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Shoreline clean-up in Shelburne County nets lots of lobster traps

Terry McLaughlin (from left), Shayla Nickerson and Nelson work to dig a lobster trap buried in the sand at the Crow Neck Beach in East Baccaro during a shoreline cleanup on Sept. 25.
Terry McLaughlin (from left), Shayla Nickerson and Nelson work to dig a lobster trap buried in the sand at the Crow Neck Beach in East Baccaro during a shoreline cleanup on Sept. 25. - Kathy Johnson
EAST BACCARO, N.S. —

A shoreline cleanup at the Crow Neck Beach Nature Reserve in East Baccaro, Shelburne County, on Sept. 25 netted lots of lobster traps that had been tossed ashore by the ocean’s wrath over the past number of years. 

Organized by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Bird Studies Canada, and the provincial departments of the Environment and Lands and Forestry, an estimated 37 people took part in the shoreline cleanup, including 22 Grade 9 students and three teachers from the Barrington Municipal High School. 

The Municipality of Barrington also lent a helping hand, said Joanna Skomorowski, land stewardship assistant for the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, in an on-site interview. 

“The Municipality has been extremely cooperative and very helpful,” she said. 

“Local councillor Jody Crook showed up and carted lobster traps in a wheelbarrow for a few hours,” she said, adding the municipality also helped promote the event and were sending a truck to pick up the non-lobster-trap garbage following the cleanup.  

The retrieved lobster traps were placed in piles at the high-water mark along the beach, and were going to be picked up by the Upper Port LaTour Harbour Authority via a boat. 

“This is a well-loved beach locally,” said Skomorowski. “People already care for it and already bring back garbage they find. That’s why there’s not much on the lower areas. It tends to be up past the end of the cobbles and into the dunes” where most of the debris was found, she said. 

"We’ve been finding a lot of lobster traps, pieces of rope, lobster bands, assorted bits of plastic but most of it seems to be fishing gear,” said Skomorowski. 

As a final tally, she said they counted just over 150 lobster traps, which was a bit tricky because some of them were in pieces. 

“We also collected 35 bags of garbage, plus three massive snarls of rope, a barbecue lid, a stack of old fence posts and a number of other assorted odds and ends," she said. "Overall, it was a great success.  Just having that many lobster traps off the beach will make a big difference.”

Crow Neck Beach is an important nesting area for the endangered piping plover and is protected by the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment. The beach is also noted for frequent use by other shorebirds including common and Arctic terns. The Nova Scotia Nature Trust owns adjacent property that is designated conservation lands. 

“It’s a precious resource and hopefully it will continue to be treated as such,” said Skomorowski. 

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