Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture

Mabou Harbour Watershed – Coliform Levels and Shellfish Harvesting

WRP2016-004

Scope:

  • Map the entire watershed and any agricultural operations that exist within the watershed
  • Regular sampling from various defined zones of the harbour and from each of the major rivers/streams that empty into the harbour. These samples were tested for isotope levels to determine the source i.e. agricultural versus human waste
  • Identify and reinforce sound practices and beneficial manure handling management practices to agricultural owner/operators within the watershed and the establishment of a positive rapport with the shellfish harvesters

Benefits:

  • Determine if the high coliform levels are due to agricultural operations or municipal operations and steps taken to mitigate the risks
  • Reduction of coliform levels by identifying the source will help protect the valuable shellfish industry in the harbour

Outcomes:

  • Conclusion: Avian the largest source of coliform levels, human and ruminant sources are 2nd and 3rd
    • Recommendation to eliminate waste from entering waterways by following Environmental Farm Plans and generally accepted guidelines
    • Human waste is expected to be addressed through the replacement of sewage treatment plant
    • Stronger relationship with Dal AC researchers who are going to continually monitor the site

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