Bras d’Or Golden Award Winners Announced
SYDNEY—Approximately 50 people attended the Bras d’Or Lakes Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative’s (CEPI) World Water Day event at the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in the Environment and the Economy at Cape Breton University on March 27, 2013.
The event was originally scheduled for UNESCO’s World Water Day on March 22, but had to be postponed due to a winter storm. The event combined the second of two annual CEPI Speakers’ Series events with the presentation of the first annual Bras d’Or Golden awards, which the CEPI sponsors.
Speaker Dr. Annamarie Hatcher of Cape Breton University’s Integrative Science Department gave her audience a comprehensive lesson on the importance of water, from its basic physical and chemical properties to its current condition worldwide with respect to climate change, pollution, and human populations.
Following the lecture, the 2013 Bras d’Or Lakes Golden Awards were presented. The awards were given for four categories: individual, business, non-governmental organizations and youth, in recognition of good stewardship and dedication towards the preservation of the Bras d’Or Lakes watershed ecosystem. The awards were presented by Charlie Dennis, Chair of the CEPI Management Committee and long-time champion of sustainability in Bras d’Or Lakes fisheries.
The winner of the Youth/School category was awarded to the current First and Second Year Students of the Natural Resource & Environmental Technology course at the Strait Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College located in Port Hawkesbury.
In their nomination, the students were cited for their volunteer work in the planting of hundreds of native species of trees in the Fall of 2012 along the Margaree River to repair the riparian zone along the river’s edge.
In the business category, the winner was Amoeba Sailing Tours of Baddeck, with Beverly Bryson accepting the award on behalf of the company.
In their nomination, Amoeba Boat Tours were cited for their conscientious 90 minute boat tours of the Bras d’Or Lakes. Sailing from the Baddeck waterfront daily in the summer, this company gives tours of the Bras d’Or Lakes from a unique perspective, includes natural and human history, and informs both tourists and locals about the importance of the area.
In the Non-governmental /Community Group Category, the award went to the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve Association (BLBRA). BLBRA Chair Jim Foulds accepted the award on behalf of the Association.
In their nomination, the Bras d’Or Lakes Biosphere Reserve Association were cited for their work in obtaining a United Nations Man and the Biosphere Reserve Designation for the Bras d’Or Lakes as an acknowledgement of it as a unique ecosystem in the world.
The winner of the Individual category was Mr. Pat Bates, outgoing President of the Bras d’Or Stewardship Society. Along with a trophy, Mr. Bates was awarded two crystal wine glasses designed by Wayne Curtis of Island Crystal in Albert Bridge, in an original “Bras d’Or” design.
Mr. Bates, in the nomination was cited for his years of volunteer dedication to the Bras d’Or Stewardship Society, which advocates for the sustainable management of the Bras d’Or Lakes and its watershed. Mr. Bates has also volunteered on task teams and as a representative on the Steering Committee of the CEPI. The outspoken proponent of the Lakes promised to continue his efforts to promote good stewardship and management even as he leaves his executive post with the Society.
The Bras d’Or Lakes Environmental Planning Initiative wishes to thank our speaker Dr. Annamarie Hatcher, Dr. Bruce Hatcher, the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment, Cape Breton University, ACAP-Cape Breton, the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, Parks Canada, Nova Scotia Environment, and Rodney Chaisson and staff at the Highland Village Museum in Iona.
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