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Climate change is being felt in Kouchibouguac National Park

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Nov19,2023

Climate change is being felt in Kouchibouguac National Park

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The impact of climate change climate is felt on the dunes of Kouchibouguac National Park.


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At Kouchibouguac National Park, some dunes have moved nearly a kilometer in the last two decades. And this is just the beginning of the impacts linked to climate change, according to the site's ecosystem scientist.

Increasingly, David Mazerolle's work is focused on climate change.

Most of the other big questions that interest environmentalists are also linked to climate change, says the ecosystem scientist at Kouchibouguac National Park. We can't escape.

We are talking about a coastline that is starting to change much faster than it was changing before. Everything that is coastal tends to be dynamic […] We notice rapid changes which are mainly linked to major storms, he continues.

The New Brunswick has seen its share of major storms in recent years, including Dorian, Fiona and Lee.

In the park, we had a natural construction of a new dune where the sand was deposited and the dune lengthened by a kilometer, gives the example of David Mazerolle.

In addition, ice normally helps protect the shore. In the event that they decrease or are not present, the coastline becomes more vulnerable to the impacts of winter.

If climate change affects the coastline , they also affect the activities that take place there.

Already, the cross-country skiing season is now shorter in Kouchibouguac.

On will eventually have a winter season that will be much shorter, says David Mazerolle.

David Mazerolle adds that the decline of certain plant species that have cultural importance for indigenous or Acadian communities has already begun in the region.

Among these- here, the balsam fir, the spruce, the aspen and the white birch.

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The trembling aspen is the most widespread tree in North America. (Archive photo)

Species that characterize our forests, underlines the scientist. At the end of the century, these species will no longer be able to regenerate in our new climate.

Some of our most typical species in our forests will eventually disappear.

A quote from David Mazerolle, ecosystem scientist at Kouchibouguac National Park

David Mazerolle says the park team is starting to better understand the problem.

When it comes to habitat restoration, scientists are now looking to the far south of the province for inspiration from tree species more suited to warmer climates.

[Because] when we are going to plant trees, does it really make sense to plant trees that will not be able to regenerate in fifty years ?, explains David Mazerolle.

The Kouchibouguac Park team works extensively with regional researchers and partners to develop new ways to mitigate climate impacts.

Lessons that can be learned in places like regional parks will have a use in the wider territory, that's for sure, says David Mazerolle. It’s a playground for research.

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David Mazerolle was a panelist at the online webinar ''Sands in Motion: Coastal Climate Impacts in Kouchibouguac National Park'', November 9, 2023.

If rethinking habitat restoration is one of the methods used to better deal with climate change in the park, turning to more natural methods to counter coastal erosion is also a viable solution, according to David Mazerolle. /p>

From now on, we will need to have open and frank discussions to adapt to climate change, according to the scientist.

20 years ago, we were already talking about it, but it was more abstract. We knew it was going to become a problem, he said. But now, we are really seeing changes in the territory. It's clear that we can't put it off again.

David Mazerolle recalls that coastal regions are often of great cultural importance for communities

With information from the show Rush Hour – Acadie

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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