Nova Scotia’s 7,579 kilometre long coastline is prized for its scenic beaches, tourism appeal, and industrial significance. With so much at stake, questions about who exactly “owns” the coast often have complicated answers. These laws also have implications for those who want to see the long-term protection of the coastlines.
The East Coast Environmental Law Association is hosting workshops in Nova Scotia that will deal with these questions. “Individuals should become familiar with the laws governing the coast in order to know what their options are to help protect our coastal resources.” said workshop coordinator Zeynep Husrevoglu. The full-day Sydney workshop will be held at Cape Breton University on July 19.
With over 45 laws affecting the coasts of NS, the aim of these day-long workshops is to make citizens and local organizations more familiar with the sometimes overwhelming network of municipal, provincial, federal, and international law. Husrevoglu emphasizes that the workshop is geared towards a non-expert audience, saying ”Public familiarity with current coastal laws will ensure better coastal management over the long term. Also, if one is unsatisfied with current legislation, knowledge of the law will give them an understanding of what needs to be improved.”
The workshop is structured around a series of presentations, each followed by a question and answer period for participants. Presenters include Halifax-Chebucto MLA and law professor Howard Epstein, ECELAW Executive Director Deborah Carver, Private Practice Lawyer Nathan Sutherland, and ECELAW board member Stewart McKelvey. Malcolm Gillis from the CBRM Planning Department will also be presenting in his role as manager of the department’s development office.
While these workshops take place, the NS provincial government is developing a strategy for managing the coastlines. With pollution runoff from land, aquaculture, designated areas of protection, recreational areas, private interest development, and processes of natural and accelerated erosion, there is much at stake for developing a sound strategy for the long-term management of the coasts.
Who Owns the Coast was developed by ECELAW members, private practice professionals, and professors at Dalhousie University’s Shulich School of Law. It is ECELAW’s fourth annual set of workshops.
The conference will be held in the CBU Multipurpose Room July 19, 8:30am to 4:30pm. Registration fees are $25 for students, $40 for the regular fee. To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about this session and ECELAW, visit ecelaw.ca