State of the Bras d’Or Marine Environmental Water Quality Background Report
Year of Report: 2009
Author: Bras d'Or CEPI, UINR
The Bras d’Or Lakes (Pitu’pa’q), situated in the heart of Cape Breton Island, are a unique, semienclosed estuarine system of bays,
inlets, and deep basins that make up approximately 18% of the total shoreline length of Nova Scotia. Variations in salinity, tidal range, flushing times, and population distribution are found within different regions of the Lakes. These differences make the Bras d’Or Lakes especially vulnerable to human pressures.
Marine water quality in the Bras d’Or Lakes was assessed via examination of three factors: bacteriological water quality; chemical water and sediment quality; and sedimentation. The integrated Driving Force-PressureState-Impact-Response approach, currently used by the European Environmental Agency, is applied to marine environmental water quality under each subtopic.
Nine conclusions and recommendations are included with this report, among them the implementation of a long-term monitoring strategy so that changes in marine environmental quality can be detected and tracked.
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