Roundup: Just 5 COVID cases, 1,600-kg shark found in N.S. waters, restoring damaged shoreline, a fresh start for Richmond’s dysfunctional council

Working to restore drainage to a marsh on the Brule Shore. Photo: Submitted

Nova Scotia’s count of active COVID-19 cases dropped to five in the latest government update. Overall, the province has tallied 105,651 negative test results, 1,097 known COVID-19 cases, and 65 deaths.

Meanwhile, the Canadian count of active cases continues to climb, with 22,151 from coast to coast, including 8,693 in Quebec, 6,237 in Ontario, 3,203 in Alberta, and 95 in New Brunswick. The national death toll stands at 9,794.

Grandmother of sharks
U.S.-based Ocearch, the data-collection group known for catching, gathering data from, and releasing great white sharks, recently caught the largest of its 2020 Nova Scotia expedition near West Ironbound Island, Lunenburg

A 1,600-kg white shark caught and released near West Ironbound Island in Upper Kingsburg. Source: Ocearch/YouTube

The 1,600-kg female measures five metres. They named her Nukumi, for the grandmother figure of the Mi’kmaw people. Research estimate she’s about 50 years old.

“She’s probably had 15 reproductive cycles, which means she’s had maybe up to 100 babies, and some of those babies are now old enough to be making babies,” says expedition leader and Ocearch founder Chris Fischer. Nukumi “would be a proper and true matriarch of the ocean; a grandmother of sharks.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Restoring the shore
The Clean Coasts Team and Mi’kmaw Conservation Group have been working together to restore the damaged salt-marsh habitat at Brule Shore, near Tatamagouche.

“The salt marsh was converted to agricultural land decades ago and has since degraded due to an old earthen dyke blocking tidal flow and holding water on the surface,” explain organizers. “Impounded water on a marsh will result in root rot and cause the vegetation to die. The shallow depth of the standing water on the marsh surface also results in poor fish habitat and ideal breeding ground for mosquito larvae, contributing to the mosquito problem in the area.”

Read more about their efforts in The Light.

A fresh start for Richmond’s dysfunctional council
Richmond County’s previous all-male council was notoriously dysfunctional, often paralyzed by rivalry. It drew national attention earlier this year when it refused to support efforts to help women enter politics, with then-warden Brian Marchand arguing women faced no barriers.

Now all the incumbents are gone, with one leaving politics and four defeated in Saturday’s election. Melanie Sampson, who defeated Marchand and cites his views as motivating her to run, hopes it’s the end of an era.

“I feel the results of the election could be a real turning point for Richmond County, an opportunity for a fresh start,” she says. “I am excited by the diverse experience and skills each new councillor brings. This will help us make more balanced decisions.” Jake Boudrot has more for The Reporter.

Trick, treat, or COVID
While many areas (most recently Ontario), are telling kids not to trick or treat this year, Dr. Robert Strang says it’s safe for Nova Scotian ghouls to roam, if they follow public health guidelines.

“I urge Nova Scotians to make informed decisions before choosing to attend or host Halloween parties or events,” Strang says. “We have been fortunate to have few or no new cases recently but as we have seen with our neighbouring provinces, COVID-19 can quickly find its way back into our communities.”

In her latest Halifax Magazine post, columnist Leanne Salyzyn has advice to help your family celebrate safely (and inexpensively).

“While renting a costume or buying one secondhand is a great way to save money, it probably is not as popular an option this year,” she says. “If you’re creative, you’ll probably find lots of options at home though. The Internet offers many simple and inexpensive costume ideas. Recycle, reuse… A bride last year? Zombie bride this year!”

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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