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New Cow Bay park!

It looks like the go ahead has been given to build a park in cow bay between Minutes B-yards, allowing access to both spots. Press release follows.

The Coastal Access Committee is excited to announce the founding of a new public park in Cow Bay,
Nova Scotia. Through a collaborative effort between the surfing community, the Halifax Regional
Municipality and the local residents of Cow Bay an important coastal access point will be established
servicing two of Canada’s premier surfing breaks. Likewise a fragile coastal wetland will be preserved
and an important piece of recreational infrastructure for local residents will be created. Preliminary
plans include the construction of a parking lot and boardwalk leading to the coast. Full infrastructure
plans will be released later this spring after public consultations with the local community that are to
take place on May 27th, 2010 at the Cow Bay Community Hall. The first stage of infrastructure is
expected to be completed in the summer/fall of 2010 with the second phase completed in 2011.
The first stage of the proposed infrastructure will be funded by a combination of a substantial private
donation, Districs Counsellor Jackie Barkhouse’s discretionary funds and funds raised in the community
by the Coastal Access Committee. The Coastal Access Committee is raising funds by “selling” engraved
boards on the proposed boardwalk for $100 each. Donors will have their names, names of loved ones,
or that of a business engraved in the right hand side of boards on the boardwalk. People interested can
purchase boards at Emma’s Eatery in Eastern Passage, If Only Surfshop in the South End, Propeller Cold
Beer Store in the North End and Kannon Beach Surf & Windsurf Shop in Lawrencetown. Full details on
purchasing boards are available at participating locations and coastalaccessns.blogspot.com. The
second stage of the project is contingent on provincial funding and will be completed in 2011.


Coastal Access Committee
Press Release: Announcement of a New Park in Cow Bay
May 12th, 2010



Property Details
Location: Cow Bay Road, PID # 40263915
Size: 4.61 hectares
Environmental Impact Assessment: Completed
Provincial Environmental Approval: Received
Contact Information
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
Iaian Archibald
Co-Chair, Coastal Access Committee
902-478-1146, This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
Sean Kelly (After May 17th)
Co-Chair, Coastal Access Committee
902-471-5359, This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
Jackie Barkhouse
Regional Counsellor, District 8 Woodside-Eastern Passage
902- 476-5601, This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it


Project Overview
Located on Nova Scotia’s marine drive in the community of Cow Bay are two unique combinations of
cobblestone and shale that allow Atlantic swells to break perfectly for surfing. These two spots,
“Backyards” and “Minutes” have been accessed by crossing private land for years. Directly between
these two world class surfing breaks is a beautiful coastal wetland and pond that feeds into the ocean.
This property is a sanctuary for a number of species of plants, fish, birds and provides an important
resting place for migratory birds. In 2008, access to these breaks via private property was cut off by
land-owners in the area. After discussion with the Coastal Access Committee over the past few years, in
2010 HRM purchased the wetland and surrounding property from a Cow Bay Resident. The property
was purchased with the intention of creating a public park with the goal of building a parking lot, trails
and boardwalks for surfers, paddlers and coastal users to access the shorelines and for local residents,
Nova Scotians and visitors at large to enjoy.


Coastal Access Committee
Press Release: Announcement of a New Park in Cow Bay
May 12th, 2010

A Brief History of Surfing in Nova Scotia
The first waves know to be surfed in Nova Scotia were ridden by two young Californian’s traveling
with their father in 1962. This initiated a slow but steady stream of Americans and Australians who
began to use Nova Scotia’s world class breaks without the overbearing crowds they faced in their home
countries. With these expats paving the way, Nova Scotians adopted the sport. Today’s surfing
population now includes second and even third generation surfers around surfing-lineups across the
province.


Throughout the late sixties, seventies and eighties the surfing population became focused in the
Halifax Regional Municipality, most notably in the Cow Bay, Lawrencetown and Seaforth areas. Other
communities have developed in the South Shore-Liverpool areas and in Cape Breton. Beginning in the
late nineties the surfing population grew exponentially and continues to grow each year. Advances in
wetsuit technology have been very instrumental in this growth. Nova Scotia now supports over ten
thousand seasonal surfers and over at least one thousand committed year- round surfers. The
emerging surfing community supports over a dozen surf-focused businesses such as surf shops and
surfing schools. Furthermore the province hosts hundreds of traveling surfers, mostly from Quebec and
New England, each fall who travel here to take advantage of our ‘hurricane’ surfing season.
Nova Scotia became a true presence on the international surfing scene by sending our first
representatives to the 1992 world surfing games held in Lacanau, France. Over the past decades, the
international reputation of Nova Scotia as a world class surfing destination has been facilitated by
dozens of cover shots and features in the world’s top surfing magazines. Our own professional surfers,
most notably Neal Durling and Nico Mannos, combined with the world’s the sixth most well known surf
photographer, Yazzy Halil, have furthered added our reputation as they travel the world surfing and
taking photographs. Nova Scotia has also hosted two international surfing competitions put on by
Redbull.


A Brief History of the ‘Minutes’ and ‘Backyards’ Surfing Breaks
The original history of the Minutes/Backyards surfing area is somewhat fuzzy; however, we do know
these breaks have been surfed for at least three decades. For years a local resident allowed surfers to
park on his land and access the break from his property. In the past four years the growth of the surfing
population reached a point where up to two hundred people would be crossing private land to access
the surf on good days. As a result, the resident cut of public access to his property. The Minutes surfing
break first reached international prominence by hosting the international surfing competition Red Bull
Ice Break in 2004 and 2005. As one of the provinces premier surfing breaks Minutes has been featured a
number of magazines, surfing videos and can be found on a number of prominent surf travel websites.


Coastal Access Committee
Press Release: Announcement of a New Park in Cow Bay
May 12th, 2010

A few hundred meters up the coast, lays the surfing break known as ‘Backyards’. For a number of
years, this break was accesses by way of public land; however, access to this break was also lost a
number of years ago.
Due to the limited access to these two spots, the proposed infrastructure on the recent land
acquisition provides an ideal location for access to both breaks for the coastal users.
About the Coastal Access Committee
In the early part of the decade a group of surfers who frequent the waves of Cow Bay became
concerned about possibly loosing access to one of their favourite surfing breaks in the area, The Moose.
In a situation similar to any coastal region the world over, private developers sought to subdivide the
property in front of the surf area. This would have resulted in a loss of access to one of the more
consistent waves in the area and a focal point for the local surfing community. This potential loss proved
to be the catalyst to bring a group of surfers together and form the Coastal Access Committee.
As luck would have it, the land in front of The Moose holds significant historical value for the local
community. In the early twentieth century the area we now call The Moose was a beautiful white sand
beach called Silversands. It was a popular vacation spot for residents of Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova
Scotia just a ten to thirty minute drive away. Silversands was also a place for the local community of
Eastern Passage to congregate and relax. Part of the attraction was a small canteen and dancehall that
featured large concrete animals constructed by Winston Bronnum. In the 1930’s to the 1950’s massive
amounts of sand were dredged out of the bay to facilitate the construction of the Shearwater Air Force
Base. As a result the sand disappeared from the beautiful beach leaving the rocky shore that exists
today. The only remnant is the concrete moose that now gives the beach its namesake.
By working collectively the local citizen’s organization, called Friends of the Moose, the Coastal Access
Committee successfully lobbied governments and raised funds to establish the Silversands Surfing Park.
The historical significance of the area to the local population and the contemporary importance of the
area to the HRM’s growing surf community was enough to bring the two groups together to fight for
continued access to this storied area. Recently completed in the summer of 2008, Silversands will be
there for generations of surfers and locals to enjoy. For a number of years the Coastal Access
Committee went into hibernation. In 2006 a number of pressing access issues came to light in the Cow
Bay area resulting in the resurgence of the organization.
It is our goal to establish free and easy access to all of Nova Scotia’s coastlines. We believe that free
and easy access to our coastlines is not only the right of all of our province’s residents and visitors but is
a fundamental part of our economic and cultural being. As such we pledge to work towards making sure
that Nova Scotia`s coastal areas are accessible to all. Further information can be found at
coastalaccessns.blogspot.com

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