Belcher Street Marsh

Year Implemented


Project Type

Managed realignment




Belcher Street Marsh





Habitat(s) Created
  • Saltmarsh

  • River Floodplain, Tidal Wetland


9.7 Hectares

Why Undertaken
  • Climate Change (Sea Level Rise) Mitigation

  • Flood Risk Management

  • Flood Storage Provision

  • Habitat Creation

  • Improve Flood Protection

  • Reduce Flood Protection Costs

  • Other

Project Description Summary

The Belcher Street Marsh, located on the north side of the Cornwallis River, east of Kentville in Nova Scotia, was a mix of active and fallow agricultural land protected from tidal influx by an eroding dyke.

The project objectives were to address the dyke erosion, enhance the protection of agricultural land, restore river floodplain and tidal wetland habitat, and reduce flood risk to enhance local climate change resilience.

The first step of this project was to engage in consultations with local land owners regarding dyke alignment, the project design, and sourcing materials. Consultation with indigenous peoples and regulatory agencies also took place.

Then, in the year prior to the project's implementation, site data was collected on hydrology, vegetation, geospatial attributes, and sediment/soil characteristics as part of a comprehensive baseline ecological monitoring program. This data would be used later on in comparisons to post-restoration data to understand how managed realignment changed the local habitat.

The final project design was reached in collaboration with engineers from the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders, and featured several nature-based living shoreline techniques such as hybrid shorelines and woody debris. The project implementation saw 140 metres of new dyke construction, and the grading of decommissioned dyke material to create new marsh habitat. Additionally, a central channel was excavated to accommodate tidal flooding and freshwater discharge, and included living shorelines on the channel banks to prevent future erosion. Monitoring of this site until 2023 provided information on the ecosystem's status and response to restoration, and is conducted using many wetland indicators that measure wetland structure and function.

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