We live in a beautiful but very environmentally sensitive area. Hurricanes have caused damage to our trees, our ocean front is suffering from erosion, some of our lakes are polluted with blue-green algae and we have been suffering from droughts during the last 5 years. We can’t change our weather but we can take steps to prevent damage.
During the next four year the Municipality of Yarmouth will be undergoing a review of the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use Bylaws. It is up to council to make some tough decisions about what people can and can’t do on their properties near water. We have a water’s edge ( riparian buffer zone) bylaw which can’t be enforced. We make recommendations to land owners and developers not to destroy the vegetation at the edge of the water which helps prevent blue-green algae but some don’t listen and bulldoze their waterfront. The Department of the Environment is responsible for testing the water but they don’t test unless someone reports a problem. Our present land use bylaw allows for industrial development along the waterfront and that needs to change. We need to protect our water!
Speaking of water, we have had some difficult drought years. Thankfully, the town of Yarmouth has built a new water distribution centre in town for Yarmouth County residents. As many know, the lineups can be long. Ultimately, homeowners not on a water line are responsible for their own water. Fortunately the Municipality has a water lending program so you can borrow money and pay it back over 10 years. Also, seniors below a certain income level, can apply to HousingNS for financial assistance. If we continue in this fashion, we will have no choice but to drill or dig new wells. That being said it is our residents who are having difficulties and I believe it is up to the Municipality to have a source of water available for emergency use.