PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting
Wednesday, October 7th, 2020
2pm – 3:30pm
In attendance: Mary Finch, Angela Banks, Karen Rank, Johanna Kelly, Jason Campbell, Mike Durant, Fred Cheverie, Dale Cameron, Nicolas Bergeron (observer)
Regrets: Scott Roloson, Emilie Morell
Call to order: 2:04pm
Approval of Minutes from September 10th
- Minutes were revised and approved by Fred, seconded by Dale
Project Manager Update:
- Committee is scheduled to meet with two ministers on Oct 21st to establish ongoing goals of program
- Angela, Mike and Gwen will be meeting to discuss their views of the program long-term, various roles, etc
- Will be asking to extend the project target date to the end of 2020-21 fiscal year, and money for the AWP to be held in the alliance’s account for projects 2021 and onward
- The committee would like to increase the federal governments’ involvement as they lay the charges when a fish kill occurs; main goal being that regulations/BMPs created will be viable, and in the event of a fish kill, if the farmer has complied with BMPs recommended, this will be recognized by Environment Canada as due diligence on the farmer’s behalf
- AWP regulations/BMP document will be sent to groups as well as posted on the PEIWA website
- According to the alliance’s by-laws, elections need to be completed at the AGM, though due to covid gathering restrictions some groups may not be able to attend
- Mary will ask the AV team if it would be possible to set up an online voting system
- By-laws allow one vote per group, and it is possible for one repetitive for each group to attend in-person
- Mary will send a reminder out to groups about elections, decipher who will be representing their group re elections and if they will be attending in-person to gauge the need for an online election platform
- A call-out for nominations began at the regional meetings, but not every group was present and so a call-out for nominations will be completed during the AGM before elections
- Emilie is moving off island and Nic is interested in maintaining her roll, Mike advises he make his interest known to eastern groups before or during the AGM
Changes to WMF Allocation Formula:
- Kate will present layout of the current allocation formula at the AGM
- Questions raised on how this is to be decided within groups, how to represent groups in an impartial manner during discussions, and to clarify what issues groups currently have with the formula
- If groups are interested in making changes to the formula before the beginning of 2021 fiscal year discussions will need to be prompt
Meeting w/ Premier regarding Dunk Extraction:
- Mike is waiting for confirmation on how many members are allowed to attend
- Ideally all board members would attend and the board would also like to extend an invitation to Tracy on behalf of the BBEMA watershed, as well as Sarah Wheatley (WRTBWA) considering she has past experience with water extractions in her area
- Fred mentions other problematic decisions by government during summer 2020 including the lack of a statement from minister regarding Montrose fish kill, the approved construction of a beach road in eastern PEI, and Environmental Impact Assessment approving an extension of a windmill plantation into wetlands, showing a pattern of sacrificing environment to better economical issues
- Angela and Mary will begin preparing a list of questions and will share with the board prior to meeting for contributions
Holland College – Centre of Excellence in Watershed Management:
- Sandy MacDonald forwarded their work plan for the board to review
- Sandy or Jean-Paul Arsenault will be in contact with the board in the following weeks
Meeting Adjourned: 3:24pm
Summary of Watershed Ecologist Activities
- Forested Landscape Priority Places:
- Year 2
- Participating in core advisory team meetings and workshops bi-weekly to undertake the assessing and planning necessary for the Open Standards Approach.
- Habitat Stewardship Program – Bats
- Working with ECCC to finalize contribution agreement – latest version was sent today.
- Rebecca is working with interested groups to complete fall surveys looking for hibernation habitat. (Both stationary and driving surveys)
- Living Labs
- 2 wetlands have been constructed, another one is scheduled to be completed in next 2 weeks
- Audrey Murray is now helping us
- Community Nominated Priority Places – Saving the North Shore
- Field and Site Visits
- Visiting groups as requested
- Completing assessments of salmon habitat with Angela, Daryl, Rosie and Jordan
- ClimateSense Intern Proposal
- We have been approved for a 6 month intern to help create materials to inspire and encourage positive actions towards climate change adaptation. Intern would provide information and resources to groups so that they can discuss within their local communities.
- UPEI Environmental Studies Intern
- We were not matched with an intern this semester
- Eastern Habitat Joint Venture
- Fish and Wildlife is revising
- Submitted an online submission for Land Matters PEI August 31, 2020
PM UPDATE Oct 6, 2020
AEI Application– Groups will meet in November to compile results and data will be uploaded to Atlantic DataStream. MSc student- a qualified student has been located and Mitacs application submitted to continue work on the assessment of the effective width of riparian buffer strips to reduce suspended sediment in an agricultural landscape.
Potential Watershed Habitat Compensation Projects– Souris updated their “1 pagers” with more information.
HSP Application– “Atlantic Salmon Habitat Restoration in Prince Edward Island.” In-stream work has been completed and we are focusing on monitoring efforts including electrofishing. Matt was approved for a rural jobs initiative position and as such will be on staff until January. Gary Schneider has been out with groups doing riparian assessments which will wrap up by the end of October. Data is being compiled in the google drive for the development of salmon management plans for each watershed this fall/winter between doing redd surveys. Contribution agreement has been signed, still waiting on funds to be deposited.
AEI Partner Application– Partner on project with Eastern Charlotte Waterways (NB)-“Designing a dynamic watercourse buffer for priority watersheds in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.” The province has signed a letter of support and once the province’s lidar is available they will begin their project that will involve using environmental characteristic (slope, adjacent land use, etc) to delineate minimum buffer zone widths for all island watersheds. This map will provide insight into the differences between suggested minimum buffer widths and the legislated 15m buffer.
CRF: Sub-Project Updates
WRTBWA- Delivery of the embedded culvert for Tim’s Creek was scheduled on Sept 23rd and has been delayed until at least October 13th. We will have to see if the weather holds out and if this project will go ahead this fall or be moved until spring 2021. Two old dilapidated culverts have been removed from another site restoring stream flow.
HCWG- Electrofishing surveys being conducted on various tributaries. New boat launch has been constructed (removing the silt boom on Thursday) and HCWG AGM will be next week. I will attend to field any CRF questions.
KNWA- SMU staff visited last week to do elevations at the salt marsh restoration site and mapped the area using a lidar drone.
SABWF- Coir logs have been installed and pumping has continued. Permits for Souris and Kensington have been extended until Oct 30th.
TUPCC- Bridge work has been underway. Gabion baskets installed and filled. Just waiting on stringers from TIE to finish the top of the bridge.
PEIWA CRF Capacity Building
Training: Logan from NS Adopt a Stream (and his team) are schedule to come to PEI October 15-16th to do hands-on RTK training workshops (1-Souris, 1-Kensington) as well as a classroom session showing folks how to upload and map data. His team will also tour our restoration sites and we will sit down and discuss lessons learned from our CRF project and hear about theirs.
Mapping: Michael at Tesera did a zoom training session on Wednesday September 16th. We got some great feedback on the programs and we are working to incorporate them. The session was recorded and will be shared with watershed groups during the next update.
Work with First Nations Partners: SMU team came to PEI Sept 30-Oct 2nd to assist MCPEI/Lennox Island staff with data collection in order to assist with oyster reef site selection. An M9 was towed around the island for detailed bathymetry and current profiling. Two tide level loggers were deployed (for retrieval in 30 days), elevations were recorded and sediment samples were taken. We are looking at the new Climate Action and Awareness Fund (ECCC) to potentially provide funds for the continuation of this project.