Ecosystems Services: a benefit to wildlife and people


There are thousands of freshwater lakes in Nova Scotia, covering approximately 5% of the land area. These lakes offer amazing recreational opportunities like paddling and fishing and support wildlife species including plant members of the unique Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora group, and reptiles at risk like Blanding’s turtles. Much of the earth’s freshwater is found underground and about half of Nova Scotians rely on groundwater for their water supply. Riparian buffers, which are composed of wetland plants that grow on shorelines, are important for removing contaminants from freshwater sources, maintaining water quality, and recharging groundwater reserves.

Municipalities are responsible for ensuring drinking water meets the provincial standards for protection, treatment, distribution, operations, and management. Establishing protection for drinking water sources is important to ensure the sustainable provisioning of clean water to municipal residents. By designating a water source as a Protected Water Area, municipalities can regulate and prohibit activities that pose a risk to water quality.

Additional Resources
Annapolis River Freshwater Fish Habitat
Watersheds and Water Quality
Municipal Nature Assets Initiative
Freshwater Conservation Blueprint
Lakeshore Wetlands Fact Sheet
NS Protected Areas and OECMS – Protected Water Areas
Developing a Municipal Source Water Protection Plan: A Guide for Water Utilities and Municipalities
Green Shores for Shorelines/Green Shores for Homes