How can we protect the beautiful provincial park at Martinique Beach from a new man-made threat?
In light of the upcoming election on October 8, we are asking you to sign this petition to the leaders of all four parties so that no matter who is elected, the leader of the next government of Nova Scotia will be publicly committed to acting quickly to protect all of Martinique Beach.
But isn’t Martinique Beach already protected as a provincial park?
The answer is NO.
The park is at risk because when the legislature established the park, the legislators left the western half of the first beach in private hands, the part of the beach backed by private cottages and houses.
So private owners of the western half of the beach can take actions (like building a seawall) that do not violate any existing law but will damage the park side of the beach by washing away the sand.
The forces of nature are completely indifferent to legislatively-drawn property lines. As far as the ocean is concerned, there is only one beach at Martinique.
Beach geologists know from decades of experience that armoring the privately-owned side of the beach (with a seawall or some other material) will inevitably damage the public park side of the beach by accelerating the erosion of sand from the park side of the beach.
There is a straight-forward fix: the government can use its power under the Beaches Act to declare the unprotected, western-half of Martinique Beach as an official “beach” under the terms of this act. The Beaches Act gives the government the power to protect a designated beach by extending the province’s jurisdiction above the mean high tide mark in order to control “undesirable impacts on beach and associated dune systems.”
Our elected officials should have the wisdom to understand that there is only one beach at Martinique, and that in order to avoid damaging the provincial park, the government must provide protection for all of Martinique Beach, including the western-most portion of the beach that lies outside the boundaries of the park.