Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) is extending congratulations to Colchester County Council for voting to request designation of the French River Watershed as a protected water area under the Nova Scotia Environment Act at its meeting last evening.
The designation request which includes regulations protecting the watershed against mining exploration and mining activities will now be submitted to the provincial Minister of Environment for approval.
This request follows two years of deliberations by the Tatamagouche Source Water Protection Committee, chaired by Councillor Mike Gregory, as well as a series of public consultations in the community. The French River Watershed is the source of drinking water for the village of Tatamagouche.
“The Council deserves special recognition and thanks for taking this step”,said Carol Ferguson. a spokesperson for SuNNS. “Water is one of our most precious resources, critical to our local economy and the survival of natural systems and habitats.”
SuNNS, a citizens group working to ensure environmentally sustainable, locally driven economic and community development in northern Nova Scotia, formed in 2017 when the then provincial Department of Natural Resources (now Energy and Mines) announced it was actively soliciting gold mining companies to undertake mining activity in a 30,000 hectare enclosure area in the Cobequid Highlands of Colchester and Cumberland counties. About half of the enclosure area is covered by the French River Watershed.
“We fully expect the Minister of Energy and Mines to respect the County’s decision and withdraw plans for any future gold mining exploration in the French River watershed,” concluded Carol Ferguson. “And SuNNS will continue to work to protect the other six related watersheds in the Cobequid Highlands.”