Mahone Bay Islands Conservation Association holding annual fundraiser

by Lighthousenow Staff

Development, with the associated risk of sewage leaking into the bay, and its impact on the environment as well as on the area's mussel farms are just one of the many challenges facing the Mahone Bay Islands.

But at least one local group isn't willing to stand by and watch the potential degradation of the environment.

The Mahone Islands Conservation Association (MICA) hosts its 16th annual gala dinner and auction fundraiser, November 9 at the Oak Island Resort and Conference Centre.

More than 280 people are expected to attend the nearly sold-out event, according to ticket convener, Nikki Ernst.

They are gathering to raise funds to preserve the natural beauty of the area, which in recent years is experiencing increased pressure from both large scale developments and smaller, private builds such as cottages.

The developments have displaced major colonies of nesting sea birds, and could ultimately impact marketing Mahone Bay as a tourist destination should the landscape become spoiled.

A number of Mahone Bay residents formed MICA in 2002 in response to the accelerated private development of the area's many islands. Over the years the group has been able to acquire through various partnerships 18 different islands and properties in the area.

The group's mandate is "to protect and conserve the natural environment of the islands and shoreline of Mahone Bay and the traditional, social and recreational opportunities valued by its various communities."

Ownership of the acquired islands resides with their major funding partner, the Province of Nova Scotia for all properties, with the exception of Mason's northern end which is with the municipality of the District of Lunenburg. MICA stewards the islands in partnership with the title holder to ensure their usage is monitored and respected.

MICA has contributed more than $1,400,000 towards these properties over the years.

The group has also attracted strong corporate support. Some 40 sponsors have signed on to support the supper.

The fundraiser for MICA begins at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction, followed by a three-course meal at 7:30 p.m. Live auction items will be sold off in between the courses and after.

Tickets are $65 . Email sailmahonebay@auracom.com to see if any are still available.

For more information you can check out their website at www.mahoneislands.ns.ca or you can contact them by email: info@mahoneislands.ns.ca.

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