The issue of dumping millions of litres of treated effluent every day from the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou, N.S. into the Northumberland Strait sends shivers up my spine. The release of this discharge liquid waste has already polluted the lagoon of Boat Harbour.
Now because of a commitment to Pictou Landing First Nations to close Boat Harbour and find another solution, a proposal is pending to construct a polyethylene pipe to send the effluent across Pictou Harbour and to release it through dispersal pipes into the strait.
This option is absurd from an environmental point of view. Will we ever again have peaceful strolls across red sandbars, wading through gullies when the tide is out, spying the wonders of marine life along the shores of the Northumberland Strait?
My childhood memories are vivid as I grew up living at a beach in Nova Scotia, wandering and wondering about the mysteries of beachcombing. As an adult, I continue to enjoy summer walks when the moon is full, there is an ebb tide, and the beach is alive with clams, mussels, moon snails, ticklefish, crabs, hermit crabs, starfish, even baked jellyfish on the dried-up sandbar from a hot day.
I am jarred to reality by the dangers facing the fishing industry. Treated effluent? How can scientists be sure the treated effluent will not affect the ecosystem and livelihood of the fishing industry? The Maritimes are surrounded by tourism and fishing industries. My vote is “no pipe.”