Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada, Chris Benjamin

Nimbus Publishing

Eco-Innovators profiles some of the region's most innovative and forward-thinking leaders in sustainability. These entrepreneurs and educators, activists and agitators, farmers and fishers have all made measurable contributions both in their respective fields of interest and in motivating others to make change. In the book, we meet Kim Thompson, a strawbale builder and consultant, who has recently brought her building experience to a renovation of an older house in downtown Halifax. Then there's Edwin Theriault, who bought a bale of clothing back in 1971 and launched Frenchy's, a chain of seventy-six used-clothing stores that has become an East Coast institution. Edwin doesn't consider himself an environmentalist at all, but over the years his business has kept countless tonnes of material out of landfills. Also profiled are Speerville Flour Mill and Olivier Soaps in New Brunswick, Sean Gallagher of Local Source in Halifax, David and Edith Ling of Fair Acre Farm on PEI, and Jim Meaney of Cansolair solar heat air exchangers in Newfoundland, among many others. With ten chapters on matters like reducing consumption, greening the home, sustainable eating, dressing, transportation, and vacationing, the book is an important look into the lives of Atlantic Canadians committed to creating viable green options in our region.

Chris Benjamin is the Sustainable City Columnist for the weekly newspaper The Coast in Halifax. In 2006/2007 he worked as the Development Correspondent for The Statesman, a daily national newspaper in Ghana. Chris' first novel, "Living in the Dirt" (since renamed Drive-by Saviours), won the H.R. Percy Prize for best novel in the Atlantic Writing Competition, and was produced with financial support from the Toronto Arts Council. Chris has written news stories, features and commentary for The Toronto Star, VoicePrint Canada, Pottersfield Press, Rattling Books, This Magazine, Now Magazine, University of Waterloo Press, Z Magazine, The Chronicle Herald, Progress Magazine, The Nova Scotia Policy Reviews, and many others. In 2006 Chris was recognized with an honourable mention in the Larry Turner Award for creative non-fiction.

 

 

 

Hope For Wildlife: True Stories of Animal Rescue, Ray MacLeod

Nimbus Publishing

Since 1997, thousands of animals have been saved through the tireless efforts of the staff and volunteers at Hope for Wildlife, a Nova Scotia wildlife rehabilitation centre. Some animals’ stories were so unique that they garnered national attention— such as founder Hope Swinimer’s battle with the Department of Natural Resources over Gretel, a member of the endangered pine marten species. Each creature comes with its own challenges, either through a difficult injury or a quirky personality—like Lucifer the inexplicably bald and ornery raccoon—but each patient leaves an indelible mark on the lives of those around them. Hope for Wildlife tells the stories of fourteen different wild animals that have passed through the centre. Colour photographs of the animals and the centre’s efforts supplement the text, and info boxes offer further information on the region’s wildlife. The stories in Hope for Wildlife are educational, heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking—but always filled with hope.

Ray MacLeod is a retired teacher, and a former columnist and reporter with the The Chronicle Herald and several other newspapers. His creation of a full-credit high school applied journalism course won him the 1993 Hilroy Fellowship for outstanding innovation in Canadian education. Ray is a former information officer for the Newfoundland Department of Resources and a life-long outdoorsman and naturalist. He lives in Waverley, Nova Scotia.

The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History, Harry Thurston

Greystone Books in association with the David Suzuki Foundation

An authoritative and fascinating exploration of the natural history of the east coast of North America.

The North Atlantic coast of North America—commonly known as the Atlantic Coast—extends from Newfoundland and Labrador through the Maritime Provinces and the Northeastern United States south to Cape Hatteras. This North Atlantic region belongs to the sea. The maritime influence on climate, flora, and fauna is dominant—even far inland. This is where the great northern boreal forests intermingle with the mixed coniferous-hardwood forests farther south and where the cold, iceberg-studded Labrador Current from the Arctic and the warm Gulf Stream of the tropics vie for supremacy.

Filled with stunning photographs, the book includes chapters on the geological origins of this region, the two major forest realms, and the main freshwater and marine ecosystems and also describes the flora and fauna within each of these habitats. Finally, it looks at what has been lost but also what remains of the natural heritage of the region and how that might be conserved in future.

Written by the Atlantic region’s best-known nature writer, The Atlantic Coast draws upon the most up-to-date science on the ecology of the region as well as the author’s lifetime experience as a biologist and naturalist. It is both a personal tribute and an accessible, comprehensive guide to an intriguing ecosystem.

“Mixing observations, in-depth research, and vivid prose, Thurston explores the region’s geologic, ecologic, and cultural history, from the plate tectonics that created the landscape millions of years ago to the recent legislation protecting the degraded waterways of the east coast. Barrett’s gorgeous color photographs of land, sea, and sky supplement Thurston’s vivid descriptions, reminding us of our country’s great beauty.” - Publishers Weekly

"Here is a book that will make you swoon...Harry Thurston and Wayne Barrett are a dream team. Both are gifted, multiple-award-winning artists, but it is their intimate knowledge of and profound appreciation of and relationship with nature that makes this book exceptional. Thurston gives us the big picture of the Atlantic coast's ecosystem, his writing accessible to a wide audience...Bravo to David Suzuki Foundation and Greystone Books for finding Thurston and Barrett. This is a book that comes along once in a generation.” -The Buzz

As a lifelong resident of Nova Scotia, Harry Thurston has never lived more than 50 miles from the sea. He spent his childhood exploring the largest salt marshes in Atlantic Canada, along the tidal Chebogue River, and later moved with his family to the nearby historic seaport of Yarmouth whose harbour launched ships to all corners of the world in the 19th century. Today it is the centre of the richest lobster fishery in Atlantic Canada. He studied biology at Acadia University, overlooking the world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy. 
 
As a fisheries research technician in the late 1960s he was witness to the decimation of herring stocks on Georges Bank, which set his course on a career as an environmental writer for such magazines as Audubon, Canadian Geographic, National Geographic, and Equinox.
Thurston has travelled extensively throughout the northeast, from northern Labrador to Delaware Bay, writing about the natural wonders of the region and the threats posed to them.
 
A poet as well as a journalist, he has published more than twenty books on subjects as diverse as dinosaurs to shorebirds. The award-winning Tidal Life: A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy, has been called a “natural history classic” by Maine’s Island magazine and is still in print 20 years after its original publication. A Place between the Tides: A Naturalist’s Reflections on the Salt Marsh, was a finalist for the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize and the British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and winner of the 2004 Sigurd Olsen Nature Writing Award in the United States.
Currently, Thurston lives on the banks of the tidal Tidnish River which flows into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where he keeps watch on the migrant and resident wildlife of “this place of abundance.”