"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful , committed people can change the world. - Margaret Mead"
Pollution in The Tusket  The Salmon River & The Sissiboo

Tri-County Watershed Protection Association
This web site started 15 Apr 2009 at the request of Mr.John Halley Horton BSc(Agr)
It is edited and commented on by Godfrey LeBlanc BSc,Ed.
Your comments, solutions are welcome.  Email  (Subject line: Mink  ).

Nobody's Listenin'
Video Collection
1. Mink Stink Song
Mr. John Horton
2. mink stink -public ditch 
3.Nowlans Lake Pollution
4. Little Lake Doucette

Massive numbers of
sea gulls over my house@!

Site Index  News Media  | Site Search | Archives   
The Rumour Mill   | Sign petition
French language CBC Moncton has done an excellent 10 minute film we all should see.  For unilingual english speaking people , the 10 minute film gives fair time to both sides of the argument....... I just wish it could be translated into English so everybody could understand it.  Film content shows up-close detail of the filth that flows out of most older farms, and features  Stanley Boudreau's model a good example of progress in the industry.

 Roberts Island has 3 mink ranches.  Recent: Manure spill addressed  (Vanguard )
It was very small spill one of many big truck loads.  Where does it all go?  Manure should not be spread in the winter since the ground may be frozen and may be washed away by rain or melting snow. Pasture vs. crop fields  (Source)   Each pelt results in about 100 pounds (50kg) of waste.  Year upon year.

2013 10 01 CBC Nova Scotia - Little Lake Doucette Mink Farm ...

Worlds second largest
Aleutian disease laboratory

housed in the
same building
as elementary school

Oil, Pellets & Power

Mink oil project  in works...  
Posted September 25, 2013
Business Reporter Spec Environmental Solutions Inc.  has registered its proposed mink oil production plant near  Concession, Digby County,  approval on or before Nov. 14, 2013    More
Comment page is:

Mink farms in N.S. fight uphill public relations battle:
Posted: Sep 30, 2013 12:06 PM AT
Nova Scotia’s largest agricultural export is in the middle of a significant boon, but people who live near mink farms say enough isn’t been done to curb environmental issues.

MacDonnel Minister of Agriculture responds to Frank Thomas letter regurgitating
the same information we have had since January 2013. Read more...

This email was sent today to Stephem McNeil, and Zach Churchill

Subject: New Government, new optimism.

Dear Sirs,

The issue of the pollution of our water has been a huge concern in Yarmouth County. While the battle is far from over great strides have been made bringing the issue to the forefront.

Now, with a new government in place, we as a group are very optimistic that with the Liberal Party, we will have an opportunity of making much needed headway.

We are hopeful strong new ministers in the Dept of Agriculture and Environment will make all the difference. No industry, including the mink industry, has the right to pollute and destroy our water. We require a strong DOE that will not be unduly influenced by the Dept of Agriculture. There are enough environmental laws "already passed" that need to be enforced to protect our water.

The liberal party has spoken of an ombudsman for environmental concerns. We look forward to hearing what that idea would look like and how much power this person would have, and to discuss the effectiveness of such a position. We would like to be included in that process.

The Fur Farm Regulations passed by the NDP are largely unenforceable with no consequence, in addition there is no mention of Bio security or animal welfare. We would like offer our support to make changes to these regulations.

We are currently experiencing another algae bloom on Lake Ogden, and Lake Fanning. It serves to remind us the pollution remains unchecked.

Our group has been very active, trying to communicate with a government that did not want to hear.

We look forward to being a part of the solution to our common issue, the protection of our water.

Yours truly,

Julia Bancroft
Tricounty Watershed Protection Association.

Lake Ogden October 6, 2013
NEW FALL COLOUR For the South West Nova Scotia!
Nutrients have been building in this river system for years. Excess algae growth has resulted in the accumulation of dead organisms at the bottom of  our lakes.  These rot and nutrients from previous blooms resurface and spawn new blooms, which die and re-decompose. The continuous addition of mink waste input promisses to perpetuate this process for years to come.   ENJOY!

Mike Brylinsky, Research Associate: "This is probably a fall phytoplankton bloom, a common occurrence in stratified lakes. It is a results from cool nights decreasing the temperature, and therefore density, of surface waters which then sink to the bottom which, in turn, causes deeper nutrient rich water to rise to the lake surface. This is called the ‘fall turnover’.

It definitely looks like a Microcystis bloom � would be helpful if someone couldd collect a water sample within the bloom and send it to John Sollows who can preserve the sample with Lugol’s iodine. I could then have a look to see if it is Microcystis. Mike"

Though this "fall turnover" is a common occurrence, the algae bloom is not.  It is a result of excessive nutrients in the system,  which will increase in severity and spread to other lakes & rivers.

Lake Fanning Sept 30, 2013

 Happier times in Little Lake Doucette

happier times happier times
happier times
happier times
happy turtle
happier times
happier times

Why did this end?

More than just a lake!

Digby County residents leery of murky lake:  September 20, 2013 - 7:40am

MAYFLOWER — A lake in southwestern Nova Scotia, once known for its clear pristine water, has for the past year, looked more like an ice cappuccino. Little Lake Doucette in Digby County turned that colour last year, shortly after heavy rains caused run-off from a mink farm to infiltrate the small spring-fed lake.Folks were frightened. READ and Comment

??What happened at Little Lake Doucette??

biosecureLast year the lake was clear,  you could see the bottom.  The lake is now a grayish brown with visibility about 1 foot.  Even more dramatic is the alkaline Ph level of 9,  which is an unbelievable 5000 times higher than what is normal for lakes in our area.  Farm is now off-limits.

We are interested in your opinions: 
Please feel free to input your comments anonymously. Read comments.

Open letter to Belliveau and MacDonell about fur farming toxins: 
It has been nine months now since the new "Fur Industry Regulations" were enacted. Part of the scheme, we were told, involved the hiring and training of an undetermined number of Agriculture Department inspectors supposedly dedicated to the oversight and enforcement of these new rules.  Read Letter  

 Pollution "cancer" spreading fast

> The various news outlets are monitored by all parties.....say something!!!!
> You can be anonymous or use your name.
> This article is also online at Nova news now under opinion (click in Yarmouth Vanguard in the heading)
> It looks like another lake may be lost to this industry.
> Little Lake Doucette is brown...I have enlisted help from The CBC..we will have to wait and see if they pick it up or not.


Date: 25 July, 2013 1:23:55 PM ADT

Stop YOUR lake from looking like this. Your municipal government has the power to stop this from happening, they CHOOSE not to do it. Cyanobacteria is a serious health issue. Do not swim, touch, breathe in vapours and do not eat the fish. Children and pets are at most risk. These lakes ARE NOT posted to warn the public. This is the heartbreaking environmental disaster that happens when municipal, and provincial governments put more value on money than clean water.

Fanning Lake, Yarmouth taken July 25, 2013provided by D Hall
*Presently there are nine lakes in this district polluted with Cyanobacteria*
Click on pictures for enlargement
Tricounty Watershed Protection Association  Julia Bancroft  648-2999
Definitely not swim-able!
fish-able, or touchable
Heartbreaking environmental disaster that occurs when governments.... making  a buck at all cost.
Development ahead of
clean water.

Response from NSE re: Nutrient Pollution/ Cyanobacteria bloom Lake Fanning, Wentworth to Carleton to Tusket River System
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2013 11:56 AM
Subject: RE: Nutrient Pollution/ Cyanobacteria bloom Lake Fanning, Wentworth to Carleton to Tusket River System

Dear Ms. Hall,

Thank you for your email, on July 25, 2013, regarding water quality concerns in relation to the suspected cyanobacteria bloom on Lake Fanning. My name is Paddy-joe Hudson, Acting District Manager Yarmouth District Office, and I have been asked to respond to your inquiry.

Water quality surveys were conducted by Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) between 2008 and 2011 with a nutrient assessment report included in the most recent published report in 2011. The report highlighted areas that were found to have high nutrient levels. In 2012, NSE conducted joint inspections with Environment Canada and the Department of Agriculture, at mink farms that were in the vicinity of the areas with high nutrient levels. It was determined that all farms inspected were in compliance and no violations were noted.

NSE will continue to respond to complaints of pollution sources and/or incidents of adverse water quality. This is achieved through conducting site inspections, gathering information, collecting evidence if warranted, and ensuring compliance with the Environment Act. In regard to the use of recreational waters, the Medical Officer of Health also provides direction to NSE in response to public health concerns on a case by case basis.

Thank you for taking the time to advise us of your concerns.

Should you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Adrian Fuller, Western Regional Director, at (902) 679-6088.


Paddy-joe Hudson

Acting District Manager

NSE Yarmouth

Lake Ogden-July12, 2013                                       Visit: Lake Ogden Page

Daily Business Buzz:  Articles concerning mink 2009-2013.  Brush up on the history of why we are very concerned  about the proliferation of factory farms in our area.

Counties:   Annapolis County | Digby County ( Hilltown) (Little Lake Doucette) | Kings County

Farms & Factories:  Group1

Polluted lakes the result of money and jobs at all costs, says watershed group:
Referring to a photo distributed with a news release Thursday, the Tricounty Watershed Protection Association urged citizens to "Stop YOUR lake from looking like this.
Suggested Links:  Dead Zones :
Could it happen here? 
1. Huge 'Dead Zone' Predicted in Gulf of Mexico
2. Dead Zones:   
3. 2 NS beaches closed due to high bacteria levels
4. Government Information

Annapolis County:
Information is being compiled on the situation in Annapolis.

NS: Mink farmer granted setback variance in Kings County

Filth Flies I am hoping to get in touch with a contact or contacts who have an interest in better controlling filth flies on mink farms ...More

A personal story.....of love of family, and pollution, and despair.  Lake Fanning
"Boar's Back dump site shows the humps formed by individual truckloads of mink farm waste/bedding/sawdust/manure ..that were probably deposited there up to a year before... MORE
Little Lake Doucette.    Digby County
*Video of manure trail from lake to mink farm.  Reported Dec 2012 to Dept of Agriculture.  * Brown Water 2013
*Letter From: "MacDonell, Hon. John A
2013 Latest Pictures of Bloom and what is that on Little Lake Doucette?? AERIAL PICS COMING SOON!!!

Mink stink "greenwash" petition

A group citizens in Yarmouth and Digby County are fed up with what they consider the "greenwashing" of the true environmental costs of industrial strength mink ranching which seems to be exploding in their neighbourhood

Passion & Pollution

The members of our group have given tirelessly of themselves for years for no other reason than to protect SW Nova Scotia  fresh water and possibly protect you from this pollution. Please join us in this fight.
Julia Bancroft
Tricounty Watershed Protection Association More....

From some of the cyanobacteria experts I've communicated with it could take decades or more for the excess nutrients to clear, even if all pollution was magically stopped now - also because the phosphate present is a particularly pure form (85% food grade phosphorus diluted and used in food preparation for mink) is not readily taken up in the normal fashion. Really think we're in for a very long haul. The heavy rain brings even more contamination into the watershed from the polluted land base and wetlands. Think many folks are in a bit of despair over this and no longer fighting. Many properties are up for sale on the watershed.
Factory farming, especially for such a frivolous use, should be banned. If this keeps up, we're going to end up with dead zones along the coast - which could spell the end of the fishing industry.  DH
Just touch pin in area of interest and ZOOOOM in. Many thanks to Ty Savoy.
Letters: Don't just bury it in the woods

A friend heard about an open, well-used commercial gravel pit that has been stacked with dozens, if not hundreds, of truckloads of mink farm waste and wanted me to see it.


Editors note:  there are close to 40 mink farms within a 10-mile radius of Moody's Corner. A map of all of the fur farms in Nova Scotia can be found HERE. There are almost 2 million mink raised and processed in Nova scotia each year.

Jocelyne Rankin responds to new fur industry regulations

Jocelyne Rankin (Water Coordinator Ecology Action Centre, Halifax): On-camera interview with Bob Murphy – CBC

Fur Farm Regs Not Enough: Nova Scotia
Almost 2 million animals, mainly foxes and minks, are killed for their fur in Nova Scotia. Not only are these animals subjected to hell on Earth, these large-scale industrial operations are wreaking havoc on the local environment. To appease residents, the Government of Nova Scotia recently announced new fur farm regulations with a focus on "protecting the environment".  MORE....

Bury manure beside the Tusket River?
Bad idea.

Regulations_Fur Industry Act 2013 .pdf   |     Plain language version:

Citizens critique of problems with the new Fur Industry Regulations
We've identified some twenty sections in the regulations (out of fifty) that need extensive rewrites. There are issues with Minimum Separation Distances (MSD's), water and soil sampling, administrative exemptions, manure storage, carcass disposal, etc.

Frank Thomas  Brooklyn, NS   More......  

Pollution is the result of poor zoning, Council has the power to stop it, with zoning and bylaws. Submission to Yarmouth Municipal Council by Tricounty Watershed Association Presented by Julia Bancroft  Feb 27, 2013
"Every avenue was explored to bring the issue of pollution to all levels of government,  all media was involved.   All was in vain because we did not have proper municipal zoning in place to stop the mink farms from setting up their industry beside lakes and rivers.    Mr MacDonell minister of agriculture was here to listen to the concerns of  hundreds of citizens and assured us that there would not be any expansion of this industry until the regulations were in place.  More ...

Topic: Recent Media Releases
Groups: No more room for mink manure.May 24, 2013
A 2011 study, prepared for the Nova Scotia Environment Department, suggested the most probable source of nutrients damaging local waterways comes from the mink industry

Not wild-eyed radicals January 31, 2013 By Stephen Hawboldt
The advisory committee in its deliberations might want to look very carefully at questions related to setbacks from waterways, wetlands and wells, proximity to groundwater recharge areas, the handling of mink food and carcasses and the land application of nutrient-rich mink manure and other wastes. It could well be that there are some areas in the Annapolis Valley where the risks of surface and groundwater contamination are too great to permit mink farming.

icons/susuki-logo1.jpg   Mink have more teeth than fur farm regulations
Regulations a complete wreck, says Suzuki Foundation  John Werring, Aquatic Habitat Specialist The senior science and policy advisor for the David Suzuki Foundation says he doesn't think the people of Nova Scotia are any better served with the introduction of new fur farm regulations than they were by what was in place before.

Province missed its chance: 
The mink industry in those nations is tightly regulated, with strict enforcement and severe financial penalties for infractions. The result? Good incomes for mink producers, clean air and water, and citizens generally content with mink facilities as neighbours.
Guest Editorial: Nova Scotia sitting duck in mink debate?
January 24, 2013 - 08:13 — Debbie Hall
Nova Scotia is a sitting duck in this regard - a tiny mink industry already existed here for decades and there is a well-established political bent for allowing anything perceived to make a buck / create jobs (no matter the facts - perception rules). Did you ever notice the Department of Agriculture never substantiates their claims on the industry's financial value to Nova Scotia?
Fur Farm Act Means Election Coming or It's Payback time
Subject: Is this the "same old" fur farm act?  by John Horton
Darrell Dexter's NDP government finally published the Fur Farm Act. Some think this is nothing more than a confidential wish list of ways to avoid pesky environmental laws affecting the fur farm industry..... This Document is not about law. Instead it's a Contract of Entitlements that will allow business as usual for the fur industry. There is not one single recommended treatment ...

Mink Regs: The “Scoop on Poop”
Letter re published Mink Reg Jan 17 2013 Julia Bancroft

Approximately five years ago residents of Yarmouth and surrounding areas joined together and formed the Tricounty Watershed Protection Association to stop the pollution being caused by mink farms at the headwaters of the Meteghan, Sissaboo, and Tusket Rivers. The fur farm regulations that have now been passed into law are watered down even more and have no real defined consequences such as fines for non-compliance and would appear to be un-enforceable. Almost none of our concerns were addressed .....
Mink stink II: "The only teeth in these regulations are in the mouth of the mink."
January 18, 2013 Julia Bancroft
Julia Bancroft tells a tale of powerlessness in the fight to protect lakes and rivers in her community from the pollution produced by the fast-growing and lucrative mink industry.  Bancroft is a member of the Tricounty Watershed Protection Association and lives in Yarmouth, NS.  In addition to a long list of concerns over the inefficacy of the new provincial regulations governing the industry, Bancroft is also concerned about the lack of information that is freely available about farms, and the lack of support she's received from her political representatives. 

Mink stink: new regs will not stop pollution of lakes and rivers in NS
January 18, 2013
NS is home to over 2 million mink on farms that are polluting rivers and lakes.  The provincial government has just passed new regulations to help solve the problem, but according to Gretchen Fitzgerald at Sierra Club Atlantic, the new laws do little to nothing to stop the pollution. 
The Sierra Club, along with Ecology Action Centre, East Coast Environmental Law Association, Tri-County Watershed Protection Association, and David Suzuki Foundation issued a press release outlining major problems with the new regulations, including the ability to waive the enforcement of the regulations at the bureaucratic level.

Advocates slam watered down mink farming regulations
CBC News Posted: Jan 17, 2013 7:27 PM AT
The Ecology Action Centre is accusing the government of bowing down to an industry with annual exports of about $100 million. Nova Scotia's mink farming regulations are diluted and not doing enough to ebb harmful algae blooms in streams and lakes in southwestern

Daily Business Buzz:  Articles concerning mink 2009-2013.  Brush up on the history of why we are very concerned  about the proliferation of factory farms in our area.

Tip: To increase or decrease print size ( Hold down CTRL key and turn scroll key on mouse).   

News Links: Items here move to categories on right.
 Site Index:
1. No one happy with new mink rules
2. Mink Regs: The “Scoop on Poop”
3. Letters: Payback time for mink regs?
5. Letters: Province missed its chance
6. Mink loans don't satisfy pollution activist
7. Regulations a complete wreck, says Suzuki Foundation
8.  Elizabeth May warns Environment Canada merger
9. Grand Firs Mink Stink FaceBook

a Regulations_Fur Industry Act 2013 .pdf
b Plain language version:
c Mink have more teeth than fur farm regulations
Cyanobacteria (Blue Green Algae)
Mink Manure Problem
Phosphates |
Aleutian Disease

|  |  Domestics gone Wild | Misc: |

Nowlans Lake | Lake Ogdon |Parr Lake | Lake Fanning | Lake Vaughn |

Contributors : (Archives)
John Horton  |  Debbie Hall  | Julia Bancroft | Frank Thomas |


Sloans Lake mink farm
Feed Kitchen in Havelock
340 Feed Kitchen
in Havelock,
salmon hatchery
Million-salmon hatchery
on Hourglass Lake
fur farm
Hillsdale Fur Farm
the largest.
Eastern side .
wentworth river
Typical cyanobacteria
plume on
Wentworth RIver
Pictures above
From: John Horton
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2012

NEWS Releases.

Fur farms may not all survive new N.S. rules | The Chronicle Herald January 16, 2013By BRETT BUNDALE Business Reporter

Mink-farm regs: the scoop on poop
January 18, 2013 - 4:56pm By JULIA BANCROFT
About five years ago, residents of Yarmouth and surrounding areas joined together and formed the Tricounty Watershed Protection Association to stop the pollution being caused by mink farms at the headwaters of the Meteghan, Sissaboo and Tusket rivers. The Department of Environment conducted water tests in 10 lakes and

Response to Fur Industry Act Regulations - Media Release: from Ecology Action Centre, East Coast Environmental Law Association, Sierra Club of Canada Atlantic Chapter, David Suzuki Foundation, Tri-County Watershed Protection Association
Debbie Hall Thu, 17 Jan 2013
Green Light to Mink Farmers means Green Lakes for Nova Scotians.. Link...

Vanity product: Paul Mazier, Hectanooga, Digby County: January 28, 2013
What is more reprehensible is how governments, at all three levels, would permit a mink farmer to establish a large farm in the middle of a populated community without any communication with the residents.

Alan Herscovici of the Fur Council of Canada!search/profile/person?personId=10564044&targetid=profile

Regulations a complete wreck, says Suzuki Foundation March 1, 2012
John Werring, a professional biologist and aquatic habitat specialist in the marine and fresh water conservation program with the David Suzuki Foundation, has been monitoring the situation.

Fur Farm Regs Not Enough: Nova Scotia   Published on Monday, 21 January 2013 22:3
To appease residents, the Government of Nova Scotia recently announced new fur farm regulations with a focus on "protecting the environment". (Pfff, yeah right).

Archives Mostly pre-2012

Archives and links in the news.    
Blue Green Algae  and Related Water Links  from Debbie Hall
Mink farming poised to explode
The mink industry has an appalling environmental record in Digby County. Independent research commissioned by NS Environment showed that waste from the mink industry was responsible for massive algae blooms on lakes in Carlton and Tusket watersheds. These waterways are now a public health risk due to this pollution. The industry is still in denial.

Archived pages and material.  (Some links may no longer work)
 Archived Pictures and diagrams of pollution and more.
Archives Previous front pages:  |2009 | 2010  |  2011 | 2012 |
Mink Stink Public Ditch   Mink Farm Pollution Problem

Links to Mink Farming Sites
Mink Farming
A mink farm by NAFA  |
Mink under ideal conditions
Government job at ( NSAC )

1.Full text of "MINK DISEASES"
2.Manure Management Guidelines

Can It Happen Here!!!  Lake Winnipeg named world's most threatened lake in 2013

Save My Lake (Lake Winnipeg): The Nature of Things

Manitoba's Lake Winnipeg has been given the dubious distinction of 'Threatened Lake of the Year' by an international environmental ... Lake Winnipeg named world's most threatened lake in 2013 1-

I would really like to believe that they know what they are doing, but what has happened does not instill confidence.  The government has not been kind to this end of the province. Times are hard, children move away. No one wants to discourage the industrious.  But: what is happening in the pictures above?  Transparency is a good for water and a good start towards trusting. 

*Composting does not remove phosphates from manure.
*Biodegradability does not make products safe for the environment, in fact it can often make them worse.
Pollution is not a necessary bi-product of agriculture. 
*Asking your neighbour to clean up his yard does not mean you want him to go away. 
*Algae blooms are just a small part of what is happening in river and lake ecosystems that are inundated with nutrients.

What can you do?
Denmark averaged 447.3 thousand tons of solid waste per year.
Animal wastes are responsible for polluting both drinking and surface water.
Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution threaten the quality of North Sea waters (S)

1000 metric tons = 1 000 000 kilograms= 2.5million pounds
447.3 thousand tons = 4,470,300,000 kilograms = 11,354,562,000lb (11 billion pounds)
1 million mink create about 100 million pounds of organic waste/year.
There are more than 1,000,000 mink in this area
All political parties seem intent on increasing that number .


If we are in error please advise. We will present other views and opinions.

Opinions expressed are not always our opinions.
Your comments (pro or con) are welcome.
Email  (Subject line: Mink  ).

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