Biodiversity: Stewardship of our Natural Resources

Stewardship of our Natural Resources


Our operations touch many parts of the land and watersheds of Nova Scotia. We look for opportunities to conserve, protect and recover ecosystems and habitats, and protect the plants and animals that live there.

 

Protection of Birds

Since 1979, Nova Scotia Power has aided in the recovery of the iconic osprey, a fish-eating raptor that likes to nest in tall trees and on electricity poles that was once on the endangered species list.

Through the Osprey Management Program, Nova Scotia Power employees relocate threatened nests from live utility poles to safer locations. Each year, we also run the Osprey Cam so the public can get an up close and personal look at the nesting birds (without disturbing them).

 

Installing Bird Diverters

Landfills tend to attract gulls, crows, hawks and eagles to the potential food source. In 2018, a pilot project at the Guysborough landfill site was initiated to test cover up material on electricity lines, as well as provide perches, triangles and pin covers on the poles. By providing alternative places to perch, these birds are protected from potential electrocution. We continue to work with the Department of Lands and Forestry on bird conservation and protection.

 

Conserving Aquatic Habitat and Species

We work to maintain sensitive aquatic habitats, and the species that are found there. All our reservoirs contain riparian wetlands that are home to many aquatic species, both above and below the water. They are highly productive and provide feeding and nursery areas for mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

Our employees are involved with the protection and recovery of endangered species and species of concern through ongoing participation in recovery teams, monitoring and studies.

 

Blanding’s turtle and eastern ribbon snake monitoring program

In Nova Scotia, Blanding’s turtles and eastern ribbon snakes prefer wetland habitat and are found in and around Kejimkujik National Park. They are protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act. We actively support the Blanding’s turtle and eastern ribbon snake recovery efforts through participation in recovery team meetings and stewardship monitoring programs. In collaboration with the Mersey-Tobeatic Research Institute we have monitored the presence of these species in the Tusket and Medway watersheds for about ten years.

 

Inner Bay of Fundy Salmon or White Rock Dam

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We are also active in the recovery teams for several fish species that are led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, including for Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic (IBoF) salmon and Atlantic whitefish. We have been involved in the Live Gene Bank for IBoF salmon since its inception almost 20 years ago. At our White Rock Dam on the Gaspereau River, Kings County, we provide a fish ladder and downstream bypasses that incorporate fish capture facilities for adult and juvenile salmon. These are transported to the Coldbrook Biodiversity Facility to be bred according to the strict mating plans of Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) geneticists.

Nova Scotia’s rivers are home to several diadromous fish species (those that need both fresh- and marine waters to complete their life cycle), such as Atlantic salmon, smelt, gaspereau and American eel. Fish passage around our hydroelectric facilities is important for these fish to complete their life cycles. We are working with Fisheries and Oceans to identify priority areas where passage is required. In 2015 we opened a new fish ladder at Sandy Reservoir on the Indian River near St. Margaret’s Bay, allowing gaspereau to go up the river for the first time in 135 years. We are working with Fisheries and Oceans to provide passage for American eel as they make their way down the Mersey River as adults to spawn in the Sargasso Sea.