Aboiteaux: Pillar of Acadian Expansion
The aboiteau is the essential element of a technique to drain salt marshes. A flap placed at the extremity of a wooden channel allowed the marsh water to flow toward the sea at low tide and prevented seawater from flooding the marsh at high tide. Introduced in Acadie by the French settlers in the 17th century, this technique allowed them to cultivate the salt marshes and even raise crops that were above average. Hence, this technique became so popular in the last part of the 17th century that certain inhabitants of the capital of Acadie, Port-Royal, had to leave in search of new land to exploit. This led to the founding of new villages, such as Beaubassin, Grand-Pré and Chipoudie. After the Deportation, the Acadians had to settle on higher ground so they adopted other forms of cultivation, but remnants of this Acadian technology can still be found today.