February 20th, 2020 – PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting

PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting

Thursday, February 20, 2020

3 – 5pm

Sport PEI, Charlottetown

 

In attendance: Rebecca Ramos, Fred Cheverie, Johanna Kelly, Mary Finch, Angela Banks, Mike Durant

Teleconference: Dale Cameron, Jason Campbell

Regards: Jim Jenkins, Scott Roloson, Emilie Morell, Karen Rank

Call to order: Mike 3:25pm

Approval of Minutes from January 30th 

  • Moved by Fred and seconded by Johanna

Action items

 

  • Board agrees project manager report should be added online
  • Rebecca will send out Eric Donavon Act template to groups for consideration

 

Forward Agenda

 

  • Mary will ask about tree limit and types for plantations
  • WCF will not make any changes in requirements
  • Purchased two of Rosemary’s Mammals on PEI books for alliance Equipment Bank, considering buying some of the books on river management, ei book referenced in Bill’s presentation for groups to rent out when needed
  • How to approach groups to discuss Agri-watershed Partnership further

 

 

Financial Review

  • Was not able to receive from bookkeeper yet

 

Project Manager Update 

AEI Application:

  • “Improving Water Quality in an Agricultural Landscape on Prince Edward Island.” Chatted with each group to discuss project progress and budget and we are on track for end of fiscal requirements.

HSP Application:

  • “Atlantic Salmon Habitat Restoration in Prince Edward Island.” Waiting on response,

CRF: Sub-Project Updates

  • WRTBWA- Met with Paul Strain yesterday and planned out the projects for this summer and have spent the remaining budget for 2019 fiscal.  We expect to get at least 4 and potentially 5 fish passage restoration projects completed in this watershed next year.
  • WRIG- found another appropriate site for the aluminum fishway, Rosie did a site visit, spoke with Paul Strain and it will be relocated in the spring.
  • HCWG- Worked with Hilary to get all antennas working in both the new fishway and the old fish ladder.
  • KNWA- Funds were fully allotted for BMPs ie seed for cover crops, still funds left for some field materials like maintenance parts for dredger and living shoreline materials.
  • SABWF- Project complete for this fiscal.
  • SAWIG- bridge over restored wetland complete. Eelgrass planting complete with GPS photos.
  • TUPCC- Materials being purchased/permits applied for 2 bridge projects that will be completed in 2020.

Upcoming Training:

    • River Management Course – 24 people attended the River Management Course with Bill Annable on Tuesday. I showed Bill the fishway site in Hunter River and he, Rosie, Daryl, Mary and I met to discuss PEI projects on Wednesday. https://www.canadianriversinstitute.com/river-management-courses
    • March 2nd- Nature-like Fishway- a how-to workshop- Allie, Brian and Hilary, DFO staff including a how to demo of headwater Stream Assessments (put on by KNWA)- 1-hour short course tagged onto the fishway workshop. Brian has drafted a how-to manual for distribution and posterity but some issue with him actually attending re budget, will discuss.
    • Workshops: CRF National Workshop- BC- March 10-12th. DFO will cover all costs to send myself and Hilary Shea. I’ve been asked to do a presentation on our project. I will be gone for the majority of that week.
    • Equipment: PIT Tagging equipment all purchased, budget spent. Small budget left (~$2000) for monitoring equipment, have costed a list of needs and will order from Hoskin. Spoke with Rosie re training some of her staff and reviewing the SOP manual we had developed.

 

  • Mapping: Update on property maps for online portal- still nothing from the province. Working with Tesera to get mapping component integrated and make changes to team drive to improve functionality and usability.
  • Rosie Darryl Mary and Angela met to debrief River Management course.

 

 

Watershed Ecologists Update

 Projects underway: 

 

  • Forested Landscape Priority Places: 

 

    1. Gap Analyses/ Training ($13K)
    • Met with Gary Schneider to discuss development of riparian planting resources and increased training for groups this year (allocated $5K for this work). Planning an education session combined with another Alliance workshop in March
    • Gap analyses of watershed groups and other stakeholders in the forested landscape including conservation projects completed, partners/stakeholders collaborations, programs accessed, needs analyses. Allocated Rebecca staff dollars to help with this initiative($8K) In progress: developing an online Survey Monkey poll to collect information and will follow up with calls and meetings
    1. Monitoring Equipment (~$20K)
    • Was asked by FFW to submit a proposal for bat monitoring equipment (10 units, software and computer) and bird acoustic units (2) Received quotes, placed proposal with FFW and waiting for follow-up before purchasing
    1. Organization and logistics support for meetings
    • Was asked to assist with organization and logistic support for stakeholder meetings
    • Submitted a budget of approximately $5K to cover meeting and hospitality costs.  Includes some staff dollars for Rebecca to assist with planning
    • First meeting was cancelled due to weather conditions and still awaiting confirmation from CWS/FFW about rescheduling.

 

  • Habitat Stewardship Program – Bats 

 

    • Received feedback from ECCC regarding EOI submitted last month.  Follow up conversations with FFW, CWS and some watershed groups regarding the Alliance submitting a monitoring specific project.  Aim for a 3 year project with an ask of $40K each year).  Ask will include:
            1. Coordinator time to organize equipment and data analyses
            2. Money for groups to complete standardized monitoring surveys
            3. Will leave some flexibility to include other groups as project progresses
            4. Continuation of Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative project (NABat Monitoring workshop planned for PEI for 3rd week of May
    • Short time frames and work load has meant that collaboration and discussion hasn’t occurred as much as I’d like however, will leave things open so that we can have this discussions later on. Application due on February 27th

 

  • Wildlife Conservation Fund 

 

    • Held the wildlife workshop on February 20th with over 20 participants
    • Discussed compilation of wildlife resources for groups and asked for feedback on resources to provide
    • Google Drive has been started to compile these resources
    • Will compile resources in equipment bank (scat/track sets etc)
    • Banner design discussed with groups
    • Still awaiting on approval of banners in ACCESS locations, have asked Kate to follow up with Mark Arsenault

 

  • Aqua Hacking Atlantic Challenge

 

    • I am scheduled to present our webinar and pitch on Thursday, Feb 20th for our sedimentation and pesticide run-off water issue.

Correspondence

Blanket Permit Discussion

  • I asked groups for their suggestions for potential changes to the blanket permit moving  forward, suggestions included:  invasive species removal, further definition around patch cuts, inclusion of small fishways/culvert mitigations
  • Met with Rosie and Shawn Hill to discuss potential modifications: Limited amendments this year as we are 3/3 years of this blanket permit.  Will include some clarity around measurements and patch cuts.  Will follow up with Environment/Invasive Species Council regarding IS removal and further clarification of practices.  Will also follow up with IWMC about disposal. Deflector structures in tidal water will be not be included in blanket permit at request of Mary and Rosie
  • Shawn will be the main contact for permits,  no review by Mary this year.  Mary to send out an email explaining the process to groups in upcoming weeks.
  • Co-hosting of ASFWB Fall Meeting 2020
  • Initial conversation with Rosemary Curley (responsible for organizing meeting for ASFWB
  • Expressed our interest in being a co-host  – didn’t hear any objections from the board

 

Incoming Correspondence

Argi-watershed Partnership:

  • Focus group sessions completed, ready to get messages out to farming community. Farmers seem very interested in getting working with partnership and groups to increase effectiveness of BMPs. Although this is not guaranteed assurance for fish kill charges, farmers will have evidence that they did what was recommended which leans in their favor.
  • Next step is to consult watershed groups on what BMPs they would recommend in specific areas. Select farmers will be eligible to receive monies from partnership to support BMPs recommended.
  • Mike mentioned he was asked why National Farmer Union is not involved in Agri-watershed Partnership. 80% of PEI farmers are represented in this partnership, no further representation is needed.

High capacity wells:

  • Alliance will need to respond to proposal from Cavendish, board agrees more concrete evidence on how much water is used vs recharge is needed to form a proper opinion. This data should be monitored, not modelled. Alliance would like to see a pilot to better understand factors such as salt water intrusion, nitrate leeching, recharge. Interested in organizing some headwater monitoring.
  • Considering inviting someone with more knowledge on ground water recharge to discuss further.

WMF:

  • Need to have all groups treated equally, if extra funds were given the alliance could potentially remove caps on watershed size. Push minister to meet with PC Caucus to share specific concerns.

Agri-Cavendish: 

  • Mentioned they would like to have a meeting with groups and service providers on March 18 this year.

 

Adjourned: Mike 5:15pm