News & Events

On October 25, 2023 Don Crosby circuted the following e-mail:

 Friends who support a viable BRAS D’OR STEWARDSHIP SOCIETY (BOSS)

Proposed Approach for Reviving the Stewardship Society

My experience with the organization, and the sentiments expressed by BOSS supporters at last spring’s meeting in East Bay, prompted me to present this proposal. It is rooted in the need for a Bras d’Or Stewardship Society populated by members who are ready and willing to assume leadership roles.

I propose the following approach as the way to achieve this necessary outcome:

1.       I will identify from among former members and friends of the Stewardship Society individuals who will agree to mentor a new member for at least one year.

2.    Their agreement implies willingness to find a new member who is ready to ‘pick up the traces’ to function effectively in at least one of the following areas:

a) Chair

b) Recording Secretary

c) Correspondence Secretary

d) Treasurer

e) Science advisor(s)regarding the Lake and its Watershed

f) Government Lobbyist for (Municipal, Provincial and Federal)

g) Newsletter Editor

h) Social Media Expert

I will welcome hearing from you about your view of this proposal, and of other suggestions you might have to ensure that we’ll, once again, have a viable Bras d’Or Stewardship Society.

 Thank You.


The Society held a meeting of members this spring at the Ben Eoin firehall.  The future of the Society was discussed during which suggestions were made regarding the direction that should be taken.  Acting chair Don Crosby agreed to contact all members with an action plan for the future.



Update - 2023

     The Covid pandemic has seriously disrupted our activities and we have lost some key members to our board. However, we hope to get reorganised this year and resume our activities after a long hiatus.


AGM - 2021

The Society was due to hold an Annual General Meeting this April, but for obvious reasons (the Covid-19 pandemic) this meeting has been postponed until deemed safe to convene a public meeting.





     A local group, members of the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace workshop, plans to give recycled plastic a new life by turning it into colourful boards that can be used to build things like lawn furniture and fences. The group met in early March to discuss how they will manufacture the machines to shred plastic, melt it and push the resin into moulds.


    Shawn Boutilier, a software developer and electronic engineering technician, who was one of nine people at the meeting in the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation in Sydney said the plan was to use plastic bottle caps to begin with. Dave Murphy, a machinist and expert in automation production systems, said the local group decided lumber would be a good starting point.


    It’s one of more than 400 projects working under the Precious Plastic alternative global recycling system. Based in the Netherlands, the open-source project lets people download for free the blueprints for building all the equipment needed to turn recycled plastic into a wide range of new products.




The Society was shocked last May 2019 by the sudden, unexpected death of one of its board members, Lynn Baechler. Lynn was our secretary for many years and also recently took on the added responsibility of treasurer. In addition to keeping meticulous minutes of our meetings, she also gathered information in support of Society projects, mentored summer students and conducted her own research, notably on the Bras d'Or Lakes barachois ponds.  Her cheerful enthusiasm will be sorely missed and the Society is having a hard time dealing with the loss of one of our 'backbone' board members.


Excerpted from the Cape Breton Post

      Lynn died peacefully at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital on May 7, 2019 after a short illness. Her husband, children and sisters were by her bedside throughout her time in the hospital. While their lives will never be the same, they are grateful for a lifetime of love and joy. Born in Halifax on August 14, 1950, she was the beloved daughter of Betty Lois Kinley and Charles Archibald (Arch) Thomas. The oldest of four girls, Lynn looked to her sisters, her parents and their life in Halifax as the foundation upon which she built a life defined by family, faith and meaningful relationships. She continued the family tradition of graduating from Acadia University and went on to complete a Masters degree at the University of Waterloo where she met her husband, Fred. Together, they started their careers and their family in Cape Breton with the intent of staying for just two years. However, the Island and its people never relinquished their hold on them. For 44 years they shared their passion for science (notably hydrogeology), their love for their children and an innate joy for being out-of-doors. Her three children will remember her unconditional love, her tremendous generosity, the authenticity with which she lived her life and the millions of little things she did that resulted in a lifetime of happy memories. Lynn lived her life fully and, as such, the list of activities that brought her joy is long - tea with friends, playing with her grandchildren, family time at White Point, trips to Halifax to see her mother and sisters, yoga and crafts with the girls, making and delivering Christmas treats to friends and acquaintances, gardening at home, lunch at the Dancing Goat and any kind of road trip that took her to people she cared about. She dedicated herself to all manner of things that would allow Cape Breton to be enjoyed by others: conservation of the Bras d’Or Lake, preservation of the Acadian forest and the creation of new hiking trails around the Bras d’Or. She was also responsible for developing the water supplies of numerous homes and communities across the Island. However, perhaps the most lingering image of Lynn in her element is to picture her and Fred exploring all of Cape Breton’s natural wonders: discovering the forests in Johnstown, hiking Kelly’s Mountain on their anniversary, storm-chasing along the Atlantic coast, collecting water samples at the Big Barren at the top of the Cape Breton Highlands, long walks on Inverness Beach and examining any rock that looked interesting enough to merit stopping the car! As we struggle to navigate this new world without Lynn, we remain steadfast in knowing that we and the lands that she stewarded were blessed to have her in our lives.




Big Pond Residents Rejoice at Appeal Court Support of UARB's Decision


     In September 2017, 150 flyers outlining a proposal by Calgary based developer Chris Skidmore for an RV campground on the shore of the Bras d'Or Lakes were delivered to residents of Big Pond Centre and an information session was held at the local fire hall. Later that year Skidmore made a land-use zoning amendment application and the Cape Breton Regional Municipal (CBRM) council was briefed on the matter. The site in question covers 103 acres and the proposed plan would be for up to 211 fully serviced RVsites in phase 1 with an additional 330 plus 64 tenting sites in later phases 2 and 3.  A public meeting opposing the project attracted 70 people.


     In February 2018 a public hearing attracted a full house to the CBRM council chamber; subsequently the Council voted 7-6 to approve the proposed amendments. Opponents of the proposed development appealed to the Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Board (UARB) which began hearings into the matter in a three day session in Sydney in July. In September 2018 UARB tribunal members visited the proposed site and surrounding area and heard from the last witnesses as the hearing ended.


On January 22, 2019 the UARB ruled in favour of the opponents of the RV park development. After this lengthy hearing, the board ruled the the council had not followed its own policies. The CBRM then appealed the UARB's decision.


      CBRM's  legal challenge of the UARB ruling before the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal was heard mid September 2019 when the court unanimously dismissed the appeal after about 30 minutes of testimony.  Chris Conohan, legal counsel for Skidmore, told the Cape Breton Post that the developer is “continuing to explore business opportunities on and off Cape Breton Island.






     On Saturday, April 14, 2018 the AGM of the Bras d’Or Lake Stewardship Society (BOSS) was held in St. Michael’s Hall, Baddeck.  It was preceded by a Special Membership meeting whose purpose was to approve the dissolution of BOSS as there had been diminishing membership interest in pursuing its goals, and the Board was unable to attract new members willing to assume responsibilities.


   Attending the meeting were 13 members (including 6 Board members) and 4 observers. Members concluded lengthy and careful discussion by defeating the Board’s recommendation to dissolve the organization.  Clearly important changes will have to happen if the decision to continue is to result in a renewed and strong Stewardship Society. Concern about how to make that happen is my reason for contacting you to invite you to think about becoming active in the life of this important organization and to contribute ideas to make BOSS the viable organization it can be.


   As you likely know, the BOSS is a twenty-year-old, voluntary organization with the general purpose of protecting the Bras d’Or Lake. During the intervening years its work has been augmented by two organizations with complimentary purposes: the Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative (CEPI), and the UNESCO Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve Association (BLBRA). Of the three, only the BOSS has the mandate to publicly advocate for measures to protect the Lake.


   An argument was made that the complimentary roles of these three organizations should continue to exist as the overall conservation of the estuary is too important to allow the advocacy role to be dropped. Conversely, it was pointed out that there seemed to be very little interest in maintaining the organization as evidenced, for instance, by the small number attending the meeting and by little turnover in Board Membership during the 20 years of activity.


  Within the terms of the BOSS By-Laws the Board dispersed $26,000 of its funds to the N.S. Nature Trust, and $26,000 to the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve Association. The remaining amount (approx. $10,000) was allotted to cover the costs of winding down the organization.

As the meeting concluded 5 of the 6 Board members present either resigned or decided not to offer for another term. Three people decided to stand as part of a new Board along with 4 of the former board members who have elected to remain. A meeting to decide the next course of action was held in mid May. The newly invigorated Society continues; present board of directors are listed on the "About" page on this site.


  It is especially important for those who are of a younger age (in mind and body) to seriously think about participating in this worthwhile endeavour.

Please let us know if you are interested in getting involved and/or if you know of persons we could contact to encourage their participation.







     This survey consists of a series of videos made by the Canadian Geological Survey in June of 1996. A total of 57 minutes has been divided up into a number of segments that can be found on Youtube..

     Recorded on 24th June, 1996.

          West Bay: MacIntosh Point to MacRaes Island - Part 1




     The Bras'dOr Biosphere Reserve Association began this programme in 2015.  To be an annal event this is a monitoring activity carried out by volunteer members of the public at a number of sites around the Lakes. Initially, coordinated by Annamarie Hatcher from Cape Breton University

it is anticipated that after training, communities can take over this worthwhile exercise in future years. More on Bras d'Or watch can be found here and on their facebook page.





    The destruction of Nova Scotia's forests for the generation of  electical power at the Point Tupper NS Power facility is documented in these informative interviews with Bob Bancroft, retired biologist with the NS Department of Natural Resources and Danny George an outspoken member of the logging industry.





............ and a bargain: your's through this website for the cost of postage



      This book summarizes research results on the oceanography of Arctic and Eastern Canada. In a series of 48 papers by past and present research staff from all oceanographic disciplines at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), the history of Canadian oceanography before BIO and a broad cross section of the Institute’s work spanning five decades are featured with particular emphasis on contributions to Canadian and global understanding/management of the marine environment.

     Divided into 12 sections with a Preface and Epilogue, Voyage of Discovery is the most extensive overview of the history and scientific accomplishments of the BIO under one cover: Historical Roots, Arctic Studies, Ocean Life, Ocean Circulation and Chemistry, Hydrography and Seabed Mapping, Geological Oceanography, Fisheries-Ecosystems-Aquaculture, Marine Contamination, Technology and Instrument Development, Energy Developments, BIO and the Law of the Sea, and The BIO Experience. This book’s well-written and illustrated accounts will appeal to a broad readership from professional oceanographers and environmental/resource managers and decision-makers to marine science students and lay persons interested in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, and their present status and future welfare.

Hardcover, text on premium 8.5 x 11 inch glossy 100 wt Sterling paper with sewn binding.
460 pages, 2.2 kg. ISBN 978-0-9936443-0-6


The book can be ordered from  Amazon , the BIO Oceans Association ( or for delivery in Cape Breton through us here at the Bras d'Or Stewardship Society.  It is also available at various book stores in the Halifax area and Wolfville.  Contact us for a list of these booksellers.




A new slideshow on Gallery Page

       Aerial photos from Benacadie Pond to Iona have been added.




Bras d'Or Lakes Biosphere Reserve


    What is a Biosphere Reserve?

       For the answer to this question check out the entertaining video on our "COMMENTARY"  page.


    Interactive Map of the  Reserve

       The folks at the Bras d'Or Lakes Bioshere Reserve Association have been busy and have produced an informative  Atlas for investigating everything the Lakes have to offer. We recommend checking it out.



Sea Level Rise

     This is a real and ever closer problem for the world coastal communities.  The Bras d'Or Lakes are particularly susceptible to higher sea levels.  A recent publication put out by the British Columbia government highlights the problem for all Canadian coasts.  Go to our "RESEARCH" page to check out this report.



Addition to the Gallery page

     We will be featuring aerial photographs of the Bras d'Or Lakes taken from an ultralight aircraft by Margaree Forks resident, Slawa Lamont.


     Areas covered will be

                     East Bay

                     Benacadie Pond to Iona

                     Iona to Whycocomagh

                     Baddeck to Point Aconi











































































































































































































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