Cliffs of Fundy geop­ark could be ap­proved by 2020

Pro­ject would at­tract in­ter­na­tional tourists to Fundy Shore

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - BY DAR­RELL COLE CIT­I­ZEN-RECORD AMHERST dcole@amher­st­daily.com Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

The Cliffs of Fundy global geop­ark is mov­ing close to re­al­ity.

Speak­ing to mem­bers of the Amherst Ro­tary Club, Dr. John Calder said he ex­pects the draft nom­i­na­tion ap­pli­ca­tion will be sub­mit­ted to the Cana­dian Na­tional Com­mit­tee for Geop­arks next spring and could be sent to UNESCO later in 2019.

If suc­cess­ful, the Cliffs of Fundy Geop­ark could be ap­proved in early 2020.

“This is a very ex­cit­ing com­mu­nity-led pro­ject for Cum­ber­land County as well as for Colch­ester,” said Calder, a se­nior ge­ol­o­gist with Nat­u­ral Re­sources and a mem­ber of the Cana­dian geop­ark com­mit­tee. “This pro­ject has re­ally taken off since the fall of 2015, when I first spoke to the Cum­ber­land Ge­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety that runs the Fundy Ge­o­log­i­cal Mu­seum.”

A global geop­ark is a des­ig­na­tion that would at­tract in­ter­na­tional tourists wish­ing to ex­plore the con­nec­tions be­tween glob­ally sig­nif­i­cant ge­o­log­i­cal sites, lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, cul­tures and nat­u­ral ecol­ogy.

There are presently two geop­arks in Canada, in­clud­ing ones in Saint John, N.B. and north­ern Al­berta. Another dozen or so are in var­i­ous stages of sub­mit­ting ap­pli­ca­tions to UNESCO.

Calder said geop­arks, such as the Cliffs of Fundy, are de­signed to pro­mote geo­tourism and cel­e­brate a re­gion’s unique­ness. The parks have no le­gal frame­work and don’t re­quire lan­duse re­stric­tions – some­thing he ad­mit­ted has caused con­cern among some prop­erty own­ers along the bay.

He said there are a lot of peo­ple who don’t know what the shore­line of­fers and while many talk about the area’s po­ten­tial as a mini-Cabot Trail, it’s still an un­known to many vis­i­tors to Nova Sco­tia.

“Along the Fundy Shore there’s a huge wealth of ge­o­log­i­cal vis­tas and more,” he said.

Among the as­sets the area has are the stun­ning cliffs and tides of the Bay of Fundy, deep Mi’kmaq tra­di­tions as the Land of Glooscap, provin­cial parks and the ge­o­log­i­cal mu­seum, a thriv­ing arts tra­di­tion and strong com­mu­nity sup­port. There’s also lots of com­mu­nity ex­per­tise to draw upon.

Calder said the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Cum­ber­land as well as Colch­ester County have given com­plete sup­port to the pro­ject as has Cum­ber­land-Colch­ester MP Bill Casey.

The group is also work­ing to make in­fra­struc­ture im­proves such as work­ing on trails to places like Econ­omy Falls in Colch­ester County and roads to ar­eas such as Cape d’Or near Ad­vo­cate Har­bour.

It also wants to in­cor­po­rate lookoffs so peo­ple can pull off the road and take pho­tos of the scenery. Some­thing else that’s very im­por­tant to the area – and what tourists will be look­ing for – is im­proved In­ter­net ac­cess.

DAR­RELL COLE/CIT­I­ZEN-RECORD

Amherst Ro­tar­ian Paul Calder (left) and Sackville, N.B. Ro­tar­ian Pam Harrison talk to John Calder about the planned Cliffs of Fundy Geop­ark.

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