March 15, 2018 – PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting

PEI WATERSHED ALLIANCE MONTHLY MEETING

Minutes

 

Date:    March 15, 2018

Time:    3-5PM

Place:    Tele-conference

 

Present:    Jim Jenkins, Jason Campbell, Dale Cameron, Karen Rank, Mike Durant, Jackie Bourgeois, Derek Ellis, Angela Douglas, Kelley Farrar (minutes)

 

Regrets:    Fred Chevarie, Josh Lindsey

 

Chair:    Mike Durant

 

 

  • CALL TO ORDER

 

Mike Durant called the meeting to order at 3:05pm.

 

  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM JANUARY 12, 2018 AND FEBRUARY 7, 2018

It was moved by Jim Jenkins and seconded by Karen Rank that the minutes from both the January 12 and February 7, 2018 meetings be approved.

 

Discussion:    None

MOTION CARRIED

 

  1.   FINANCIAL REVIEW

This was an informal review, with there being approximately $26,000 in the PEIWA’s bank account as of March 14.

  • Books are up-to-date as of November, 2017
  • Bank account must be reconciled to reflect the remaining funds given to several watershed groups

 

  1. A) Stratford financial request/Request from Hilary Shea (Hunter-Clyde)
  • The Stratford watershed group has requested that the money from 2017-2018 Coastal Restoration Fund by fronted to the group to help keep watershed coordinator on. The group will not have sufficient funding to keep coordinator on if CRF monies do not arrive until April.  The amount requested was $6331.
  • Hilary Shea requested funding from PEIWA to cover costs of salary and outstanding bills, in the amount of $4541.34.
  • If PEIWA bank account can be reconciled over the next few days, the group will forward the money to these groups.

A motion was put forth by Jim Jenkins that both Stratford and Hunter-Clyde will be approved for emergency funding, assuming funding is available after bank account has been reconciled. This motion was seconded by Jackie Bourgeois.

 

Discussion:     It is to be noted that due to conflict of interest, Kelley abstained from voting.

MOTION CARRIED

 

  1.   PROJECT MANAGER UPDATE (ANGELA) – PLEASE SEE ANGELA’S REPORT BELOW
  2. A) CRF Update (any additional discussion)
  • Angela, Derek and Mike met with RBC to discuss the possibility of an overdraft or a loan for the PEIWA to cover possible financial issues with delayed funding, groups in need of assistance etc.
  • Only option would be to borrow against the CRFR loan, and a co-signer would be required.
  • The Credit Union was then approached with the same request; the bank was more open to discussion, and a meeting will be held in the near future. The group could get up to a $100,000 loan, and a strong case would be made if the group switched banking to the credit union.
  • It was to be noted that if CRF or provincial money was used to pay down overdraft, interest would most likely be absorbed by the group
  • The executive of the alliance can make the final decision on moving banks at a later date

 

A motion was put forth by Jim Jenkins to pursue a line of credit of up to $100,000. This motion was seconded by Kelley Farrar.

MOTION CARRIED.

 

  1. B) Wetland Training (any additional discussion)
  • This will take place next week, led by CBWES

 

  1. C) Monitoring Collaborative Working Group (any additional discussion)
  • Next meeting will be held in April
  • Some discussion took place on culvert crossings, estuary watch etc. A culvert assessment tool might be used by the groups, and a sub-group has been established regarding culverts
  • Rosie MacFarlane’s long-term data collection will be mined as well.
  • Should the PEIWA be involved in trying to lobby the government to provide funding for analyzation of the samples Rosie has collected over the years?

 

  1. D) AEI (any additional discussion)
  • 6 groups will be part of this application, and several meetings were held to come up with a solid application. The deadline is Friday, March 16. It is an agricultural-based application, with focus on sediment and nutrients.
  • It was noted that money was not put in for salary through AEI for Angela, but Angela stated that with a master’s student position through the program and the participation of high-level partners, most of the administration/management will be covered

 

  1. E) Abegweit Conservation Society
  • ACS was listed as a project partner for CRF, but their role in the project should be clearly defined

 

  1. F) Governance Document for Project Manager
  • A draft governance document was written to help clarify the day-to-day responsibilities and discretion of the project manager with regards to the Coastal Restoration Fund.
  • This project is separate from the daily activities of the executive director of the PEIWA, and there was discussion about who the project manager will report to, whether it is the board as a whole or the director.
  • It was determined that the P.M. will go through Derek/Mary, but will manage the CRF project on her own outside according to the points set out in the governance document  (e.g. <10% budget changes)
  • The document will be reworded to reflect the discussion of the board and sent around for finalization

 

  1.   WATERSHED ECOLOGIST UPDATE (DEREK)
  2. A) TIE Collaboration
  • The HUB group met with Shelley Cole-Arbing, and a follow-up letter from Shelley demonstrated a strong ambition from TIE to work with the alliance and watershed groups
  • Her letter touched on a lot of concerns of the groups, and there will be a follow up through Derek about working with groups across PEI
  • There is also an opportunity for groups to submit requests for in-kind contributions from TIE, and there will be access to TIE summer students

 

  1. B) PEI Invasive Species Council Workshop
  • Derek will be attending on behalf of the PEIWA
  • The event is Friday, March 16 from 1-4pm at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown

 

  1. C) Parks Canada Forest Restoration Meeting
  • Derek gave a talk on work watershed groups do, the general range and overview of the alliance and projects of the groups

 

  1. D) PEI Woodlot Owners Association Presentation at AGM
  • Derek has been invited by the group to present at the AGM on April 14; he is willing to attend on behalf of the board. He will send out info on this event in the next ecologists’ update.
  • Other board members are interested in either attending the event or providing some ideas for discussion

 

  1.   HUB COMMITTEE

The first meeting of the HUB committee was held and, overall, the reaction was good. TIE was the most cooperative at this point, and there is a positive energy among all committee members about working together in a collaborative manner going forward.  Kate MacQuarrie was elected chair of the committee.

 

It was discussed as to whether Derek/Mary would be initial point of contact for the HUB committee to help connect departments and committee members to watershed groups. It was stressed that some larger topics e.g. irrigation ponds and notification of watershed groups of large projects in their area should be high priorities for HUB committee discussions.

 

  1.   TOPICS GOING FORWARD

 

ASF Request

The ASF is asking the PEIWA for support for its annual event.  A motion was made to contribute a $100 donation via gift card as an auction prize.  The motion was made by dale Cameron, and seconded by Jason Campbell.

MOTION CARRIED.

 

Swag/Promotional items for PEIWA

This will be discussed at a future meeting.

 

AGM

The general date has been set for Saturday, April 28 – Derek will check venue availability and get back to the group.

 

  1.    NEXT MEETING

No set date was determined at this time.

 

  1. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 4:55pm.

 

PEIWA BOARD MEETING UPDATE- PM ANGELA DOUGLAS

MARCH 15, 2018

 

CRF

  • CA has been finalized, signed by Mike, and has been sent back for signature in Ottawa.
  • Terry Melansen- ‘As of late yesterday (March 5), the agreement was sent for approval-in-principle.  That means that my colleagues are satisfied that we have all of the necessary information.  Approval could come within 1-2 weeks.  After that, the Alliance will sign the agreement and return it to DFO.  My earliest estimate for funds would be mid-April.’
    • Terry was able to get the CA right away so we are hoping the timeline will be moved up a few weeks- potential to get funds by end of March.
  • Discussed the issue of providing all deliverables without receiving any payment- we cannot float $374,000! Terry is going to discuss this issue with colleagues.
  • Meeting on Wednesday with RBC to see if we can get a loan, overdraft, bridge financing to cover costs in the interim.
  • CBWES- training scheduled for March 20-21st (see agenda).
  • Tesera hired (but not paid as of yet) for database development.
  • Google non-profit account set up.
  • Quote for electrofishing training received, $350 per participant. Waiting to see about funding prior to scheduling.
  • Monitoring sub-committee meeting #2 (see below).
  • Website update being developed.
  • FYI- DFO National CRF team has chosen Charlottetown for its next meeting from April 17-19 and Terry has reached out wanting the Alliance to host site visits and/or a short presentation showcasing our projects.

 

AEI

  • Six groups responded with interest to the email.
  • Met and started compiling a proposal titled ‘Improving Water Quality in an Agricultural Landscape on Prince Edward Island.’
  • Focus on: identifying sources of sediment and nutrients; water quality monitoring; using and improving upon BMPs to address priority areas.
  • Confirmed support from Dept. of Ag and Cavendish Farms.
  • Gwen Vessey will assist.
  • Due Friday, March 16th.

 

CONFERENCE- LIVING SHORELINES TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER WORKSHOP FEB 20-23

  • Save the Bay- California: largest estuarine restoration project in the world- all counties decided to tax themselves $12/parcel/year to raise half a billion dollars for shoreline restoration.
  • Livingshorelinesacademy.org – great site for resource material.
  • Along beaches with seawalls, researchers find less diversity in fish and invertebrates.
  • Movement of sediment onto salt marsh vegetation works to address sea level rise (marsh grasses will grow up through 10 inches of sediment within one growing season).
  • Oyster reefs- deploying reef balls using ‘baycrete’ (80% oyster shell and sand from the bay, 20% concrete) and oysters recruited within 2 months at all sites; using bags of oyster shells.
  • Angela will do a presentation at the Tidal Restoration and Living Shorelines Workshop (on March 21st).

 

MONITORING SUB-COMMITTEE MEETING #2

  • Prioritized top monitoring initiatives for mobile data upload (to be developed by Tesera).
  • Going to start with: Culvert/Stream Crossings, Beavers, Erosion/sediment input, Redds, Estuary watch (Cindy has two fourth year conservation students working on estuary watch ap).
  • Mike Montigny has developed culvert assessment tool- Angela has reached out to him to get a copy and see if he would like to be a part of the sub-committee to discuss this methodology.
  • Need for staff to mine fish data (Rosie has a lot of it)- HC students?
  • Rosie has been collecting fish tissue samples for years- go to a freezer and are not analyzed for pesticides in tissue as feds ran out of money and stopped paying for this years ago. Should PEIWA write a letter to feds to request processing? Are samples even viable after being frozen for x# of years?
  • Mid- April: next meeting

 

ABEGWEIT CONSERVATION SOCIETY: POTENTIAL TO HOST TRAINING FOR WATERSHED ORGANIZATIONS THAT WOULD INCLUDE:

  • education on cultural history;
  • cultural sensitivity;
  • Description of ACS mandate and goals to better inform groups seeking to develop working relationships/partnerships.