Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Richard J. Addison, 1988

Resource Use Conflict Involving Fox Island Main Beach, Guysbrough County - A Case Study of the Effectiveness of Nova Scotia's Beach Protection Legislation


In this study, the impacts of four major classes of beach use - sand and gravel mining, recreational pursuits, aesthetic enjoyment, and protection of property and facilities adjacent to coastal areas - and the conflicts between each are examined within the context of the present situation at Fox Island Main Beach, Guysbrough County. The resultant conclusions are then utilized in order to make a case-specific examination of provincial coastal management policies, particularly the effectiveness of existing legislation.

A study of air photos of the beach dating to 1943 and more recent cross - sectional surveys provided information on changes its physical condition over that time period. This information was then utilized to substantiate the perceived impacts of the various types of beach use which were gathered through a series of interviews with local residents, beach users and Department of Lands and Forests personnel. From the observed impacts, it was possible to infer the conflicts between uses and comment upon the effectiveness of pertinent provincial legislation, particularly the Beaches Preservation and Protection Act (1975), in dealing with the situation.

The results of the study revealed that all types of use produced certain negative impacts on the beach and conflicts with other uses. However, those associated with sand and gravel mining were definitely the greatest and the provincial legislation has proven to be only partially effective in regulating this activity. Also, the government has made no attempt to either broaden the existing Act or to develop new legislation in order to address conflicts between other uses.