A blessing or a curse?
Future of the Halfway River aboiteau remains up in the air
Driving into Hantsport along the William Hall VC Memorial Highway, just off Highway 101, something seems off about the land surrounding the Halfway River.
Normally lush and green this time of year, the area around the river banks are brown, muddy and covered with sediment. Many of the trees and other vegeta- tion are either dead or dying.
It might not look great, but not everyone is convinced it’s a bad thing. With the collapse of the aboiteau at the head of the Halfway River last winter, saltwater is reentering the Halfway River through a tidal flow.
Fish are flowing back in as well.
A terrible mess, or a beautiful thing?
Darren Porter, spokesman for the Avon River fishery, said despite how ugly the land around the Halfway River looks right now, it could turn into a vibrant and healthy saltwater marsh in a few years.
Speaking via cell phone, from just off the Avon River causeway in Windsor, Porter said the accidental fish passage is a first for West Hants.
“The farmland is being reclaimed, it’s going back to salt marsh,” Darren said. “Farmland has taken up about 80 per cent of the historic salt marshes, which means all of the animals, birds and insects that depend on those have been depleted.”
The fisherman, originally from the Hantsport area, referenced the no net loss aspect of the Federal Policy on Wetland Conservation, adopted in 1991, to ensure no net loss of wetland functions.
The policy dictates that if wetland waters are destroyed by development or for agriculture, more need to be rebuilt or reclaimed elsewhere. It’s often replaced by a two-to-one ratio because of the importance of the habitat.
Gillian Bergsma and Becky Campbell show this Halifax Tars player no mercy during the Hants County RFC’s senior women’s bout on June 28. The Windsor-based team is currently undefeated. Turn to page B3 for more details and photos.