News & Events


Outreach - Straight Pipe cover page

Click here to read about sewage in the LaHave River Estuary

LaHave River Estuary


Straight Pipe Citizens Group

The LaHave River Watershed Project works closely with a group of concerned local residents called the Straight Pipe Citizens Group towards our common goal of eliminating straight pipes from the LaHave River Estuary. Straight pipes discharge raw human sewage directly into the river every single day. These systems are illegal and there are an estimated 600 pipes still in use along the length of the estuary. While our efforts are focused on the LaHave River Estuary, straight pipes persist across the province, and pose a significant risk to public health. Exposure to waters contaminated by fecal bacteria can result in people contracting illnesses such as gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, hepatitis, ear infections, and Giardiasis.

During the summer months in 2014 and 2015, Coastal Action and the Straight Pipe Citizens Group began monitoring fecal bacteria levels at 5 shoreline locations throughout the estuary. The results of this testing showed several exceedances of Health Canada's Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality, meaning that people engaging in recreational water activities (swimming, boating, fishing, etc.) in the LaHave River Estuary are at risk of coming into contact with fecal bacteria and becoming sick. 

Check out our Fecal Bacteria Monitoring page during the summer for weekly updates on the fecal bacteria conditions of the LaHave River Estuary. 



LaHave River Estuary Health Assessment Project

An estuary health assessment project was completed in the LaHave River Estuary in 2015, funded by Environment Canada's Atlantic Ecosystem Initiatives Funding Program. This project was carried out in partnership with several environmental organizations across Atlantic Canada, with Eastern Charlotte Waterways Inc., in Blacks Harbour N.B., acting as the project lead. Each partner organization assessed the health of their local estuary by monitoring for bacteria levels, general water quality, contaminants in sediment, eutrophication indicators, and aquatic biodiversity at multiple sample sites. Results from this project have been used to produce an Estuary Health Report Card and Action Plan for the LaHave River Estuary. 

Estuary report card front cover

Click here to check out the LaHave River Estuary 2015 Report Card

Estuary Action Plan front cover

Click here to check out the LaHave River Estuary 2015 Action Plan

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Top photo - Coastal Action staff conducting CAMP (Community Aquatic Monitoring Program) sampling in the LaHave River Estuary. 

Bottom photo - Coastal Action staff monitoring water quality in the LaHave River Estuary.