Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas in the Atlantic Coastal Region of Nova Scotia
With the passage of the Oceans Act (1996), the Government of Canada has committed to an integrated, ecosystem-based approach to oceans and coastal management. One important element of this approach is the identification of Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs), which are areas of especially high ecological or biological significance where greater risk aversion is required in the management of activities. EBSAs are considered in a broad range of management processes, including the development of marine protected area networks. This report describes a refined set of EBSAs for the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, which falls within the DFO Maritimes Region. It builds on past studies and outlines the ecological or biological rationale for how each area satisfies the DFO EBSA criteria. Two types of EBSAs are described, including: (i) broadly-distributed, single-feature EBSAs, which are discrete significant features or processes that occur throughout the Atlantic coast sub-region (e.g. Piping Plover critical habitat) and (ii) site-specific, multiple-feature EBSAs, which are areas identified for their unique combination of exceptional features. Thirty-eight site-specific, multiple-feature EBSAs are described.