By Barbara French
East Chezzetcook’s Meisner’s Lake (also known as Big Lake) and the adjacent Long Beach are suffering from a traumatic and dangerous event—a breach in the rocky berm that has separated the fresh water lake from the salty ocean.
Meisner’s Lake has been a healthy, vibrant, and pristine fresh water lake. She is fed by springs and a few brooks that keep her algae- and pollution-free. She provides a healthy ecosystem that makes for a superb environmental treasure.
This centuries-old fresh water lake is home to trout, perch, and several other species of fish. Herons fish the shallows, while duck families paddle by. Cormorants dive to pick up their delicious fresh treats. At night, fish jump to feast on the bugs swimming on top of the lake. Bald eagles perch nearby, watching deer prancing through the surf.
A young boy excitedly catches his first fish. A gentleman sails his kayak down the lake using an open umbrella as a sail. There are no motorized machines in this clear, clean lake - only canoes, paddleboards, kayaks, paddle boats and surfboards. There’s a sandy lake beach that is enjoyed by families who watch their children jump into the cold Atlantic followed by running back into the warmer lake. This pollution-free lake is where children learn to swim, play tag, chase fireflies and yell with excitement on a warm summer day. And it's free!
Summer is not the only time that Meisner’s Lake shows people how to have fun. Because she’s a fresh-water lake, she freezes up so one can skate, play hockey, or simply ride your mountain bike down the lake (check out Google - Lower East Chezzetcook to view the videos)!
Long Beach is a protected sandy ocean beach where families build sand castles, children write their names in the sand, and laugh as they watch the tides roll in to wash them away until next time. A seal pops up to check out what is happening on the beach to the delight of the children. Birthday, anniversaries, and yes, even weddings have been celebrated on Long Beach.
In summary, what we have here is an environmental dream. Residents of the area contribute to the protection of the lake and beach. They know what a valuable treasure they have in their back yard and act responsibly.
But if Province of Nova Scotia does not give Mother Nature a hand, this dream will become an environmental nightmare. Now it is up to the Province of Nova Scotia and experts to Save Meisner’s Lake (Big Lake) and Long Beach before it is too late.
Do not let 2018 be remembered as the year Province of Nova Scotia stood by and watched the destruction of a healthy, vibrant fresh-water lake as well as a safe, protected sandy ocean beach.
Note: This letter is adapted from a slightly longer letter French submitted to Premier Stephen McNeil, DNR, MP Darrell Samson, Mayor Mike Sullivan, Councillor David Hendsbee, and others.