About the Baddeck Mooring Authority
Baddeck, Nova Scotia has a long and auspicious yachting history. Since before the founding of the Bras d'Or Yacht Club in 1904, Baddeck has been a favorite both with local sailors and cruising yachtsmen.
The growing popularity of Baddeck as a yachting center has resulted in a great proliferation of moorings within the harbour. There continues to be a growing number of people wishing to gain access to the harbour for both commercial and recreational pursuits. The ability to accommodate an ever growing demand has been a difficult struggle.
In 1995 the province of Nova Scotia, through the Department of Natural Resources entered into discussions with the public concerning the future management of the harbour at Baddeck. The result of those meetings has been the formation of the Baddeck Mooring Authority (BMA).
The BMA has been mandated to ensure the efficient use of the harbour to the benefit of all interested user groups including those without boats who wish to use the harbour for passive and active recreation. The BMA is comprised of representatives from the commercial marine interests in the area, the recreational boating community, the Village of Baddeck, the Municipality of the County of Victoria, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, the Bras d'Or Yacht Club and the Federal Department of Transport. (The Federal representation has not been active since the Government of Canada divested itself of the former Government Wharf to the community). The diversity of the committee ensures that any interested individual or organization has a representative to speak on their behalf.
The initial subdivision of the harbour resulted in the allocation of 111 mooring spaces sized 100' x 100'. A maximum of 20% of the spaces being designated as commercial. Commercial sites are permitted to be rented or leased by the permit holder, recreational sites must be used only by the permit holder. In addition, some of the sites have been designated as "riparian" being assigned without cost to the upland land owner. The distribution of sites made way for a substantial navigational channel through the harbour and has complied with the Provincial Governments requirement for a two hundred foot buffer zone between the mooring "Grid" and the shoreline.
In the period since the initial allocation of sites the committee has been forced to make several changes to the grid. The requirements of riparian owners, a commitment to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the Lion's Club Ferry running to Kidston Island, obligations to commercial operators and the development of "Public Access" areas have resulted in the grid being lessened to the present ninety-four sites.
The BMA charges a fee of seventy five dollars for a recreational mooring permit. This money is used to fund operations including the services of a mooring master and secretary as well as occasional surveys of the grid (above and below water) the purchase of information buoys and payment of annual government licensing fees. Accountability is ensured by the presentation of complete financial statements to the general public during the Annual General meeting held in the spring each year.
The implementation of this committee has resulted in the local community having direct control over an important area resource. It has served to ensure that everyone is represented at the table and has provided a tool to ensure that Baddeck continues to be a first class yachting destination.