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Telegraph Journal - Saturday December 15, 2012

posted Dec 16, 2012, 6:41 PM by SOS SaveOceanScience

Letter to the editor

An economic loss:

The St. Andrews Biological Station is an economic driver for Charlotte County. The library is front and centre in the new facility. As you walk through the front door of SABS, the $4 million library is to your left, a specially built climate-controlled glassed-in area.

The books, documents, research papers and materials in the SABS library document over a hundred years of data from the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine region.  The collection is used extensively on a daily basis by local and international scientists and researchers.

Unfortunately for those scientists and researchers who are looking into the health of the oceans at our doorstep, the Federal Conservative government has decided to remove the SABS library collection to centralize the materials at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia. The removal is to be finalized in the spring of 2013. What a loss to our region!

If the books and materials disappear from SABS, researchers will avoid Charlotte County. Any scientist worth their salt will choose to live and work elsewhere. With nothing to study, no scientific data on the area, no materials to hand, scientists will decide to study and research where relevant materials are readily available.

 In addition to the important perhaps vital aspect of ocean research, researchers and their families, their housing, their purchases, and their input into the community, are all valuable and important components of the economic viability of Charlotte County. Without their financial input including taxes and insight into economic advantages for our ocean industries, our county will be diminished.

The St. Andrews Biological Station is a prosperity engine for Charlotte County. The library is at its heart. The books, documents, research papers and research materials at SABS must remain in situ where they can be most used and appreciated with the important goal of feeding our population and keeping the Charlotte County and New Brunswick economy alive and vibrant.

As a community, we need to insist that our scientific researchers, those who analyze and advise us, have the very best data and materials close at hand for ready reference and study. Keep the library holdings intact at the St. Andrews Biological Station. Let our economy prosper!

Sylvia Humphries