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Learn about the St. Mary's River Association's efforts to restore the St. Mary's watershed and the organization's  efforts to protect this thriving ecosystem from gold mining.  

Working with representatives of the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, St. Mary’s River Association, and Atlantic Salmon Federation, photographic team Nick Hawkins and Tom Cheney captured underwater video shows a pair of wild Atlantic salmon preparing to spawn in McKeen Brook, an important tributary of the St. Mary’s River that would be directly affected by the proposed Cochrane Hill gold mine.  


The St. Mary’s River Association (SMRA) embarked on an ambitious watershed and restoration plan and management initiative in 2008 “Healthy River, Vibrant Communities“. The goal of this initiative was to restore the ecological integrity of the St. Mary’s watershed to the benefit of the natural environment and the people that live and work within the drainage.  The community views the St. Mary’s river and surrounding environs as their “pot of gold“.

Since 1965, over 2 million dollars have been spent achieving this goal and the river  has become a focal point for tourist, historical, recreational, educational, employment and conservation related activities.   The St. Mary’s River runs through the proposed Cochrane Hill Gold mine and as currently designed, poses a significant risk and threat to the integrity of the river and the surrounding communities.

SMRA has designed this site to address all aspects of the proposed Cochrane Hill Gold Mine.  We envision the following goals for the site and ask that all comments remain respectful.

  • to educate the community on topical information related to the operation of a gold mine in our local community,

  • to engage community members in a dialogue that is helpful in making informed choices and having meaningful conversation,

  • to foster productive relationships between St. Mary’s District Council, the local community, First Nations, Atlantic Mining NS Corp (the Company) and its representatives and the provincial and federal regulators,

  • to empower community members to actively engage with the Company providing suggestions for alternatives to those aspects of the project that have the greatest impact on the environment and social well-being of the community,

  • to build trust between SMRA and the community with the benefit being the protection of the environment now and into the future.

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