BY KELLY BROOKS
The Bay of Fundy is getting some worldwide attention - and it won’t let off until the final New7Wonders of Nature are named in 2011.
April 16, Jean- Paul de la Fuente, director of the New7Wonders Foundation in Switzerland, came to view Hall’s Harbour on part of his three-day visit to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The Bay of Fundy was one of 441 participating locations representing over 220 countries in the New7Wonders of Nature competition when it started in 2007. The global contest, which allows people of the world to vote for seven wonders of the natural world by internet and phone, is now down to 28 finalists - one of which is Canada’s own Bay of Fundy.
“It’s an extraordinary achievement,” says de la Fuente. “Deserved of course, but you have to understand the journey to come here has been quite a difficult one.”
de la Fuente says the next step will be to choose the final seven locations from the remaining 28 - very tough.
“There are some very big and famous locations,” says de la Fuente, “but you should not shy away from the competition.”
The Bay of Fundy is up against such geographic features as the Amazon Rainforest, Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef and Kilimanjaro.
“I think we need to be bold and courageous and really be excited to showcase Canada to the rest of the world,” says Terri McCulloch, executive director of Bay of Fundy Tourism.
“We’ve come a long way. It’s very exciting for our region to be a part of this.”
The Bay of Fundy is the only location in Canada chosen as one of the top 28 finalists.
“We’re really happy now that we’re in the campaign representing Canada,” says McCulloch. “I think it’s a natural attraction in Canada that could be more of a Canadian tourism icon”
McCulloch says, with tourism visitation decreasing rather than increasing, this campaign may help reverse the trend and “pump it up a little bit.
“If we could get some more folks out to explore the coast here, I think that everybody stands to benefit,” says McCulloch.
De la Fuente says he believes it isn’t just the small community that will be affected positively from the competition.
“The whole region - and, indeed the country - can benefit from the fact that the awareness of the Bay of Fundy - and of Canada - increases being part of this campaign.”
De la Fuente returns to the Bay of Fundy region sometime in September for a very high profile visit, “The World Tour Visit.”
“We will be visiting all 28 locations in this campaign,” says de la Fuente. “That’s a chance to really showcase The Bay of Fundy.”
People who love the Bay and know what is unique and special about it are urged to communicate that to the world.
“By sending pictures and sending videos, it really allows the world, when coming to vote, to choose on the basis of what they see,” says de la Fuente.
The New 7 Wonders of Nature, which will be chosen by popular worldwide vote, will be announced November 11, 2011.
To vote for the Bay of Fundy visit:
What makes Canada’s Bay of Fundy a New7Wonder of Nature?
Highest tides in the WORLD
Tides are 53 feet - five to 10 times higher than any other tide in the world. In six hours and 13 minutes, 100 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out of the bay.
In marine biodiversity, the Bay of Fundy has been compared to the Amazon Rainforest. Through the ocean currents and massive tides, it is biologically linked to the rest of the world as a critical site for fish, bird and marine mammal migration.
Host to over 12 species of whales during their summer feeding, including more than half the world’s population of rare and endangered Right whales.
Known for its serene coastal views, national and provincial parks and coastal hiking trails. Culture and history are celebrated at interpretation centres, historic sites, museums, horticultural gardens and artisans’ studios.
Dinosaurs and fossils
Home to the world’s most complete fossil record of the “Coal Age” (300 million years ago); home to the world’s oldest reptiles and Canada’s oldest dinosaurs; site of one of the greatest extinction events the world has ever known (Triassic/ Jurassic extinction).
Upper Bay of Fundy Biosphere Reserve (2007), Outer Bay of Fundy Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve (2001) and Joggins Fossil Cliffs World Heritage Site (June 2008).
Green tidal energy
One of the world’s best sites for green tidal energy, the most potent site in America - 10 times more powerful than other sites.