4.8 The Bay of Fundy and the tides of climate change

2.2 Charlotte County

Charlotte county is situated in the southwestern part of the Bay in Fundy, in New Brunswick, on the border to Maine (figure 13). Its surface area is 3,424 km2 and its population 26,000 (2011 Statistics Canada), with little fluctuation over the last twenty years. There are six municipalities: Saint Stephen (4,817 inh.), Saint Andrews (1,889 inh.), Saint George (1,543 inh.), Blacks Harbour (982 inh), and the two island communities of Grand Manan (2,377 inh.) and Campobello (1,056 inh., population data from Statistics Canada (2011)). The rest of the population is spread across the 144 unincorporated communities in the 14 parishes of Charlotte County.

The location of Charlotte County (in red) within New Brunswick.

Figure 13. The location of Charlotte County (in red) within New Brunswick.

Source: Reeder and Killorn (2014), originally from New Brunswick Genealogy Web (© 1997-2010, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cannb/)

The main river system is the St. Croix river, which forms the border between Canada and the USA (Maine) and flows by St. Stephen before discharging into the Passamaquoddy Bay by Saint Andrews. Saint George is located on the banks of the Magaguadavic River, which also discharges into the Passamaquoddy Bay. Except for St. Stephen and Saint George, all municipalities lie on saltwater coasts. Saint Andrews is located in the vast Passamaquoddy Bay, Black Harbour on the shore of the Bay of Fundy and the two island communities of Grand Manan and Campobello in the Bay of Fundy. Tidal amplitude is still moderate, about six meters.

The climate of Charlotte County is tempered by the waters of the Bay of Fundy, but winter storms can be severe (Figure 14). Occasionally, strong storms or hurricanes of tropical origin occur during the late summer (Reeder and Killorn, 2014). The 37-year period of record for the St. Stephen weather station displays an increasing trend in the number of extreme precipitation events (>50 mm), occurring mostly between summer to early winter (Reeder and Killorn, 2014) (Figure 15).

Late winter storm at Indian Point in Saint Andrews.

Figure 14. Late winter storm at Indian Point in Saint Andrews.

Source : photo S. Weissenberger, March 2015

Number of extreme precipitation events (>50 mm) per year recorded by the St. Stephen weather station between 1993 and 2013.

Figure 15. Number of extreme precipitation events (>50 mm) per year recorded by the St. Stephen weather station between 1993 and 2013.

Source : Reeder and Killorn (2014)