Hope you all are well, and have been enjoying sunny spring weather as we’ve had here in Halifax the past few days! Sunshine and warmer weather for me means spending as much free time as I can being outside and enjoying nature. It’s also that time of year when outside volunteer projects cross my path. This past weekend I helped to organize and participate in an annual Shorelines Clean Up Party at the Living Shoreline in Halifax.
Living Shoreline: What is it?
Here in Nova Scotia we’re coastal people; drive 15-20 minutes in any direction and you’ll hit the ocean. While this proximity means a plethora of pretty sunset views and water sport adventures, it also makes our seaside province highly vulnerable to climate change impacts such as increased sea level rise.
Living Shorelines are a natural mechanism for coastal protection, using plants and other natural materials to help stabilize the shore. Stabilization improves coastal health, fortifies the ecosystem, and provides habitat for local wildlife.
Living Shorelines works with nature to protect nature!
Volunteers at the Shoreline clean up gathering seaweed and debris to fortify the shoreline
Shoreline Clean Up Party!
In Halifax, a company called Helping Nature Heal (HNH), has taken these concepts of natural adaptation and ecological landscaping techniques to create a living shoreline on the Northwest Arm, at St. Mary’s Boat Club. Partnering with HNH and the Ecology Action Centre Coastal and Water team, I was one of a number of volunteers who helped organize this year’s Shoreline Clean Up Party.
This past Saturday April 29th we gathered at the site, along with a group of 35 amazing volunteers, to reinforce and revamp the existing site. Hard working volunteers, led by the HNH crew, gathered seaweed, sticks, and debris from the shoreline and used it to reinforce and fortify the shoreline. Another group planted willow trees along the shore to act as natural buffers. Volunteers also worked on mulching around the grassy area and set-up new stakes for measuring to collect erosion data.
Be kind to people, be kind to the planet. Collecting seaweed for shoreline fortification, featuring kind karma bracelets!
The event engaged volunteers and community members with natural adaptation techniques and ways to use the natural world around them to fortify and protect against climate change. For myself, it also allowed me to spend a day outside, getting dirty and working hard to protect my home from the threats of climate change. It is sometimes easy to shrug off climate change, especially when the impacts are not immediately visible or threatening to you on a daily basis. Events such as these help to make everyone aware of the potential impacts, while also teaching everyone that they can and should have a role in helping to protect the planet.
Get Involved: Protect the shore, protect the planet!
Everyone has a part to play, big or small, in protecting the planet and making it a better place. Getting involved is easy, and as I found with this event, can be fun and engaging! I challenge you all to find a way to get involved in protecting your local community for climate impacts!
If you live in a coastal community, participate in a beach clean-up or look into natural adaptation techniques. Organize an event or info session if you can’t find any!
If you’re in Halifax connect with me to learn more about the Living Shoreline and get involved!
Until next time,
Stay Kind 💙
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