News & Events

Big Pond Residents Rejoice at 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 has appealed the UARB's decision. It could be months before the issue goes to court.





N.B.The next meeting of the Society will be the 2019 AGM to be held in Baddeck. Time and place TBA soon.


Meeting Schedule

      The Stewardship Society is continuing under the able leadership of Don Crosby. Meetings were held in Red Islands, East Bay and Marble Mountain in 2018.  Meetings are open to the public and we invite your participation.  Upcoming meeings in 2019 will be


                                January 20

                                March 17

                                May 26

                                August 10 (summer general meeting in Baddeck)

                                September 15


     Meeting locations will be posted as soon as they are available.




     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 at $35



      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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