Author Archives: Friends of Nature

Toward A People’s Coalition for Justice and Survival

Dear Friends:

Our fellow member and ally Silver Donald Cameron wants us to know about an important event in Halifax this Friday: A People’s Coalitionwhich will be followed by three more peoples’ coalitions.

Also please attend the next public rally against open pen salmon farms which will be held this Sunday, March 1 at 2:00 pm at St. Margaret’s Centre in Tantallon.

Also I am pleased to announce that  Silver Donald Cameron will be one of two speakers at the Friends of Nature AGM on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 pm at the Chester Legion, Union Street, Chester. The second speaker is Kirk Havercroft who will talk about Sustainable Blue, where salmon are grown sustainably, on land, right here in NS!

Finally, please mark your calendars for Friday, May 1 for an evening with our most famous board member: Elizabeth Maywho will give us the latest information on the battle against open pen salmon farms on two of Canada’s coasts.

Best wishes
Syd Dumaresq, Chair Friends of Nature

Salmon Wars Campaign #2

You undoubtedly have heard that the  NS government has given the Norwegian aquaculture giant, Cermaq, the option to explore putting open-net pens in St. Margaret’s and Mahone Bays. Open-net fish farms, which are being eliminated in BC, threaten our environment through disease, parasites, toxic chemicals and more. Opposition to having open-net pens in our waters is mounting.

Our chapter has joined the Twin Bays Coalition which is a very active organization  working with the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association, Friends of Nature, Ecology Action Centre, as well as interested individuals to oppose open-net fish farming.

If you are concerned about this issue, here are a few opportunities for action and education. 

We are sorry that due to an overflow crowd at our public meeting on January 26, people had to be turned away.  We now have a clean ‘edited’ version of the presentations.  You can watch it by going to the youtube channel and searching for twinbayscoalitionrally.  It is in 8 short episodes. You can also watch it on the Twin Bays facebook page. 

Representatives from the Twin Bay Coalition have been making presentations to municipal councils. There has been a misunderstanding and the  presentation to the Town of Lunenburg Council will not take place on Tuesday, February 11 at 5:15 pm. Stay tuned for notification of the new date for this presentation. 

Councillor Michael Ernst is moving this motion at the regular MODL council meeting on Tuesday, February 11. “Request that the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg not support the development of open pen fish farms in District 8, Mahone Bay, as defined on the attached map.” The meeting begins at 9 am and when necessary continues after the lunch break and this item is near the end of the agenda. It is important to have supporters in attendance but it is not possible to give an accurate time. You can check with the municipal office to see if they have a better idea of the time frame. Councillor Ernst has also stated that “If other Councillors representing coastal areas of the Municipality wish to amend this motion to include the coastal areas in their districts they may do so.” In light of this it is important that you contact your councillors before Tuesday and urge them to amend the motion to include your district.

Here’s a terrific op-ed in the January 31  Chronicle Herald, from Helga Guderley.  Read it here

We will have an info table at the Lunenburg Farmers Market on Thursday, February 27th. Contact us if you are able to work a 1.5 hour shift or if you are at the market stop by and have a chat with us.

The Twin Bays Coalition has organized a second public meeting, this time in Tantallon.  It will be held on Sunday, March 1st at 2pm at St. Margaret’s Centre in Upper Tantallon.  Facebook event here:

Finally, consider joining the Twin Bays facebook group:  twinbayscoalition.  And visit the website:  Links to petition, opportunities for action and lots more information. 

We know that Cermaq is doing an excellent job of lobbying our elected officials.  We need to work equally hard to convince our elected officials that open-net fish farming is not the answer for our communities, our economy, or the environment. Write and/or call your local councillor, MP and MLA to register your concern.

Thank you for your support!

Salmon Wars Campaign Update

Dear Friends:

Since our last salmon update we, through Twin Bays coalition, have:

  • Presented to four local Municipal Councils
  • Co-hosted a public session in Mahone Bay with the Council of Canadians. It’s posted on the Face Book page
  • Opened  up a separate FON bank account to handle banking for Twin Bays Coalition
  • Participated in a CBC interview, written several op-eds, and put ads in two local papers.
  • Met face to face with Cermaq

Upcoming activities are:

  • Meeting with Hugh MacKay on Monday
  • Round two with the Chester Council this Thursday, Feb 6 at 0900. We will be listening to presentations from Cermaq and the Aquaculture Association and asking them questions. If you could attend to show your support, that would be terrific.
  • Round two with MODL (Municipality of the District of Lunenburg) on Tuesday Feb 11 at 0845.
  • Presentation to the Town of Lunenburg at 5:15 pm, same Tuesday.

Here’s what you can do the help:

  • Attend all three council presentations
  • Visit and sign the petition
  • Write to all the politicians you can think of, and to the papers. Draft letters will soon appear on
  • Tell all your friends to get educated and write letters too.
  • Mark your calendars for two upcoming events:
    • Sunday, March 1: public meeting at St Margaret’s Centre at 2:00 pm
    • Wednesday March 11 or Thursday, March 12 (to be determined): FON AGM at 7:00 pm with a speaker on salmon as the main event.

Best regards and thanks

Syd Dumaresq , Chair, Friends of Nature


Silver River Wilderness Area:

Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas: Public Input

Silver River Wilderness Area:

Dear Friends of Nature Members,

There is currently a great opportunity for our Friends of Nature members and all Nova Scotians to participate in helping conserve and protect more of our threatened natural landscapes. The Department of Environment/Protected Areas Branch is currently seeking public input into the designation of 6 more protected areas, part of the effort to get to the 13% goal. This is an excellent time to participate, and the time for input ends on March 9, 2020.

I would ask that you take a few moments and visit the website at to learn more and to view these wonderful natural areas that would offer unique habitats that would protect vulnerable flora and fauna into perpetuity. It only takes a few moments to do so and the government needs to hear from folks like us who understand the importance of land protection.

Submit comments by 9 March, 2020 to

You can also share comments by mail or phone:
Protected Areas and Ecosystems
PO Box 442
Halifax, NS B3J 2P8

Telephone: 902-476-4012

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to help conserve some more ecologically significant landscapes across the province.

Brad Armstrong,
Conservation Director,FO

Salmon Wars Campaign

Dear Friends:

We find ourselves yet again in opposition to our own government and the aquaculture industry. Cermaq, a giant multi-national aquaculture firm (owned by Mitsubishi) has been granted options to install industrial size open pen salmon farms in the pristine waters of St Margaret’s Bay, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg Bay, the mouth of the LaHave River, St Mary’s Bay and large parts of  Guysborough and Richmond Counties.

Friends of Nature is proud to be a co- founder of the Twin Bays Coalition. I encourage you to have a look at:

Our campaign includes meeting with government at all levels. Upcoming municipal council presentations are listed below. It is very important that we fill the visitor’s gallery at each of these and I urge you to attend as many as you can.

1.   Tuesday, Jan 21, 0900 Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, (located in Bridgewater) council presentation.

2.   Sunday, Jan 26, 2:00 pm, Council of Canadians Public meeting, Mahone Bay Centre

3.   Monday, Jan 27, 6:00 pm, Town of Bridgewater, council presentation.

4.   Thursday Jan 30, 9:00 am, Chester Municipality, council presentation.

5.   Thursday Jan 30, 7:00 pm, Town of Mahone Bay, council presentation.

6.   Tuesday,  Feb 11, 5:15 pm, Town of Lunenburg, council presentation

In addition, Friends of Nature will be participating in the following event, which I hope you can also attend:

The South Shore Chapter of the Council of Canadians, in partnership with the Twin Bays Coalition, is presenting a meeting, “There’s still time to protect our bays: Say No to open-net fish farming”. In light of the NS government’s giving an option to Japanese aquaculture giant, Cermaq, to explore putting open-net pens in St. Margaret’s and Mahone Bays, this public meeting will examine the risks associated with open-net fish farming. Open-net pens, which are being eliminated in BC, threaten our environment though disease, parasites, toxic chemicals and more.

The event will include presentations from the Ecology Action Centre, the Twin Bays Coalition, Protect Liverpool Bay, St. Mary’s Bay Protectors, and the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore. Excerpts of the film, Salmon Wars: Wild Fish, Aquaculture and the Future of Communities, will be shown; a short film on a Nova Scotia land-based alternative to open-net pens will also be presented. There will be opportunities for discussion among panelists and questions / comments from the audience will be encouraged as we address an issue that is a concern in communities throughout the province.

The event will be held on Sunday, January 26, 2020, 2 pm at the Mahone Bay Centre (45 School St., Mahone Bay). Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully received to cover costs. Everyone is welcome to attend.

With best wishes,

Syd Dumaresq

Chair, Friends of Nature

Support Boat Harbour Closure

Dear Friends: The Boat Harbour deadline is fast approaching and the Premier is under a lot of pressure to cave. The onus is on the rest of us to make our feelings known to give him some assurance that there are voters out there who want him to stay the course. I urge you to respond to this petition. This is what I wrote, please feel free to copy or modify (click here to send your petition):

Dear Premier McNeil,

Please do not allow Boat Harbour to receive one ounce of pollution after the January 2020 deadline and do not allow the effluent to be slightly filtered and redirected to another waterway.

We need to change from the old methods of dumping industrial waste into our waterways and our air to a new economy where there “waste” products are recycled and reused. Wherever this has happened the company actually makes more money and the environment gets better.
Refer to the case of Interface Carpets for an excellent example of one of the worst polluters ever changing itself into an environmental leader, an industry leader, and an even more profitable company.

Click here to send your letter.

Many thanks
Syd Dumaresq, Chair, Friends of Nature


“The Mill” documentary to be shown on CBC

Dear Friends of Nature:

With the Pictou mill so much in our thoughts, I highly recommend Joan Baxter’s recent book “The Mill”.

There is also a documentary on “The Mill” which will be on CBC at 10:00 pm AST this Thursday, August 29.

Here is a link to an article about the documentary in Truro News:

Best wishes

Syd Dumaresq, Chair, Friends of Nature

Our Youngest Board Member Won 2 Volunteer Awards!

Dear Friends:

Friends of Nature are proud to report that Maria Kirby Breen, our youngest Board Member and our Membership Director, has received both a Volunteer Award from the Municipality of the District of Chester and the Youth Volunteer Award for all of Nova Scotia.
Maria Kirby Breen
This picture shows Maria about to receive the award from our MLA, the Honourable Hugh MacKay, and Floyd Shatford, the Deputy Warden of the Municipality.  Syd Dumaresq is reading the citation illustrating why Maria richly deserves the award.  Rudy would be so proud!Syd Dumaresq, Chair, Friends of Nature