(1) Newfoundland marshes at Waterside, which lost their dike in 1950;
(2) Daniels Flats marshes at Shepody, which have never been diked; and
(3) Hillsborough marshes, which have been continuously diked for more than 300 years.
The intent of this letter is to place greater value on salt marshes. In the coming period of a warmer climate, the soil of our salt marshes could be farmed. The combination of an increase in annual degree days, the moderating effect of the cool waters of the Bay of Fundy, and our rich, heavy clay soils (which retain moisture) will make our marshlands more amenable to table crops. This will greatly expand and diversify our local farm economy and give sustenance to nearby cities and neighbourhoods.
Marshes, I admit have been a strong influence on my character and personality. I freely acknowledge my interest in maintaining the dikes, aboiteaux and draining systems. But my greater interest lies in extrapolating what planetary warming will do to our food supply. California, for example, will no longer be the food basket of North America. Its water issues are well known; its future is likely desertification.
Our salt marshes could be natural gardens for the masses. A good example of this phenomenon exists at Harper's U-Pick in Hillsborough with fruit bushes on a salt marsh.
In conclusion, to let dikes erode and lose marshland to a rising sea level will lead to a situation that is not reversible and further put our future food sources at risk. I write to promote dialogue. Strong opinions on various topics exist all over Albert County; some of these opinions require the cargobed of a ½-ton truck. I ask for opinions to be expressed and assessed in discussions on our plan for global warming and the resulting new economic situation.
Please carry these discussions forward to our MLA, to agronomists, farmers–in doing so, give support to local food producers. I wish to thank Stephanie Wood for this timely article and would ask that she forward this letter to her sources.