Tell the Nova Scotia Government to Protect Shorebirds This Summer

Tell the Nova Scotia Government to Protect Shorebirds This Summer

Shorebirds have declined in Canada by over 40% since the 1970s, according to the latest State of Canada’s Birds Report. Habitat loss and disturbance at breeding and nesting sites are to blame, with beach environments particularly impacted by human activities.

This summer, Nova Scotians have a unique opportunity to speak up for shorebirds and affect provincial policies that will play a role in their survival. Until July 26th, government is taking comments on the Sustainable Development Goals Act and Climate Plan for Clean Growth. You can participate in live consultations and discussion sessions or write to partners at Clean Foundation with your thoughts.

In its current form, the Sustainable Development Goals Act contains very few goals related to biodiversity conservation. We invite you to speak up for shorebirds by recommending government increase protected areas coverage and adopt shorebird-friendly policies:

Recognizing that shorebirds depend on pristine habitats with minimal disturbance for successful nesting, we think government should:

1) Expand the protected areas network to at least 17% of Nova Scotia’s landmass by 2025 and 20% by 2030, with priority placed on coastal environments including wetlands, beaches, and cliffsides.

2) Review the environmental impact assessment process to include a more holistic watershed- and habitat-scale approach to assessing individual developments. Nova Scotia’s coastal habitats are already over-developed, and further development inland or down the coast may harm shorebirds.

3) Better integrate environmental subjects into public school curricula. We cannot expect Nova Scotians to care about our coastal habitats or the species that live there if they cannot identify the life around them. It should be reasonable to expect, then, that all Nova Scotian students can identify an animal so important as the Piping Plover.

4) Improve transparency in decision-making that affects biodiversity in Nova Scotia, by expanding existing roundtables and other advisory groups to include more non-profit partners, members of underrepresented communities, and Nova Scotian youth. The Minister’s Round Table on Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity, for example, does not include any representatives from the birding, naturalist, youth, or Mi’kmaw communities, and this should change.

Use our mailer below to contribute these or other thoughts to Clean Foundation’s consultation period, or send your own to

Protect Our Shorebirds and Coastal Habitats - New Goals for the Nova Scotia SGDA

Minister of Environment and partners at Clean Foundation

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