Boat Harbour is a former tidal estuary that is in Pictou County approximately 10 kilometers North of the Town of New Glasgow directly adjacent to the First Nations Community of Pictou Landing First Nation. In 1967, the Province of Nova Scotia constructed the 141 hectares (ha) Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment (BHTF) to treat effluent from the bleached kraft pulp mill at Abercrombie Point. In establishing the treatment facility, the estuary was disconnected from Pictou Harbour and the tidal influence was removed.
On June 10, 2014, a breach of the mill effluent line was detected by Northern Pulp personnel and effluent was determined to directly discharge in the East River. A peaceful protest ensued by community members largely from the Pictou Landing First Nation and as a resolve an agreement was struck to establish a closure plan for the BHTF. Subsequently, on May 5, 2015 the Boat Harbour Act was enacted and a planned date to close the BHTF was established for January 1, 2020.
Nova Scotia Lands Inc. has been entrusted, by the Nova Scotia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, with project management responsibilities for the planning and implementation of remedial activities at Boat Harbour.