Setting the context for barachois management in Nova Scotia
Cultural and social values
Threats to barachois ponds
Challenges associated with current management efforts
Selecting statements: building the concourse and the Q set
|Statement and ID number||Category|
Barachois ponds are important year-round fishing grounds for trout, eels, gaspereau.
Dredging artificial openings in barachois ponds to purify water conditions in ponds that support oyster leases is a valid reason for their alteration.
Barrier beaches that define barachois ponds are important ecosystems in their own right.
Barachois ponds are vital for maintaining local biodiversity e.g., muskrat, otters, birds, loons.
Barachois ponds are very threatened by pollutants such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers.
Barachois ponds are very threatened by oil and other chemicals enter the ponds by surface run-off from roads.
Building or maintaining artificial openings in barachois ponds is an important method for managing water levels to avoid flooding.
Dredging artificial openings in barachois for recreational purposes is not a valid reason to alter barachois ponds.
Building or maintaining artificial openings in barachois ponds is necessary for managing algal blooms or reducing nutrient levels in Barachois.
In general, the construction and maintenance of infrastructure (roads, wharves) does not greatly impact barachois ponds.
Industrialization, e.g., fish plants, energy projects, negatively impact barachois health.
Residential or recreational coastal development within 100–200 m negatively impacts barachois health.
Climate change e.g., sea-level rise, storm intensity, ocean acidification, invasive species, are not imminent threats to barachois ecosystems.
Barachois ponds promote salt marsh wetlands by facilitating hydrophytic vegetation, e.g., plants that are adapted for life in saturated soils such saltwater cordgrass, sedges and rushes.
Barachois ponds do not demonstrate fluctuating hydrology from year to year, e.g., water depth, flow patterns, duration and frequency of flooding.
Upland owners should be consulted when the development of barachois ponds is being considered.
Barachois ponds including barriers, do not protect against flooding.
Most barachois ponds should be classified as wetlands of special significance for they support rare species at risk e.g., migratory birds and waterfowl.
Barachois should be classified as wetlands of special significance for having high social/cultural importance.
Barachois ponds are significant features that add value to the landscape (aesthetic/economic).
Barachois ponds detract from the landscape. They are a nuisance.
Infrastructure around barachois ponds detract from the “naturality” of the landscape, lessening its overall worth.
Barachois are mainstays for recreational activities, e.g., boating, ice-hockey, bird watching, walking, swimming, kayaking.
Fishing is only valuable in barachois ponds whose channels are wide enough to allow sea water to enter.
An inventory of the diverse barachois pond habitats and their associated species composition is lacking.
The management of barachois ponds is uncoordinated.
Unmanaged growth is an important driver of negative environmental impacts on barachois ponds.
Barachois ponds are an important part of my cultural and or personal identity.
Freshwater barrier [barachois] ponds provide unique learning opportunities, e.g., how a dune, rocky shore, salt marsh or estuary may affect life in the pond.
There is adequate policy and (or) legislation protecting barachois ecosystems.
The size of a barachois pond is an important determinant in its value and worth.
The water in barachois ponds is stagnant and (or) full of undesirable marine plants/algae.
Protecting naturally occurring barachois ponds is not critical as they can be artificially constructed, even matching ecosystem function.
In general, the majority of barachois ponds change form notably from year to year from wind storms and storm surges.
The requirement to conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) prior to dredging barachois channels creates unnecessary setbacks for development.
Small barachois ponds (<100 m2) ought not to be protected as they are not as ecologically valuable are larger ones.
Most people do not know what barachois ponds are (it could be they may know they exist but would not necessarily identify them as barachois).
Barachois ponds do not hold as much value if they have been altered by a single storm event.
Barachois ponds are not ideal environments for aquaculture development.
Barachois ponds have been negatively affected by lowered investments in wastewater treatment facilities.
Lack of regulated tourism poses negative consequences related to illegal fishing activities in the barachois ponds.
Incompatibilities between professional and recreational fishing are negatively affecting fish, shellfish, and bait resources.
Fishing in barachois ponds has local economic and social importance and is even perceived as additional income for some families.
Many barachois ponds should be filled in and developed to support a variety of regional economic developments.
Barachois ponds have immense scientific value for they are essentially a mesocosm for the greater ocean.
Conservation and protection efforts impede development efforts around barachois ponds.
Barachois ponds hold untapped potential for economic development.
We do not know enough about the barachois ecosystems to effectively manage them.
Barachois ponds are commonly used for illegal dumping of garbage.
It is important that all barachois ponds are valued equally, as each offer something different and unique worth protecting.
More stakeholders ought to recognize the value of barachois ponds through outreach initiatives (e.g., environmental education programs, development of infrastructure).
Certain barachois ponds in Cape Breton hold potential for tidal lagoon power generation.
The key issue themes
Current discourses around barachois ponds in the Bras d’Or Lake
|Participant ID and stakeholder affiliation||P1, let-them-be conservationists||P2, sustainable developers||P3, management reformists||P4, science-based conservationists|
|Perspective 1—let-them-be conservationists|
|Nongovermental organization NGO20||0.5893||0.2896||0.3826||0.3030|
|Nongovermental organization NGO22||0.7494||−0.0631||0.2684||0.2634|
|Nongovermental organization NGO27||0.6096||0.4355||0.3388||0.2499|
|Perspective 2—sustainable developers|
|Perspective 3—management reformists|
|Nongovermental organization NGO23||0.4127||0.2858||0.6868||0.1392|
|Nongovermental organization NGO24||0.4501||0.1718||0.5224||0.4662|
|Perspective 4—science-based conservationists|
|Nongovermental organization NGO26||0.4868||0.1100||0.2295||0.6297|
|No significant perspective|
|Nongovermental organization NGO21||0.3666||0.4332||0.4895||0.4027|
|% Explained variance||22||12||20||18|
|Total defining Q sorts||7||4||8||6|
Perspective 1—the leave-them-be conservationists
Perspective 2—the sustainable developers
Perspective 3—the management reformists
Perspective 4—the science-based conservationists
Stakeholder affiliation and the four perspectives
|Affiliation and participant ID #||P1, leave-them-be conservationists||P2, sustainable developers||P3, management reformists||P4, science-based conservationists||Confounded sorts|
|Nongovermental organization (NGO)||4||0||3||1||1|
|Total (including confounding sorts)||39%||12%||33%||33%||+10%|
How perceptions inform the management of barachois ponds
Alteration permitting process
Bigger isn’t necessarily better. One may have a larger economic, productivity, or recreational value, but each one has its own place in the system (Participant A8, P3 MR, P4 SBC) (Statement #31).These are unique ecosystems: plants, animals, bugs—everything is interconnected within that small ecosystem. One alteration can affect and disrupt the whole chain (Participant NGO26, P4 SBC) (#10).
In the case of a proposed RV park on a barachois pond in CB, nothing seemed to be stopping developers except for their own investors falling through (Participant NGO27, P1 LTBC) (#44).Adequate policy and legislation protection for barachois ponds needs to allow some mechanism for considering case-by-case assessments beyond [generic] marine wetland [designation] (Participant A1, P2 SD) (#30, #50).
Inventory and sub-classification
There needs a better understanding of each coastal wetland habitat type, form, and function, and how they interact with one another (Participant B13, P1 LTBC, P3 MR) (#25).Broader importance indicators must be considered beyond size… is it a nursery? a sediment basin? a bioreactor? a coastal wetland? shoreline protection? (Participant B10, P3 MR) (#31).There are significant knowledge gaps around barachois ponds, such as species composition, form and function, role in ecosystem, and differences between barachois in BDL vs. Bay of Fundy vs. Atlantic (Participant B13, P1 LTBC, P3 MR) (#48).This is hindering the effective management and protection of barachois ponds (Participant B10, P3 MR) (#48).Developing a classification system would allow stakeholders to construct buildings, structures and houses with minimal impacts (Participant N20, P1 LTBC) (#50).
Educating stakeholders and the public
People will change by learning more about the contributions barachois ponds make to the environment and how valuable they are (Participant L19, P4 SBC) (#51).When people’s eyes open to their ecological value, you see their mind switch, valuing it more as a habitat (Participant L15, P2-SD) (#29).
Coordinating integrated management
A collective agreement between all municipalities on how best to manage barachois ponds is needed; it is difficult for any one municipality to take the lead when subsequent municipalities are not following suit (Participant G31, P3 MR) (#26).
Nova Scotia lacks planning around coastal development and coastal growth (Participant NGO21, no perspective) (#27).Everyone is operating in silos; no one is talking (Participant B10, P3 MR) (#26).A lack of regulatory frameworks is preventing all regulatory entities from operating under a similar perspective, with everyone looking at development in these areas similarly (Participant G31, P3 MR) (#26).
Social and cultural importance criteria
When Elders or knowledge keepers are approached about these place names, we’ll see the significance of why it’s called this. When we have that understanding, we have an appreciation for what’s there, and for how to use them (Participant NGO22, P1 LTBC) (#19).Medicines in barachois ponds that play a significant role in Mi’kmaw history have likely been lost (Participant NGO26, P1 LTBC) (#19).
Functional assessment protocol
A holistic approach for determining their value and worth, one that considers all interacting aspects of the environment is ideal when making decisions on their significance and value. Current policy and legislation do not allow for this … (Participant A1, P2 SD) (#30).Tidal WESP-AC relies on tides to provide presence of high and low marsh for scoring. The BDL has narrow tides, so you don’t really get those two zones, or if you do, it’s very small. (Participant N24, P3 MR) (#14).
Data Availability Statement
Plain Language Summary
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