In many ways, St. Andrews is the quintessential Maritime community. Visited seasonally by the Passamaquoddy peoples, a town was formally laid out by Loyalists in 1783 in the grid plan typical of settlements along the British-American seaboard. Its sheltered harbour on Passamaquoddy Bay made the town a valuable port with a healthy fishery, until new railways threatened to divert commercial traffic to larger centres like nearby Saint John. But from the 1880s, wealthy Americans began to adopt St. Andrews “By the Sea” as a summering home, making it one of Canada’s earliest seaside resort communities. Today the town, with its picturesque setting and colonial architecture, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Brunswick. From aboriginal borderland to colonial settlement, from coastal trade to fisheries to tourism, St. Andrews encapsulates much of the history of Atlantic Canada.
But for decades, particularly since the collapse of the groundfishery in the early 1990s, the future of this region’s coastal communities has been in doubt. Global climate change – with implications for everything from sea level rise to species migration – has made the health of our oceans a critical issue. With hundreds of thousands of kilometres of coastline, Canada is literally defined by oceans. Maritimers, of course, have always known this.
St. Andrews by-the-Sea reminds us that we have a long and complex history with our oceans: centuries of harvesting its resources, concerted at scientific exploration and management, experiments in international governance, profiting from its ambiance. It is an important site for marine research and aquaculture, as well as cultural and eco-tourism. Speakers, field trips, and group discussions will explore the role of science, history, and commerce in the environmental sustainability of our coastal communities.
CHESS will be based at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre.
For more information, contact:
University of New Brunswick
University of New Brunswick
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