Atlantic Chapter

Sierra Club Atlantic Submission to NS Utility Review Board on Setting Sustianable Water Rates

Publication Date: 
August 3, 2010
  While the Sierra Club Canada – Atlantic Canada Chapter supports rate restructuring of water, waste water and storm utilities in the interest of improved management and sustainability, the current rate structure application does not sufficiently address questions of efficient allocation of resources, adequate revenues over time, and increased innovation and conservation.


As an organization dedicated to empowering people to protect, restore, and enjoy a healthy and safe planet we are committed to hosting fun and educational events that will bring you closer to nature, your community, and to taking action.







You can also scroll over the "Events" item located under "Get Involved" on the menu bar above to check out upcoming events!

Upcoming Events

The Sandpiper Quarterly

The Sandpiper is the digital newsletter produced by the Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada. If you are a member you will receive four issues of the Sandpiper each year. To learn more about becoming a member, click here.

Read the Spring  2013 Edition!


Do you want to write for the Sandpiper?

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee ('Ex Com') of the Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada consists of a volunteer group of individuals that run the affairs of the Chapter and hold yearly elections. They hold monthly meetings, usually by teleconference, which all members are welcome to attend. To find out about the next meeting or contact members of the Ex Com, please contact our office at 902-444-3113 or email

Members of the Atlantic Chapter's Executive Committee


Chair, Emma Hebb, New Brunswick


Sierra Club Canada Foundation has five chapters, British Columbia Chapter, the Prairie Chapter, the Ontario (formerly Eastern Canada) Chapter, the Québec Chapter and the Atlantic Canada Chapter with local groups in areas from Cape Breton to Vancouver. The Sierra Youth Coalition is Sierra Club of Canada's youth arm.

The Sierra Club of Canada is governed by a National Board of Directors which has representatives from all across the country. Each chapter is governed by a volunteer Executive Committee ('Ex Com') which reports to the National Board.


Photo by Heidi Verheul

Sierra Club Atlantic Submission to NS Law Amendments Committee on Bill 61 - Non-essential Pesticides Control Act

Publication Date: 
May 10, 2010
By introducing Bill 61, the province of Nova Scotia took a proactive stance, one that ensures chemicals must be proved to be safe before that can be used in the province. This is a truly progressive step, one that will protect our health, create green jobs in organic lawncare and landscaping, and save tax dollars spent on health care. This document was submitted by Gretchen Fitzgerald, Director of Sierra Club Atlantic to the NS Law Amendments Committee.


 PesticidesWhat are Pesticides?

Pesticides (herbicides, vermicides, fungicides, and rodenticides)  are poisons designed to kill insects, plants, fungi, moulds and rodents.  Pesticides contain “active” ingredients (the chemicals intended to kill), and so-called “inert” ingredients.  These are considered trade secrets, and although in many cases they can be even more toxic than “active” chemicals, most consumers are completely unaware they exist.  Even when used as directed, pesticides have many negative side effects on human health and the environment.

Sydney Tar Ponds

Sydney Tar Ponds


Sydney, Nova Scotia's infamous "Tar Ponds" contain 700,000 tonnes of toxic sludge, of which 40,000 tonnes are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). To put this figure in perspective, the Tar Ponds contain over 20 times the amount of toxic sludge than New York's infamous Love Canal.

It has been over 20 years since the federal and provincial governments launched a $34 million project to clean up the Tar Ponds. Taxpayers spent $60 million on an incinerator to burn sludge from the ponds, but the piping system to transport the toxic waste didn't work and the project was abandoned. Finally, it was decided to solidify the ponds by pouring cement into the site, in hopes of stabilizing the toxins.

Have your say!

This is your chance to have your say on the Lower Churchill Hydro Project!

This project is currently undergoing a panel review, the highest level of environmental assessment possible in Canada. Please go here to see details on the environmental assessment process and read documents, such as the environmental impact statement and comments from the public on the project.

We expect that public hearings on the project will begin sometime in the summer or fall of 2010. These hearings will be an important opportunity to learn about the project directly from the proponent (Nalcor), hear questions from the review panel, government agencies, and members of the community.

Lower Churchill Hydro Project

Lower Churchill Hydro - Green Power or Greenwash?

The Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project proposes to generate over 3200 megawatts (MW) from the Grand River in Labrador.

The proposed project will require constructing two dams, one at Muskrat Falls and another at Gull Island. Muskrat Falls is ~15 m waterfall on the Grand River located west of Happy Valley - Goose Bay. The proposed dam at Muskrat Falls will create a reservoir that will be 59 km long and flood 41 km² of land to generate 824 megawatts of electricity. The Gull Island dam will create a reservoir that is 232 km long, and flood 85 km² of land to generate 2,250 megawatts of electricity.

NS Coalition for Climate Action

Nova Scotia Coalition for Climate Action

The Nova Scotia Coalition for Climate Action formed to coordinate organizations focused on creating just solutions to climate action through provincial and national initiatives. The NSCCA is made up of environmental, faith-based, social justice, and education organizations as well as concerned individuals.

Key activities Sierra Club has engaged in with the NSCCA include:

Advancing Renewable Energy In the Atlantic Provinces

Publication Date: 
February 5, 2010
A key component of accelerating the deployment of clean renewable energy sources is a policy known as the Feed-in Tariff (FIT). Under FITs, governments set cost-based rates for various types of renewable energy to allow modest profits to all interested developers of renewable energy technologies. Generating electricity from local renewable energy sources can help decentralize electricity production while functioning as an industrial development engine to stimulate business in local economies across the region. This can help restore a sense of sustainability and self-reliance in the Atlantic Provinces.

Sustainable Energy Coalition

Atlantic Canada Sustainable Energy Coalition

The Atlantic Canada Sustainable Energy Coalition (ACSEC) is a strategic alliance of organizations aimed at promoting on-the-ground solutions to climate change in Atlantic Canada. Our focus is on educating decision-makers and empowering communities. The ultimate goal of the ACSEC is to ensure that Eastern Canada reduces greenhouse gas emissions to 25-30% below 1990 levels by 2020 through the promotion of empowered and prosperous communities engaged in a low-carbon energy future.

Key Objective of the ACSEC are to achieve ghg emission reductions through energy efficiency, improving building codes and reducing vehicle emission standards, and promoting distributed renewable energy.

The ACSEC is made up of the following organizations:

Energy & Climate Change

Working with local volunteers and organizations, Sierra Club Atlantic is pushing for just solutions to climate change from local, regional, and national perspective.

Water Wizards

Water Wizards

In 2007 Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter successfully developed and piloted this new water resource education program, "Water Wizards". It was accepted for curriculum by the PEI Department of Education, delivered to about 500 students in 6 elementary schools on PEI in early 2008, and received with lots of enthusiasm from students, teachers and administration. We established a good working relationship with watershed protection groups in central PEI, and presently have endorsement for this program from the Wheatley River, West River and Hunter River Watershed groups, the Environmental Coalition of PEI, the Cooper Institute, and the Council of Canadians.

Coastal Caretakers

Coastal Curriculum

The Sierra Club of Canada – Atlantic Canada Chapter’s Coastal Education Program will bring the seashore to you! It will give students a deeper understanding of the unique ecosystems of the Atlantic shoreline. Through participation in our hands-on, interactive presentations students will increase their ecological knowledge, acquire new stewardship skills and learn all about their role as Coastal Caretakers. Have your class join us as we use games, hands-on activities, slide shows, crafts and discussion to bring the Atlantic Coast right in your own classroom.

Check out more detailed sections below for the following grade level programs:

Grades Primary - 2: Coastal Treasure Chest Grades 3 - 4: High Tide Habitat Grades 5 - 6: Seaweed in our Icecream!?!


Forest Friends

Acadian and Boreal Forest Curriculum

The Sierra Club of Canada – Atlantic Canada Chapter’s Acadian and Boreal Forest Education Program will give students a deeper understanding of the special Acadian and Boreal Forest ecosystem. Through participation in our hands-on, interactive presentations students will increase their ecological knowledge, acquire new stewardship skills and learn all about their role as forest stewards. Have your class join us as we use games, hands-on activities, slide show presentation, crafts and discussion to bring the Acadian and Boreal Forest to life – right in your own classroom.

Check out the more details section for the following grade level programs:

Environmental Education Program

Program Goal

The goal of the education program is to develop and deliver environmental school programs that increase youths’ awareness, understanding and appreciation of the ecological processes and environmental issues of the Atlantic region, and to encourage environmental stewardship actions. We presently have two active programs, Wild Child and Sierra Buddies.


Core Philosophies

· Bringing People Together

We will act in the spirit of community, cooperation and teamwork in the interest of promoting, enhancing and supporting sound environmental education within Canada.

· Connections with the Earth

We focus on the interconnectedness of our ecosystems, linking the local to the global. We encourage environmental stewardship and sustainability to help reduce human impact on the planet.