Expert report imagines possible futures for this ecologically rich slice of Nova Scotia
The tidal wetlands and dykelands of the inner Bay of Fundy are critical ecosystems in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, providing essential benefits to human and non-human communities.
These ecosystems offer biodiverse habitats, protection from coastal flooding, and cultural value for Indigenous, Acadian, and other communities. However, they are increasingly threatened by climate change, making their management more complex and their future uncertain.
A new NSERC ResNet report, lead authored by Elson Ian Nyl Galang, a Ph.D. candidate in McGill's Natural Resource Sciences Department, explores what the tidal wetland-dykeland ecosystems could look like by 2072.
The report synthesizes a visioning workshop held earlier this month by NSERC ResNet, McGill University, Dalhousie University, and Saint Mary’s University, which brought together key researchers, government representatives and civil societies in Nova Scotia. Exploring ecological implications as well as social, cultural and political aspects, it presents four alternate environmental futures for these ecosystems in a 50-year timeline if reactive or proactive climate actions are taken:
- Eternal Optimists: A future where long-term benefits are ensured for all interest groups and future generations in the ecosystems through cross-organizational collaborations for nature-based solutions to adapt to climate change
- Dykelands of Bay Street: A future where entrepreneurs and the private sector drive credit-based innovations and financial mechanisms, such as carbon credits, for nature-based solutions to adapt to climate change
- No One Left Behind but the Kids: A future where equitable access to benefits from the ecosystems for all interest groups becomes the policy priority, but is only sustainable for the short term due to lack of collaboration for climate change adaptation
- At least the Fish are Happy: A future where corporate or large-industry interests and demands of the benefits from the ecosystems drive how the ecosystems are used, causing eventual declines of the ecosystems’ ecological conditions and plausibly abandonment of lands along the Bay of Fundy