Eisner’s Cove Wetland

Rhodora coming into full bloom in Eisner’s Cove Wetland on May 29, 2017. View NSWFS Post about the site & concerns expressed Jan 11, 2022.
View more pics here
Click on images for larger versions

Page created Jan 14, 2022

Also view subpages:

Ongoing News (Sep 18, 2022-)
The Wet Upland Forest
Field Trip 22May2017 Notes
Letter 24Aug2022
DU Correspondence

Also view these websites:

Protect Eisner Cove Wetland
Website | Facebook Page
YouTube Channel | Intro Video
Ecology Action:  Eisner Cove Wetland
HRM Southdale Planning Page

The Eisner’s Cove wetland has been a site frequented by NSWFS as a group and by individual members over the last 5 or 6 years after local residents told us about this special place and impending threats to it. View this post for more about NSWFS observations.

Below are links to recent in-the-news items, and other info about the area and immediate  threat to its continued integrity. Listed with more recent at the top. Note that Items from Sep 18, 2022 onwards are listed on a separate page : Ongoing News (Sep 18, 2022-)

At the bottom of the page, there is a section Some Maps and Photos of Flora & Fauna

Aug 24, 2022:
An Open Letter in support of William Zebedee’s Appeal of Wetland Alteration Approval No 2021-2886385-00 (22-07-29): Can we all take a sober second look at the Southdale Future Growth Node?
A letter  sent to Premier Houston, Nova Scotia Ministers Lohr and Halman, Halifax Mayor Savage & HRM Councillors, Kevin Neatt (Clayton Developments) by David Patriquin on behalf of the NS Wild Flora Society and the Halifax Field Naturalists

“Stop!” pleads an elderly protestor/local resident. View Video Clip

Aug 16, 2022:
Protest near Eisner Cove development in Dartmouth turns dangerous
Ethan Lycan-Lang in Morning File (Halifax Examiner, Also: Residents block clearcut machinery at Eisner Cove (Aug 15);  & Hear about efforts to protect wetlands in Dartmouth from development (CBC Aug 16, 2022). Global News: Protest against development on N.S. wetland turned dangerous (Aug 16, 2022) & Protect Eisner Cove Press Release (15Aug2022)

Aug 12, 2022:
Last Days of the Mt. Hope Forest
Video by NSWFS member David P, Aug 12, 2022.

Eisner Cove Wetland activists call for halt to housing project; developer undeterred
Heidi Petracek, CTV news . “- Ignoring “no trespassing” signs, security guards and a Halifax Regional Police officer, environmental activist Lil Macpherson was among a handful of protestors who took the campaign to stop construction near Eisner Cove Wetland straight to the source.
“You can’t clear cut around the wetland and expect the wetland to survive,” said MacPherson, moments before she and three others walked past construction tape and into the wooded construction site, where Clayton Developments has begun the work on a project to build 875 housing units…According to the Nova Scotia government, the 55-acre parcel of land at issue was part of a sale of 101 acres of “surplus land” near Neptune Crescent by Crown corporation Innovacorp in January of 2020. The total land area was sold to AJ Legrow Holdings Ltd. for $680,000.That company partnered with Clayton Developments for the Mount Hope Village project, which received approval from city council earlier this year.”

Wetland Mt Hope Ave area, Aug 12, 2022

Jul 29, 2022:
Bill Zebedee’s Appeal of Wetland Alteration
Posted with permission of Bill Zebedee

Jul 16, 2022:
The Woven Arches of the Eisner Cove Wetland
Video of the woodland and a bit of the wetland on July 14, 2022; story of ‘The Arches’, made of woven stems of Amelanchier, with Wild Raisin at one site; signs of wetness all down the slope.

Birds observed in wetland so far in 2022. Prepared by Richard Hatch with assistance from Fulton Lavender. View Report

Jul 4, 2022:
Fast-tracking Port Wallace development threatens Lake Charles and health of future residents
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner. Some history of the “Fast=tracking” that applies also to Eisner Cove lands.

Area where the causeway is planned. Screen capture from drone video posted on YouTube.

May 30, 2022:
NSWFS Evening Meeting at Eisner Wetland
Collection of Photos on Facebook. A “Rhodora Celebration”

May 18, 2022:
***Developer wants to clear trees early at fast-tracked Dartmouth development sites***
Zane Woodford in the Halifax Examiner, May 18, 2022. “Clayton Developments has applied to “enable early tree removal and earthworks” at two of its special planning areas in Dartmouth — the Port Wallace and Eisner Cove lands.There are environmental concerns about many of the special planning areas, including these two in Dartmouth.”

Apr 29, 2022:
Bio-blitz for the better: How a non-profit is raising awareness of endangered species in HRM
John Marshall for saltwire.com

Apr 25, 2022:
What is Eisner Cove Wetland and why are we fighting to save it? (Video)
3 minutes Video with excellent drone views, overview of issues. Posted by Bill Zebedee,

Apr 9, 2022:
April 9, 2022 Rally at Mt Hope
About 8 NSWFS folks were amongst the many participants of  this rally.
Dartmouth residents hold rally to protect Southdale wetlands from development
By Alicia Draus Global News Apr 9, 2022. Commenent by Bill Z: “The numbers given in this Global News report are incorrect. The reporter says 875 units, which included 373 affordable ones. Well, we already know, not affordable, but the offical press release (March 25) clearly states 1200 units Edit: Weird, in the TV report the reporter says 875 units, but in the written report on the Global page states 1200 units (no wonder there is so much confusion about this).”
Video with Lil MacPherson on the wetlands.
– David Patriquin Speaker Notes and post-rally reflections on the forest & wetland

Mar 30, , 2022:
Residents race to save Dartmouth wetland, Penhorn development an easy win
Jen Taplin on saltwire.com Mar 30, 2022 “Southdale-Mount Hope and the Penhorn lands are both in Dartmouth, but they’re on either side of the planning spectrum. Southdale is mostly woods and wetlands, while Penhorn was previously developed and the planning for a new neighbourhood there is almost finished. There are hardly any environmental concerns at Penhorn, but at Southdale-Mount Hope, several residents are worried they’re about to lose the Eisner Cove Wetland. And fast.

Mar 28, 2022:
Province announces $21.8 million forgivable loan to developer to build affordable housing in Dartmouth
ETHAN LYCAN-LANG in the Halifax Examiner “At a news conference Monday, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr announced the province is spending $21.8 million for the development of 373 affordable housing units in the Mount Hope area of Dartmouth…Bill Zebedee, a local resident and member of Save Our Southdale Wetland (formerly Protect Eisner Cove Wetland Society) told the Examiner the wetland stores a significant amount of carbon and is home to a range of wildlife, including foxes, deer, and otters. He said he’s concerned the affordable housing announcement will expire in 20 years, and the province could be sacrificing the largest natural green space in Dartmouth for a housing development that will soon become unaffordable anyway.”

Feb 10, 2022:
DATA REPORT 7164: Eisners Cove Wetland, NS
Prepared 10 February 2022
by J. Pender, Data Manager. ACCDC
“Upon request and for a fee, the AC CDC queries its database and produces customized reports of the rare and endangered flora and fauna known to occur in or near a specified study area. As a supplement to that data, the AC CDC includes locations of managed areas with some level of protection, and known sites of ecological interest or sensitivity.”

Protect the Eisner Cover Wetland. The Issue (Video) Jul 29, 2022

Feb 8, 2022:
Hear about a virtual public meeting about Eisner’s Cove Wetlands in Woodside
CBC Info AM, Interview with Bill Zebedee following the Feb 7 public (online) meeting. HRM is considering a proposal to build 700 units of housing for the Eisner’s Cove Wetlands. The proposal includes retaining part of the 45 acres as a green space with trails. Hear from Bill Zebedee, who is with the new group Protect the Eisner’s Cove Wetland.”

Dartmouth residents raise concerns about development next to wetland
Zane Woodford in the Halifax Examiner, Feb 8, 2022 “Vaguely “attainable” housing shouldn’t come at the cost of environmental degradation, Dartmouth residents argued at a public meeting Monday night. The municipality held the virtual meeting to get the community’s feedback on what it calls the Southdale Future Growth Node, the area between Woodside and Highway 111 containing the Eisner Cove Wetland. There were more than 60 people online, a few more on the phone, and 15 people spoke.”

CITIZEN BIOBLITZ: help identify species at risk & save the Eisner Cove Wetland area from development
Event posted on FB’ it is being held on Sat Feb 11, 2022, beginning at 11 am

Feb 7, 2022:
Feb 7, 2022 Public Info Meeting, YouTube Video of proceedings
“The Southdale Future Growth Node is located at the south-eastern edge of the Regional Centre, in Dartmouth, immediately adjacent to Highway 111 (“Circumferential Highway”) as illustrated on the map below. The lands are designated a “Future Growth Node” under the Regional Centre Secondary Planning Strategy (Centre Plan) which requires a comprehensive master planning process to be completed before development can take place.
“A public meeting was held on Monday, February 7 to seek feedback from citizens on what is important for the area, and what the site-specific policies should be. Due to a technical error, the video from the meeting that night was unavailable. This is a re-recording of the presentation component of that meeting. The audio from the meeting is available and is posted on the Shape Your City Project page. Minutes from the meeting are also available. https://www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/s…”
Audio Recording – February 7, 2022 Public Engagement Meeting (117 MB) (mp3)

Feb 2, 2022:
BILL ZEBEDEE: Residential development project threatens Dartmouth wetland
Saltwire.com Feb 2, 2022

Jan 26, 2022:
Case 23820: Southdale Future Growth Node Planning Process
HRM webpage. Page posted or First details added Jan 26, 2022. Document called for in Jan 11 Regional Council Document, Appendix A (below)  Included the first mention of and posting of a link to the Land Suitability Analysis Report; also given are links to Clayton Concept Plan (consists of 1 image).LeGrow Concept Plan (consists of 1 image) and other related docs (go to bottom right of the page).

Jan 24, 2022:
Photos from Joseph Mingroneshowing road construction in detail.Link posted on Friends of Esiner’s Cove Wetland Jan 24, 2022

Feedback: Eisner’s Cove Wetlands
Claudia Chender, MLA Dartmouth South, Jan 24, 2020
I read with interest the article about the recent purchase of a large piece of land in Woodside from Innovacorp, a Provincial Crown Corporation. The CEO describes the land as not being usable “because there’s a big swamp in the middle of it”…Maps from Google Earth and NS Provincial Landscape Viewer.         

Jan 19, 2022:
Update, Wed. Jan 19, 2022: Road and Tree Cutting Down to the Wetland in Progress.”I just went late this morning as I hadn’t heard. It’s a full on logging road circling the whole forested area from Lynn drive. Took me about 30 minutes at a quick walk/ jog to do the full loop. So much has been cut, it’s heartbreaking.”Link to Video
Here’s a video of the logging road and clearing done right down to the wetland. If there are to be 20 meters at least of protection, would this not be illegal? The road starts at the end of Lynn drive, and circles around the entire forested plot on this one side of the wetland. It took me about 30 minutes to get through it at a speedy walk / light jog. No heavy machinery or active clearing was happening this morning on my walk through. Only ran into several deer.

Jan 14, 2022:
– Southdale Future Growth Node_Zebedee, Bill_January 14, 2022
4-page Letter posted by Bill Zebedee on Friends of Eisner Cove Wetland (Public FB group) “I am writing you today regarding what is known as the “Southdale Future Growth Node…This area, which is part of the Eisner Cove Wetland water course…This area, which is part of the Eisner Cove Wetland water course…”. Provides  some history of concerns about the area.
1) Loss of 45 hectares of wildlife habitat.
2) Improper Environmental Assessment, that is to say, being done once, at a specific time of year.
3) Potential contamination of water course and wetland.
4) Flooding
5) Traffic flow

Proposed Dartmouth development raises environmental concerns
Pam Berman · CBC News “Developer wants to build in Southdale Future Growth Node, also known as Eisner Cove Wetland”

Jan 11, 2022:
Case 23820: Southdale Future Growth Node Master Planning Initiation
Item No. 15.1.3 Halifax Regional Council January 11, 2022 “RECOMMENDATION It is recommended that Regional Council direct the Chief Administrative Officer to:
1. Initiate a process to amend the Regional Centre Secondary Planning Strategy and Land Use-Bylaw to develop site-specific Comprehensive Development District (CDD) policies and an associated
development agreement to enable development on the Southdale Future Growth Node site that
considers the review items identified in the Discussion Section of this report; and
2. Follow the public participation program as set out in Attachment A”

Housing development proposed on forested slopes by Eisner’s Cove Wetland 10Jan2022
Post by David Patriquin on Ns Wild FloraSociety website on Jan 11, 2022 “A critical decision related to the Eisner’s Cove Wetland could be made at Halifax Regional Council on Jan 11, 2022 re: Item 15.1.3 Is land in HRM now so intensely developed that we have to move into some of the most ecologically precious places, the linked climate and biodiversity crises and need for green space in settled areas notwithstanding?”

From the CBC News item Jan 10, 2022.

Jan 10, 2022:
Halifax council considers proposal for 700-unit ‘attainable housing’ development
Pam Berman · CBC News This CBC news item, posted at 6:20 pm on Jan 10, 2022 was the first ‘public’ notification about this item that wold be voted on by Halifax Regional Council the next day. It makes no mention of any citizen concerns about the development.

Oct 20, 2021:
Housing Agency Announcement
Video of the PC Government announcement.

June 8, 2021:
Eisner Cove Wetland: WESP ReportA Ducks Unlimited Report dated 2021-06-08. The  Field Assessment is dated 06/29/2020.  It applies to only part of the wetland, described as a fen; ecological values are described. Examples:

Songbird, Raptor & Mammal Habitat (Score/Rating: Higher): This wetland has habitat features that support a diversity and abundance of songbirds, raptors and mammals. Such habitat features could include a mix of open water and land cover, a wide vegetated buffer, tree snags, downed wood, varied microtopography, mature trees and diverse shrub cover.

Waterbird Nesting Habitat(Score/Rating: Higher): This wetland is recognized as an IBA (Important Bird Area) or is known to support a rare breeding waterbird species. It may also be one of the few herbaceous wetlands or ponds in the local area.

Organic Nutrient Export(Score/Rating: Higher) : This wetland is effective as producing, cycling and exporting organic matter downstream. Organic nutrients exported from wetlands like this one, provide essential support for downstream estuarine food webs. Wetlands that provide this function have a surface water outflow and soil with high organic carbon content (e.g. peat).

The third page of of this 3-page report provides an “Introduction to Wetland Ecosystem Services Protocol (WESP) for Atlantic Canada”.

See Related Correspondence

See Manual for Wetland Ecosystem Services Protocol for Atlantic Canada (WESP-AC): Non-tidal Wetlands by Paul Raymond Adamus,
Oregon State University

Mixed Wabanaki- Acadian forest on the NE slope June 25, 2017

Mar 10, 2018
Old Acadian forest/salmon watercourse and forested wetland in Halifax-Dartmouth at risk
David Patriquin writing on Nova Scotia Forest Notes

Jan 19, 2016:
Paving paradise in Dartmouth
Robert Devet in the NS Advocate. “The Eisner Cove wetland, a 180 hectare piece of pristine wilderness, stretches from Shearwater all the way into the Penhorn/Woodlawn community in urban Dartmouth. Residents of that neighborhood dearly love the presence of a bit of wildness in their backyard. But now they worry that new development is signalling a change for the worse…In 2008 Zebedee chaired a community exercise to articulate what the neighborhood should look like in the future. The resulting document leaves no doubt as to what residents want to happen with the wetlands. “The Vision area includes two significant wetlands: Eisner Cove wetland (which is bisected by Highway 111), and another on the north side of Russell Lake. Home to a number of white tailed deer, fox, sharp-shinned hawks and other wildlife, the wetlands, although already impacted by surrounding development, are seen as valuable ecological assets to the community that should be protected,” the report states. [Link to “document” doesn’t work; it can be found here]

2014 (Background Document):
A Citizen’s Guide to Wetland Conservation in the Halifax Regional Municipality
“Prepared by East Coast Environmental Law In partnership with the Ecology Action Centre…The guide includes information about the Nova Scotia Environment Act, Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, Nova Scotia Wetland Conservation Policy and HRM land-use by-laws and polices that impact wetland conservation” (2014 document)

Dec 8, 2009
HRM Community Planning Penhorn/Woodlawn Vision
Scroll to Page 4 for the Wetlands Section: “The Vision area includes two significant wetlands: Eisner Cove wetland (which is bisected by Highway 111), and another on the north side of Russell Lake. Home to a number of white tailed deer, fox, sharp­shined hawks and other wildlife, the wetlands, although already impacted by surrounding development, are seen as valuable ecological assets to the community that should be protected. An elevated boardwalk in the wetlands, particularly Eisner Cove wetland behind Woodside Industrial Park, could improve community access to these areas while protecting the fragile wetland habitat.


Eisner’s Cove Wetland & Environs Project on iNaturalist illustrates interest in the natural history of this area. When the project was created Jan 11, 2022,  10 observers had reported 246 observations/118 species. On Dec 9, 2022, 35 observers had reported 1112 observations/211 species.

Google Earth image of Eisner’s Wetland & Environs, with elevation profile. Approximate areas proposed for development (based on diagrams in HRM document) are enclosed (NE side of wetland) or partially enclosed (southwest side) by white path. Panel at bottom is an elevation profile.

Development Class

Stand Details

Leading Forest Species

WAM Predicted Flows. There is a watercourse involved


Wetland on May 17, 2017 (NSWFS Photos)

More photos posted here