Halifax, NS – Sierra Club Atlantic and the Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition are hosting Keep It Blue events next week in Nova Scotia to raise concerns about oil drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The meetings are being held in advance of Open Houses hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas regulator.
“The Gulf of St. Lawrence is a treasured place. Think of the beaches of Prince Edward Island, the views from the Cabot Trail, swimming in the warmth the Northumberland Strait, the stunning coast of Gros Morne National Park. The Gulf is precious, but perhaps we take its beauty and vitality for granted – these meetings are meant to let people know that this special place is under threat and it needs our help, “ according to Gretchen Fitzgerald of Sierra Club Canada – Atlantic Canada Chapter.
The Gulf of St. Lawrence is home to over 2000 marine species, including the endangered blue whale – which has only 250 adults left in the Northwest Atlantic population. The region supports billions in tourism and fishing revenues annually and sustains coastal communities in five of Canada’s ten provinces.
“As a coastal landowner who has fought to conserve and protect our Gulf and its fisheries for decades, it is disturbing that all we worked for could be wiped out by a spill in the Gulf,” said Mary Gorman of Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition. “Soon, the provincial regulator for oil and gas in Newfoundland and Labrador will be coming to Nova Scotia to ask how we feel about this proposed oil development. I want them to hear loud and clear: we want an oil free Gulf.”
The Council of Canadians, who has called for a moratorium on oil development in the Gulf, is one of the co-sponsors of the events. Vice-chair Leo Broderick states, “This area of the Gulf called ‘Old Harry’ is a very productive, diverse and important marine environment that is already under great stress from marine shipping, decades of overfishing, land based pollution and now climate change. What we need to do is rehabilitate and conserve this Canadian treasure. What we do not need is petroleum development in this area with its many environmental problems and huge potential for an accident like the one in the Gulf of Mexico.”
Keep It Blue events will be held at Fables, Tatamagouche, 7 pm, Sunday, Sept. 30th and in Mabou Community Hall, Mabou, 7 pm, Tuesday Oct. 2nd . Events are sponsored by the Farley Mowat Environmental Institute, Sunrise Trail Development Cooperative, Fables, and the North Shore and Inverness County Chapters of the Council of Canadians.