Bedford residents organize to save reef
Developer says plans passed environmental standards
Bedford is getting a waterfront development that will bring condominiums and shops to the area, but some residents are upset that parts of the Bedford Basin Reef could be turned into a parking lot.
Mark Currie started the community group Save the Bedford Reef after years of visiting the inter-tidal zone off the Bedford Highway with his son.
"It's just this hidden little jewel in the HRM. You don't have to hop into your car and drive 45 minutes to enjoy it," he said.
New development plans call for part of the area to be filled in. The plans also call for the Bedford Basin Reef and what's left of Crosby Island to be turned into a parking lot.
Currie said if that goes ahead, natural shoreline and nesting habitats for birds — such as blue herons — will be lost.
Kelly Regan, the Liberal MLA for Bedford-Birch Cove, has also raised the issue in the legislature. Regan said she's worried about the "possible destruction of several natural habitats."
"We understand that the plans are not written in stone. We think we are in a good position to advocate for a coastal park for the community," said Currie.
However, the waterfront developer said the creation of a coastal park is unlikely. They said plans to fill in the Bedford Basin have passed all required environmental tests.
"The information we have from the environmental scientist is that these types of marine habitats can be fairly easily recreated and redistributed around the shoreline, so the net impact will be negligible," said Eric Burchill, director of the Waterfront Development Corporation.
Currie said he hasn't given up hope and his group will keep fighting to save the area.
Development of the area started in the 1980s and the most recent phase won approval in 2010.
A long-stated goal of the project is to create access to the waterfront.