ISSUES: Bay of Fundy is more than some strange rocks and lots of mud

Deutsch: Hopewell Rocks bei Niedrigwasser Engl...

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Well, the Bay of Fundy didn’t win one of the seven coveted spots in the Seven Natural Wonders of the World contest, but it was one of the final 28 magnificent places around the world AND the only one from Canada.

Perhaps the problem was that we didn’t really push some of the more spectacular assets of the Bay but, instead, led the world to believe that this place with the highest tides on the globe, was really composed of nothing more than strange-looking rocks and lots and lots of mud.

Now we hear that the New Brunswick and federal governments will spend more than $45 million to improve connections to the Fundy Trail Parkway, a 19-kilometre roadway overlooking the Bay of Fundy.

“Completing the roads that connect the Fundy Trail Parkway through to Fundy National Park is just the
beginning of a new era for the tourism industry in southern New Brunswick,” Fundy Royal MP Alaina Lockhart said in a statement.

The importance of the Inner Bay of Fundy can’t be overlooked, but it is important to remember that the Bay stretches from coastal Maine to Grand Manan, to the West Isles, to Passamaquoddy Bay and along the spectacular mainland shore to Saint John and beyond.

The West Isles and Grand Manan areas have long been known to have the highest biodiversity on the east coast from Cape Cod to Labrador. In fact this is where you will find abundant marine life, whales and seabirds beyond parallel. Yet, in recent years, there has been little effort to properly promote this area and join the entire Fundy coast into one tourism promotion that would draw and retain more visitors than we presently do. In fact, while the Province of New Brunswick continues to invest heavily in the Inner Bay, it recently closed vital tourism centers on Campobello Island and other locations along the Outer Bay area. It makes one wonder and brings into question the motivation of the New Brunswick government as they focus attention and money on particular areas.

A proposal to join all of the many Fundy trails was prepared a decade or so ago and showed the ease with which existing trails along the entire Fundy coast could be joined to form a TRUE FUNDY TRAIL that would go well beyond the scope of the tiny 19 km trail that has received substantial funding in the past and is now the recipient of even more funds.

Really folks, New Brunswick is in dismal shape. It’s long past time to start working smart and thinking bigger. Apparently it is going to take more than going to the governments with hat in hand.

My opinion today … Art MacKay

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