Fu­ture of Shearstown Es­tu­ary com­mit­tee con­tin­ues to look bleak

The Compass - - SaltWire Wheels - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The fu­ture of the joint man­age­ment com­mit­tee in Spa­niard’s Bay and Bay Roberts is look­ing rather dim at the mo­ment.

Dur­ing a reg­u­lar meet­ing of coun­cil in Spa­niard’s Bay, held on Mon­day, Oct. 29, Spa­niard’s Bay Mayor Paul Brazil spoke on the fu­ture of the joint man­age­ment com­mit­tee (JMC) that looks af­ter the Shearstown es­tu­ary, a wet­land area that bor­ders both Spa­niard’s Bay and Bay Roberts.

Brazil in­di­cated that the com­mit­tee is strug­gling to stay op­er­a­tional due to a lack of mem­bers to keep the com­mit­tee afloat.

“The two lead peo­ple in that com­mit­tee – one is re­lo­cat­ing out of the town, and the other one has ex­pressed an in­ter­est to move on from it as well,” Brazil said. “So, I’m not sure where we go from here with the JMC.”

Coun­cil noted that even if no one is will­ing to take part in the com­mit­tee, the agree­ment un­der which the JMC was cre­ated still stays in place, and any ac­tiv­ity would sim­ply be shelved un­til a new group of peo­ple step for­ward to take on the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“There was one per­son who showed in­ter­est in vol­un­teer­ing,” Brazil added. “But, they’re not from Spa­niard’s Bay, or Bay Roberts ei­ther, so ac­cord­ing to pol­icy, they can­not be a part of the ex­ec­u­tive. They can still be a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee, though. That poses a lit­tle bit of a so­lu­tion, as well as a lit­tle bit of a prob­lem. We still need Pre­vi­ous an­swer more peo­ple.”

Deputy Mayor Dar­lene Stamp ex­pressed her own con­cerns with the com­mit­tee as well, not­ing that the com­mit­tee con­trib­utes to the town’s tourism, which could also take a hit if the JMC were to dis­solve tem­po­rar­ily.

Later in the meet­ing, a con­cern was raised by Coun. Paul Ryan, who noted that air­boats had been seen in the area re­cently as well.

This was also ad­dressed at a recent coun­cil meet­ing in Bay Roberts by JMC rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Bay Roberts town coun­cil, Coun. Ge­off Sey­mour. At that time, it was in­di­cated that the Town of Bay Roberts would look into the pos­si­bil­ity of in­tro­duc­ing new town by­laws to ad­dress these con­cerns.

The JMC was orig­i­nally formed in 2002, and has been at the fore­front of a number of projects that have con­trib­uted to the over­all goal of bring­ing the es­tu­ary back to what it once was.

“They’ve done mas­sive amounts of work for that area,” Brazil went on to say. “They ba­si­cally turned it from a wa­tery dump­site and made it into one of the most de­sir­able water habi­tats in the prov­ince.”

FILE PHOTO

The Shearstown Es­tu­ary has been looked af­ter by the JMC in Spa­niard’s Bay and Bay Roberts for a number of years now, but the com­mit­tee is cur­rently strug­gling to find new mem­bers.

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