The PEI Watershed Alliance is disheartened and disappointed to learn of the fish kill on the Little Miminegash River near Roseville in Western PEI this past weekend. This is the 2nd fish kill reported this year and the 8th fish kill since 2011. There have also been numerous anoxic events this year which have caused mortality to fish and shellfish.
Dale Cameron, PEI Watershed Alliance Chairperson, penned a letter to the editor earlier this month describing the Alliance’s view on fish kills. This letter can be found by clicking here
Summer is a very busy time for PEI Watershed Alliance member groups as much watershed conservation and rehabilitation work is completed.
PEI Watershed Alliance was pleased to offer the following training opportunities to groups this summer:
1) Trout Unlimited Canada’s From to Function: Stream Rehabilitation Training, June 21-24th in Hunter River.
During this course, participants learnt from national instructors (Jack Imhof and Silvia D’Amelio) as well as local instructors Rosie MacFarlane and Daryl Guignion about the principles and applications of watershed rehabilitation approaches. Topics included: understanding watershed and river systems, assessment and monitoring approaches, determining key issues and how to address them.
2) Watershed Worker Training, July 5th and 6th in Hunter River :
– Rosie MacFarlane gave a presentation on stream rehabilitation techniques and fish habitat:
– Norman Dewar provided information on Agricultural Biosecurity Disinfection procedures:
– Daryl Guignon toured participants on the West River to showcase watershed rehabilitation works.
– Gary Schneider provided instruction on riparian planting and tree and shrub pruning in Brookvale.
Over 40 participants took place in these workshops! Many thanks to all involved especially Norman, Rosie, Daryl and Gary.
3) NatureTracker app and Native Species Identification
Chris Rice and Barry Murray with Kensington North Watershed Association and Garry Gregory provided instruction on the NatureTracker App and Garry also highlighted information on native species to keep a look out for.
Three workshops were held: one in Hunter River on July 5th, one in Souris on July 7th and one in O’Leary on July 11th.
Letter to the Editor – Journal Pioneer
The P.E.I. Watershed Alliance is disappointed but not surprised by the fish kill found last Monday in Clyde River. This is the seventh fish kill since 2011, and the Island has experienced more than 50 such events over the past few decades.
Despite efforts by various sectors, the frequency of fish kills has not declined over this time.
This did not come as a big surprise.
While there are individual landowners who have taken large measures to prevent these occurrences, in the big picture, we are only taking small steps in the right direction.
The problem is far from solved. Until the powers that be realize this and are willing to take steps to address it, we can expect more in the future.
Fish kills are not acceptable.
Our organization recognizes that solutions to fish kills and related issues can be complex, and one-size-fits-all legislation is not the answer. It is time for a serious, multi-sector discussion about how and when action will be taken to prevent fish kills and protect watercourses for all Islanders.
The P.E.I. Watershed Alliance is a non-governmental organization that aims to improve and protect the environmental quality of Prince Edward Island watersheds, for the benefit of all Island residents.
It helps Island watershed groups achieve their goals by promoting co-operation, serving their needs and providing a strong, united voice in addressing Island-wide watershed issues.
Dale Cameron, Chairman, P.E.I. Watershed Alliance
Clonal Plant Project
Interested in helping out with a project related to climate change?
We are looking for people to plant native shrubs and record observations on them every year!
This project involves the planting of genetically identical plants in different regions of PEI to monitor the climate differences with relation to growth and flowering/fruit timing. This is a long term project in conjunction with PEI Climate Lab at UPEI and the PEI Watershed Alliance with two main research questions:
1) How much does annual plant growth and flowering/ fruit timing differ across the island?
2) How much does annual plant growth and flowering/ fruit timing differ moving forward in relation to a changing climate?
Two species of native PEI plants have been chosen, Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) and Heart Leafed Willow (Salix eriocephala) and with the aid of staff at the J.F. Gaudet Nursery, genetically identical (clonal) plants are available for distribution for this project. By planting these shrubs under similar conditions across the island and then monitoring for annual growth and the development of flowers and fruit each year for a minimum of 10 years, you will be helping to understand how climate changes are impacting our island ecosystems.
Interested in helping with this project?
This is a citizen science project and we are looking for people who enjoy observing the natural world. All you need is a place to plant these shrubs and a willingness to observe them for the next 10 years. We will provide you with all the necessary training and documents.
Ideal Conditions for the shrubs:
– Planted in clusters of 2 or 3 plants
– Full sun or partially shaded areas
– Open areas with minimal tree canopy
– Fairly moist soil
– Minimal salt spray
– Moderately windy areas
– Both species of shrubs can be planted on the same site
– Easily accessible and visible area so that annual measurements and observations can be made for a minimum of 10 years
Time commitment of these plants involves measuring growth once annually and monitoring for flowering during a window period each year. You will be provided with information and training on how to measure and record growth and flowering as well emails and friendly reminders will be sent out annually.
If you are interested, please let Mary Finch, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-394-0999 know and she can arrange that the clonal shrubs get to you.
Dogwoods will be available at the PEI Watershed Alliance AGM on May 7th and should be planted the week of May 16 – 22nd while Willows will be available starting in June and should be planted by June 15th.
The PEI Watershed Alliance Annual General Meeting is scheduled for:
Saturday, May 7th, 2016
Tentative time: 9am – 1:30pm
Location: Hunter River Community Centre
A detailed agenda and more information about these topics will be provided soon.
Representatives of the Ruffed Grouse Society (PEI) are offering a one-time funding opportunity for PEI Watershed Groups to complete habitat enhancement work focused in upland areas on PEI. Priority species are Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock although projects focusing on other upland species will be considered (i.e., songbirds). The sum of money available is not large (~$4000) and it is anticipated that the average funds granted for each project will be approximately $500.
Funding is available for equipment and supplies that are directly related to upland habitat enhancement such as tree guards, tree planting equipment, pruning equipment and trees and plants not covered through the Greening Space Program. Expenditures not covered by this funding include: administrative costs, professional services, labour, mileage, monitoring and research.
Application deadline is April 1st, 2016.
PEI Watershed Alliance is administering this fund however all funding decisions will be made by members of Ruffed Grouse Society (PEI).
Click here for details regarding this funding opportunity including word version of the sample application form. If you have any questions, please forward them to Mary Finch at email@example.com
PEI Watershed Alliance is excited to be working with the Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division of Department of Communities, Land and Environment on this project! Kudos to Kensington North Watersheds Association for their vision and hard work in moving this project forward.
The online template of the app can be found at: http://www.peinaturetracker.ca/
Keep tuned for upcoming news regarding this project including training seminars in spring 2016!
All staff and directors of Watershed Alliance member groups are invited to the Winter Meeting of the PEI Watershed Alliance, which will be held on Saturday, January 16, 2016 in Hunter River Community Centre – 19816 Route 2, Hunter River. Please RSVP by January 12. More details can be found here.
In September, members of the Watershed Alliance Board presented to the PEI Environmental Advisory Council about the Water Act. A copy of this presentation is available here: http://www.peiwatershedalliance.org/Publications/water act presentation.pdf and the audio is online: https://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/MP3/watershed1.mp3.
Audio and presentations for the community consultations are available online at the Water Act website http://www.gov.pe.ca/wateract. We encourage you to check out this website and have your opinion heard. Written submissions are still being accepted until January 15th, 2016. A draft Water Act is expected in Spring 2016 and another round of public consultations will occur at this time.
My name is Mary Finch and I am the new Watershed Ecologist hired to work with the PEI Watershed Alliance. I am excited to work with all of you as I am continually amazed at the amount of good environmental work that watershed groups complete in PEI.
A little bit of background about myself, I have over 10 years experience in watershed and aquatic ecology. I was born and raised in the Yukon, attended university in Ontario and then worked in Southern Ontario helping community groups complete stream rehabilitation work as a biologist with Trout Unlimited Canada. Since moving to PEI in 2013, I worked with Fred Cheverie at the Souris and Area Branch of PEI Wildlife Federation. I am very proud to be call PEI my home and happy to be raising my children here.
So what will I be doing as Watershed Ecologist? My role is to help and support you, the Watershed Groups of PEI. My job duties include: providing technical advice on watershed projects (i.e., forest, riparian, wetlands and watercourse) including project identification, monitoring and implementation; connecting groups with resources and experts; identifying and coordinating training opportunities; supporting the Watershed Alliance; and facilitating communication among groups.
In the upcoming weeks and months, I will be traveling around the island to visit you and your groups. I am keen to meet all of you, to listen and learn first-hand about your watersheds, your successes, your challenges, and to work together in continuing to improve the island’s environment and watersheds.
Please feel free to contact me either through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 902-394-0999.
Please mark your calendars: The Winter Meeting of the PEI Watershed Alliance is scheduled for Saturday, January 16th at the Hunter River Community Centre. In the case of inclement weather, this meeting will take place on Saturday, January 23rd.
Dates and locations for the first round of public consultations related to creating a Water Act for Prince Edward Island were announced yesterday afternoon by the provincial government. All the details can be found on the CBC site here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/p-e-i-water-act-consultations-begin-in-october-1.3193915.
The Water Act website is at http://www.gov.pe.ca/wateract/
There are a number of ways to make your voice heard, and the Watershed Alliance encourages you to do that.
About 40 watershed employees attended a training session in North Granville on July 6th. The day started with training in how to prevent disease transmission between farms. Rosie MacFarlane gave an excellent presentation on all aspects of watershed wildlife and restoration techniques, then the afternoon was spent learning some of those techniques in the field.
On June 30th, 14 people attended a Watershed Geographic Information System (WGIS) training course, including a number of new watershed coordinators and supervisors. The WGIS software, which was developed by the PEI Watershed Alliance last year, is being used by the majority of watershed groups to meet their GIS and GPS mapping needs. For those who were unable to attend the course, there will be another one in the fall.
The Prince Edward Island Watershed Strategy will ensure meaningful watershed enhancement and protection, said Minister of Communities, Land and Environment Robert Mitchell.
“The P.E.I. Watershed Strategy is the result of a strong partnership between the Island’s Watershed Alliance and the provincial government. The strategy provides a roadmap for us going forward as we work to improve watershed management across the province,” said Minister Mitchell. “I see this strategy as an important step towards setting an overall direction for watershed management in the province. I want to thank the committee members who worked hard on the development of this strategy to ensure it will be an effective resource in the future of watershed planning.”
The strategy is intended to be a guide for individuals, community groups, businesses and government agencies who are involved with the conservation and restoration of watersheds. It outlines how government and watershed groups will work together towards the achievement of noted long-term and short-term goals related to Island watersheds and presents collective responsibilities of action moving forward.
“Today marks an important day for watershed management on Prince Edward Island. It is extremely pleasing to see the completion of the P.E.I. Watershed Strategy and we emphasize the value of partnerships in reaching this point,” said Chair of the P.E.I. Watershed Alliance Dale Cameron. “We look forward to active participation from all Islanders in the implementation of this strategy resulting in meaningful watershed management and protection of P.E.I.’s most important natural resource – water.”
Objectives of the strategy include ensuring watersheds provide sustainable quantities of clean, safe water; enhancing watershed ecosystems; increasing capacity of individuals, organizations and industries to take responsibility for protecting and managing watershed ecosystems; enhancing partnerships to empower engagement on watershed management; and increasing public awareness.
It can be viewed online at www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/cle_wtrshdstrat.pdf
The Annual General Meeting of the PEI Watershed Alliance will be held on Saturday, April 11th, at 9am, in Hunter River Community Centre (behind Harmony House). The meeting has been postponed from the previous Saturday. Click here to see the agenda
If you want to attend, please e-mail email@example.com if you haven’t already.
After a number of years, the Provincial Watershed Strategy will be formally presented to the Executive Council this Fall. The strategy includes promises made by the Watershed Alliance and the Provincial Government to begin the task of implementing the recommendations of several government sponsored environmental studies, including the Nitrate Commission and the Task Force for Sustainable Land Management.