EDDY POINT — Having reached the end of its funding rope, the non-profit association in charge of the Eddy Point Marine Park is seeking $100,000 from the Municipality of the District of Guysborough to (MODG) help restore the area’s storm-damaged wharf.
The community group is facing a shortfall on the expected $416,000 cost to complete repairs to the signature piece of marine infrastructure along Route 344 at the southeast end of the Canso Causeway, despite having “tried, and tried, and tried” to raise funds from various government programs, member Shawna Scott told MODG’s council meeting on Jan. 17.
“But Small Crafts Harbours [Department of Fisheries and Oceans] won’t even look at us. And [as for] ACOA [Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency], we don’t even fall on their radar... So, we are respectfully asking the municipality to partner with us for $100,000 of the funding.”
Scott explained that the increasing number and ferocity of coastal storms in recent years have wreaked havoc on the wharf, which hosts commercial fishers, recreational boaters and other members of the public. “The storms have taken a real toll... The northeast end of the wharf deteriorated to the point where it dropped several feet below the rest [of the structure].
The restoration involves building four new rock-filled, wooden structures called cribs, which hold down and stabilize the dock in the water, according to safety standards and environmental regulations. This year, Scott said, “We have to finish securing the cribs and resurface the new wharf. New ladders and bumpers need to be installed. Repairs to the winch and the electrical hook up need to be done ... [We] anticipate that this will be done in 2024.”
So far, the non-profit has raised $200,000 from Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office and approximately $116,000 from its members.
“We see economic impact through supporting local businesses and tourism,” Scott said. “The commercial activity that’s generated through this area, alone, is roughly $1 million and that’s directly related to... this docking facility. Five commercial fishers fish from this area. There are at least 18 seasonal jobs. We also have commercial spin-offs, such as a commercial bait freezer, which results in extra tax [revenues] for the county and helps keep natural resources in Guysborough County, which is a win for everybody.”
She added: “It’s not our intent to come back to council whenever there’s a bump, or a log or anything that has to be replaced. This was a really big project that needed to be done.”
Council agreed to refer the matter for further consideration.