Keep Antigonish harbour beautiful

How long will there be unencumbered access to Antigonish harbour?

There is something I am guilty of… I forgot how beautiful the Antigonish harbour is, but going for a kayak the other morning, I was abruptly reminded.

The cormorants, the seagulls, and the eagles try to keep the serenity of the early morning a secret, but luckily for me they have failed. All you have to do is take a quick paddle out to be aware of the beauty that is close to us as a community.

Right now, the Antigonish harbour has unencumbered access as you paddle along, after all it should be this way since it is a communal waterway enjoyed by boaters, kayakers, windsurfers, paddle boarders, canoe enthusiasts, as well as lobster fisherman, and oyster gatherers.

What would happen if access along the water became more difficult or simply unattractive due to industrialization? How do we foster respectful relationships around Antigonish harbour and the impending industrialization of an oyster farm that is proposed? Is it possible at this point, or is it already too late? Why is continuous expansion deemed necessary to fulfill our activities and our needs?

When push comes to shove, we are all merely guests in Antigonish town and county. Since we are guests, we have a responsibility to the land, the water, and the environment in general, because we are utilizing precious resources.

Oyster leases run for 10 years and are almost always renewed, and industrial processing buildings last even longer. Why is it okay to change the harbour forever to chase one company’s ambition?

Mother Nature does not discriminate and does not care what kind of state-of-the-art oyster facility rests in the water. Nature takes what it wants when high end storms, surges, and hurricanes come knocking. In the wake of the storms, the humans or guests are left to figure out how to clean up an environmental mess or catastrophe. Why hasn’t humility shaken us into submission? When can we finally say “enough is enough?” I don’t know about you, but I would love to know the answer to that last question especially.

If you don’t have access to the harbour or would like to try activities within Antigonish harbour, there are several ways to do so. Antigonish County Recreation offers stand up paddle board rentals. Another option is Paddle Antigonish – this group runs into autumn and they kayak as they explore some beautiful waterways around Antigonish.

I encourage you to go out to a gorgeous currently unencumbered communal waterway that is and hopefully will always be Antigonish harbour.

Elsa Pinkohs

Lanark