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1999 FOMIS Annual Report

The Friends of McNabs Island continued with many ongoing projects throughout 1999. Our projects took place on McNabs Island and off the island. During the 1999 season, the Friends of McNabs conducted a number of activities on McNabs Island as part of our environmental waste management and trail maintenance commitments to preserving and protecting McNabs Island Provincial Park and Fort McNab National Historic Site. Off the island, the Friends continued with education presentations, answering public inquiries, newsletter publications, and meetings with government politicians and officials regarding the establishment of McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park.

On Island Projects:

Beach Sweeps

The Friends decided to concentrate on one large-scale cleanup of McNabs and Lawlor Islands' beaches and shoreline in 1999. The June 6 Environment Week Cleanup was the 17th cleanup of the islands organized by the Friends of McNabs Island Society. The event attracted 190 volunteers who collected 340 bags of ocean debris. The event was featured in the Daily News on June 7th. On September 19th a Paddle and Cleanup co-sponsored by Canoe Nova Scotia was held. Paddlers collected 50 bags of garbage mostly from Lawlor Island. The Friends have been cleaning up the beaches on McNabs and Lawlor Islands since 1991. By the end of 1999, almost 6000 bags of trash had been collected from the beaches.

Volunteers for the cleanups logged more than 1400 hours in donated time to make the cleanups a success. The cleanup on McNabs was assisted by Department of Natural Resources' McNabs Island caretaker, Dave Seaboyer and funded in part by Parks Canada.

Catherine McCarthy attended a news conference on marine pollution and beach sweep activities held by Clean Nova Scotia Foundation on November 23, 1999 and was presented with the Coordinator Award by area MLA Tim Olive.

Waste Management

Through an agreement with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Parks Canada, the Friends collected and transported 160 bags of garbage and 60 bags of recyclables from 20 garbage cans located on the island from June to September. In total, volunteers for the waste management project logged 250 hours in volunteer time.

Several outhouses damaged by vandals were repaired again this year. All outhouses were regularly limed and kept clean throughout the summer months. There are now six functional outhouses on the island.

Trail, Fort and Cemetery Maintenance

The Friends continued with the trail maintenance project for McNabs Island, clearing away underbrush and windfalls from approved trails. Work continued on the Cliff, Fraser Farm, Hermit and Rifle Range Trails on the island. The Friends commitment to paint the formidable fence at Fort Ives is ongoing. Plans to rent at power sprayer did not materialize this year. Maintenance continued at the McNabs Family Cemetery. The grass was mowed and weeds were removed manually on a regular basis throughout the summer.

Other McNabs Island Events

Our popular Fall Foliage tour which featured a tour of the Conrad and Lynch houses and the Maugers Beach lighthouse was held on October 17th with 135 people in attendance. A feature article about the event was published in the Daily News on November 1st.

Other Off Island Activities

The Friends turned down a letter of intent to lease the Teahouse from DNR based on legal advise that the project was too risky and expensive for a not-for-profit organization. The Friends organized our first annual silent auction dinner on February 26th at Royal Artillery Park. The event featured a slide presentation of McNabs Island by Royce Walker. The event was a success in raising funds for the society and will become an annual event.

Our 1998 Annual General Meeting was held on April 27th in Dartmouth. Over 60 members attended and listened to a presentation on Elnino Eats McNabs by Gavin Manson, a geologist from Dalhousie University, who is studying coastal erosion on McNabs Island.

As in previous years, the Friends have responded to numerous requests for information about McNabs Island from universities, schools, youth groups, tourist operators and the general public.

In May, Victor Dingle attended the Parks Canada's Volunteer Appreciation Day at Citadel Hill.

Throughout the spring and summer representatives from the Friends met with the Halifax Regional Development Agency to develop a proposal to hire a coordinator to assist with park planning and the society's island activities.

Representatives from the Friends met with Natural Resources Minister Ernie Fage on November 17th to discuss the status of park planning for McNabs and Lawlor Islands.

In 1999, the society published newsletters in Jan/99 and two in Dec/99.

Prepared by:

Catherine McCarthy
Friends of McNabs Island Society
April 19 2000