Floating Wave Break, Digby Harbour, NS

The Digby Harbour Port Authority proposes to install a 150m wave break to be located to the south of the facility and providing shelter to the "V" between the breakwater and the spur wharf.  The floating wave break will be moored using concrete blocks, resting on the bottom of Digby Harbour.

Latest update

September 2, 2021 - Transport Canada, Infrastructure Canada, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency have determined that the proposed Floating Wave Break in Digby Harbour, NS is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

This determination was based on a consideration of the following factors:

  • impacts on rights of Indigenous peoples;
  • Indigenous knowledge;
  • community knowledge;
  • comments received from the public; and
  • technically and economically feasible mitigation measures.

Mitigation measures taken into account for this determination are:

Environmental Components – Marine Sediments, Marine Water and Air Quality

  • Spill kit will be on site to mitigate any pollutants from machinery operations.
  • All equipment to be used near the marine environment is to be free of leaks or coating of hydrocarbon-based fluids and/or lubricants harmful to the environment. Hoses and tanks are to be inspected on a regular basis to prevent fractures and breaks.
  • Develop a response plan that is to be implemented immediately in the event of a sediment release or spill of a deleterious substance.
  • Do not perform cleaning and wash down within a 30 meter buffer zone of a wetland, watercourse or other environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Any environmental spills or release of potential contaminants (e.g., fuel, chemicals, or other hazardous materials) must be reported to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) immediately.
  • All spills should be reported to Maritimes Regional Office Canadian Coast Guard (1-800-565-1633), where a spill: discharges to air, land or water, is in excess of normal usage, has escaped its means of containment, or has been combined with other products affecting its chemical stability which could cause an adverse effect (i.e., negative impact on health, environment or property).
  • Spills must be contained and cleaned up in accordance with all federal, provincial, and local regulatory requirements.
  • All Contractors and their staff must be trained on how to use the spill material and equipment.
  • All used absorbent material must be disposed of in accordance with applicable regulatory requirement.
  • No construction or infill material may be obtained from any coastal feature, namely a beach, dune, or coastal wetland.
  • Any equipment that has been in the marine environment will be cleaned of any sediments, plants or animals and washed with freshwater and/or sprayed with undiluted vinegar prior to being mobilized to the project site.
  • Avoid excess and unnecessary noise. The proposed works and noise levels emitted by all equipment and machinery will be in compliance with the applicable noise guidelines.
  • A noise control program will be implemented to keep noise levels below an acceptable threshold.
  • Motorized equipment and other noisy equipment will be equipped with mufflers, acoustic enclosures or other noise- control devices.
  • Any powered equipment will be shut off when not in use.

Environmental Components – Fish and Fish Habitat, Migratory Birds and Bird Habitat

  • All machinery must be well muffled. Contractors must ensure that all food scraps and garbage are not left at the work site. All construction waste material will be disposed of in a provincially approved manner.
  • Do not use beaches, dunes, coastal wetlands, and other natural previously undisturbed areas of the site to conduct work.
  • Become knowledgeable with and abide by DFO recommended mitigation measures as detailed in their letter of December 17, 2020 in regards to the protection of fish and fish habitat encountered on site and in the vicinity, refer to DFO Recommended Measures below.
  • Minimize disturbance to all fish on site and adjacent areas during the entire course of the work.
  • Avoid killing fish by means other than fishing.
  • Avoid using explosives in or near water.
  • Limit the duration of in-water works, undertakings and activities so that it does not diminish the ability of fish to carry out one or more of their life processes (spawning, rearing, feeding, migrating).
  • Avoid obstructing and interfering with the movement and migration of fish.
  • Use existing trails, roads, access points wherever possible.
  • Limit impacts on fish habitat components to those approved for the works, undertakings and activities.
  • Operate machinery in a manner that minimizes disturbance to the waterbody bed and banks.
  • Replace/restore any other disturbed habitat features and remediate any areas impacted by the works, undertakings or activity.
  • Conduct in-water undertakings and activities during periods of low tide.
  • Develop and implement a Sediment Control Plan to minimize sedimentation of the waterbody during all phases of the works, undertakings and activities.
  • Regularly monitor the waterbody for signs of sedimentation during all phases of the work, undertaking or activity and take corrective action if required.
  • Schedule work to avoid wet, windy and rainy periods (and heed weather advisories) that may result in high flow volumes and/ or increase erosion and sedimentation.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the erosion and sediment control measures and structures during all phases of the works, undertakings and activities.
  • Use biodegradable sediment control materials whenever possible.
  • Keep the erosion and sediment control measures in place until all disturbed ground has been permanently stabilized.
  • Operate machinery on land in stable dry areas or from a barge.
  • Do not deposit any deleterious substances in a waterbody.
  • Develop and immediately implement a response plan to avoid a deleterious substance from entering a waterbody.
      • Stop works, undertakings and activities in the advent of a spill of a deleterious substance.
      • Immediately report any spills (e.g., sewage, oil, fuel or other deleterious material), whether near or directly into a waterbody.
      • Keep an emergency spill kit on site during all phases of the works, undertakings and activities.
      • Ensure clean-up measures are suitably applied so as not to result in further alteration of the bed and/or banks of the waterbody.
      • Clean-up and appropriately dispose of water contaminated with deleterious substances.
      • Dispose of all waste material (e.g., construction, demolition, commercial logging) above the high water mark of nearby waterbodies to prevent entry into the waterbody.
  • Notify DFO if you have caused, or are about to cause, the death of fish by means other than fishing and/or the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat. Such notifications should be directed to (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw- ppe/contact-eng.html).
  • A copy of the letter from DFO must be kept on site while the work is in progress. It is the proponent s responsibility to meet all other federal, territorial, provincial and municipal requirements that apply to your proposal.
  • Become knowledgeable with and abide by the Migratory Birds Convention Act (MBCA) in regards to the protection of migratory birds, their eggs, nests, and their young encountered on site and in the vicinity.
  • Minimize disturbance to all birds on site and adjacent areas during the entire course of the work.

Environmental Component – Navigation

  • Notice to Mariners and navigational markers will alert Mariners of the installed wave attenuator.
  • Any measures necessary to mitigate direct effects on navigation will be included as terms and conditions associated with work approved or permitted pursuant to the Canadian Navigable Waters Act (CNWA).

Transport Canada, Infrastructure Canada, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency are satisfied that that the carrying out of the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects..



Transport Canada
Jason Flanagan, Senior Environmental Advisor
95 Foundry Street, Heritage Court, 6th Floor
Moncton, New Brunswick E1C 5H7
Email: jason.flanagan@tc.gc.ca

  • Location

    • Digby Harbour (Nova Scotia)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Ports and Harbours
  • Assessment Status

  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Digby Harbour Port Authority
  • Authorities

    • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
    • Infrastructure Canada
    • Transport Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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