Dartmouth, N.S., October 29, 2013 - Clean Nova Scotia is expanding their restoration work beyond freshwater habitat and into marine coastal environments through the launch of the Atlantic Reef Ball Program. The program creates habitat for marine life in shallow coastal waters by placing cement structures known as Reef Balls on the ocean floor. Partnering with Clean Nova Scotia on the inaugural reef installation is Irving Shipbuilding, which has provided support for the construction and deployment of 100 Reef Balls in the Halifax Harbour. The first artificial reef will be installed on Tuesday, October 29, following an 11 a.m. announcement near Black Rock Beach, Point Pleasant Park
“We see this innovative program as a great opportunity to have a positive effect on Nova Scotia’s natural environment, in collaboration with community partners,” says Chris Morrissey, Executive Director, Clean Nova Scotia. “Currently we are the only organization in Atlantic Canada capable of producing certified Reef Balls, and we are excited to offer this form of salt water restoration.”
Clean Nova Scotia is currently capable of producing two styles of Reef Balls, Pallet and Layer Cake, to increase habitat diversity. They are also the first to install a Layer Cake Reef Ball in Canadian waters.
“Irving Shipbuilding is in the midst of investing $300M into new facilities, equipment, systems and processes to ready ourselves to build the Royal Canadian Navy’s new combat fleet,” says Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding. “To do that, we needed to repatriate a portion of the harbour for a land level facility on which to assemble the ships. Our roots on Halifax Harbour go back centuries and we feel a real responsibility to our home. Supporting this Clean Nova Scotia habitat restoration project was the perfect way to ensure healthy, growing fish habitats well into the future. We encourage other organizations to do the same.”
Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. at Black Rock Beach in Point Pleasant Park
“A key component of the fisheries protection regime is offsetting the impacts of habitat degradation where such impacts cannot be avoided or mitigated,” says David Millar, Regional Director of Ecosystems Management for the Maritimes Region of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “In certain instances, Reef Balls such as the ones to be used in the Halifax Harbour can be an effective tool available to project proponents to help them meet the requirements under the Fisheries Act.
The program’s first set of Reef Balls is scheduled for installation at 11:30 a.m. on October 29 along the coast of Point Pleasant Park, and will be visible from shore. Parking is available in the Point Pleasant Park lower lot, at the end of Point Pleasant Drive. Interview and photo opportunities will be available with representatives from both Clean Nova Scotia and Irving Shipbuilding.
For more information about Clean Nova Scotia, you can visit their website by clicking here.