In the near future the Bras d’Or Lakes will be a cleaner place due to the Canada Shipping Act designation making the lakes a non-discharge zone for boating sewage. This summer two students from Eskasoni, NS have been working on getting the news out to boaters on the Bras d’Or. Alyssia Jeddore and Norman Sylliboy have been researching clean boating practices and resources for boaters. They have put together a useful, fact-filled brochure called “Clean Boating on the Bras d’Or” that shows boaters how to contribute to the good health of the Bras d’Or Lakes’ environment. The brochure informs the boating fraternity about the new designation and promotes the use of sewage pump-out facilities.

This project is a partnership between Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR), Pituâ’paq and the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps (NSYCC). UINR’s board is a made up of the chiefs of five First Nation communities in Cape Breton working collaboratively on issues regarding natural resources and their sustainability. Whereas Pitu’paq’s membership is made up of the same chiefs, they are joined by representatives from the five Cape Breton municipalities. NSYCC gives youth the opportunity to work in their communities on projects concerning the environment. Each year they hire students from across the province to work on environmental issues like watershed, solid waste, pollution prevention, environmental education, interpretation and climate change. This is done along with the experience of team building, leadership and knowledge of the environment and its current state.

The two crew members from Eskasoni show their commitment and willingness on this project knowing that their activities will have an influential impact on educating the public on the Bras d’Or Lakes non-discharge zone designation. They have been working from an office at UINR and have dedicated their summer to make this project a success.

Norman explains, “Working on this project has brought my sister and I a better understanding of the non-discharge zone. We have been working to promote the designation for three weeks now and being Mi’kmaq we’ve always had a sense of knowing and understanding of how important the environment is to our people. With the information we gathered we will inform others of this essential concern. We would like to help people to treat the Bras d’Or Lakes with dignity and respect and hope we get positive responses out of the project.”

“Clean Boating on the Bras d’Or is being distributed to all marinas and boating supply outlets in Cape Breton and where ever boaters congregate! For more information on the project or to get a copy of the brochure, you can visit the office at 4102 Shore Road in Eskasoni or call 902 379 2163.

From UINR Marten, Issue 1, Vol. 1, Fall 2005