. Peter’s and Why­co­co­magh — var­ied Satur­day and in­cluded peo­ple tak­ing part in bird watch­ing, walks, div­ing, ecosys­tem sur­vey­ing, beach sein­ing, and wad­ing into the wa­ter look­ing for crabs and fish.

Sci­en­tists fa­mil­iar with the ecol­ogy of the area were also at each site to an­swer ques­tions and show peo­ple some of the im­por­tant com­po­nents of the ecosys­tem.

Hatcher said some par­tic­i­pants at a cou­ple of the sites have al­ready made plans to get to­gether again soon for Bras d’Or Lake-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

“There’s some real in­ter­est in keep­ing this go­ing,” she said.

Hatcher said or­ga­niz­ers also plan to make the Bras d’Or Watch Field Day an an­nual event.

“It’s def­i­nitely go­ing to be a reg­u­lar thing and it’s go­ing to bring peo­ple down to the shore,” she said.

Bras d’Or Watch is a citizen- based mon­i­tor­ing pro­ject of the Bras d’Or Lake Bio­sphere Re­serve As­so­ci­a­tion.

The Bras d’Or Lake Bio­sphere Re­serve is the 16th bio­sphere re­serve to be des­ig­nated in Canada.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Kait­lyn Cann, from left, Laura Holden and Jen Cooper were three of the bi­ol­o­gists who helped out with Bras d’Or Watch Field Day ac­tiv­i­ties at Ben Eoin Beach Camp­ground.

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