November 12th, 2020 – PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting

PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting

Wednesday, November 12th, 2020

4pm – 6pm

Milton Community Hall

 

In attendance: Mary Finch, Angela Banks, Karen Rank, Johanna Kelly, Jason Campbell, Mike Durant, Dale McIsaac, Dale Cameron, Andrew Lush

Teleconference: Nicolas Bergeron, Scott Roloson, Rebecca Ramos

Call to order: 4:04pm

 

Review of agenda – addition:  Request from PEI Invasive species council for representation on council

 

Previous meeting minutes, 1 comment from Mike – WMF 2019 report is to be reviewed by board and forwarded to groups. Mary – for WMF that was submitted to Kate in May and sent out to all groups in advance of AGM and is on website too – summarizes alliance activities.

 

Motion to accept by Karen, seconded by Johanna. Minutes approved.

 

Forward agenda

  • Striped bass project- Rosie has some framework developed and will be discussed at upcoming rec fish advisory committee meeting.

 

  • Can fund- something to bring up again re the discussion- we are not getting the 50% that was promised re the bottle return. Karen took doc to pre-budget meetings and is wondering where the fund is going re management fees.

 

Financial update

  • Johanna said books don’t have to be entirely up to date for meetings- the last closed period would be acceptable.
  • Dale M – concern re oversight of financials. We explained and said Barb could come to meetings if necessary and Karen sits down to review line items with Mary and Angela.

 

Project Manager Update:

See attached

 

Ecologist Update:

See attached

 

Climate Challenge Fund

  • 11 Groups met to brainstorm project ideas and working together, will be meeting again this Monday

 

Google Drive:

  • Johanna suggests drive folder be organized to be more user friendly

 

Election of officers

 

Chair (was Mike)- Dale nominates Mike as chair, Jason seconded. Moved by Karen. – No other nominations. So moved.

 

Vice Chair – Mike nominated Dale M as vice chair, seconded by Andrew and moved by Dale.

 

Secretary (was Emilie) – Johanna offered, moved by Dale and seconded by Karen.

 

Treasurer (was Karen) – Mike nominated Karen, seconded by Johanna. No other nominations. So moved.

 

Signing authorities – new option to sign cheques electronically but fees are higher. Mary will look into costs – around $50-$60/month.

 

Motion to switch to online signature for cheques moved by Karen, seconded by Johanna, all in favor.

Motion by Mike to remove Fred, Mary and Emilie, and add Dale M and Johanna to signing authorities, seconded by Karen. All in favor.

 

Agri-Watershed Partnership

  • Not a get out of jail free card. Voluntary basis for farmers to go above and beyond and develop working relationships with watershed groups.
  • Andrew- potential to subsidize the extra cost of alternatives to chlorothalonil through the program? Dale – alternatives cost 4x more. Chemical company paid the difference up in Barkley Brook after the fish kill.

 

Send letter to Bill Taylor thanking him for his support letter

 

WMF Sub-committee- ask for recommendations on wmf allocations starting next year – 2 members per region + 1 rep from the alliance = 7 on the committee. 21/23 groups approved the wmf formula back 5 years ago. Do it regionally – each region hold a meeting and decide on 2 reps with details on how they want to see the WMF allocated and what percentage of support we need (was 21/23 before). Mary will send out an email to develop the regional reps for the WMF review.

Meeting Adjourned: 6:37  Minutes prepared by R. Ramos and A. Douglas

 

PM UPDATE   Nov 10, 2020

 

Atlantic Ecosystems Initiative- “Improving Water Quality in an Agricultural Landscape on Prince Edward Island.” Groups met last week to discuss progress and the results of the sampling regimes. Data is being compiled and will be uploaded to Atlantic DataStream. MSc student- a qualified student has been chosen and we submitted a Mitacs application (with Mike VDH) to continue work on the assessment of the effective width of riparian buffer strips/BMPs in reducing suspended sediment loads.

Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) for Aquatic Species at Risk– “Atlantic Salmon Habitat Restoration in Prince Edward Island.” In-stream work and electrofishing surveys have been completed and we are focusing on redd survey planning.  Matt was approved for a rural jobs initiative position and as such will be on staff until January. Gary Schneider has competed riparian assessments with groups. Data is being compiled in the google drive for the development of salmon management plans. Jordan is doing salmon redd identification and enhancement walks today.

HSP Round 2– Each (8) group confirmed they would like the Alliance to submit another application on their behalf. I reached out to Cathy Gallant (again) about her group joining. Had a meeting with Rosie, Daryl, Mary, Jordan and Matt last week to discuss watershed-specific projects and had discussions with each watershed group re projects for a round 2 application. I’ve been working on the EOI which is due tomorrow.

AEI Partner Application– The Alliance is a partner on project with Eastern Charlotte Waterways (NB) on “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 in order to prioritize watershed work.

ECCC Climate Action and Awareness Fund– I submitted an application- “Community-Based Climate Action on Prince Edward Island” to promote awareness, to educate, to train, and to execute living shoreline projects on PEI. The application is in the “Summary of Projects” google drive folder.

EWCC Climate Action Fund– Mary emailed all groups re interest in putting in a project for the new PEI government fund and we had a webinar with Erin Taylor and Hope Parnum to discuss/ask questions. We then compiled project ideas and developed a mural (see google drive folder) with ideas to pull from for the application. I have started working on the application which is due Nov 30th.

Agri-Watershed Partnership– I’ve attended a few meetings now and I have a good grasp of the program and its objectives. Looking forward to working with groups to develop potential projects. It was interesting to learn more about the illusive Environmental Farm Plan Program.

Atlantic DataStream– The Gordon Foundation has provided 20k for Rebecca’s wages for her to assist PEI groups with data upload. A 1-2 page report is due Nov 19th and upon receipt we will get the remaining 5k. See ‘statement of work’ in the drive folder.

 

CRF: Sub-Project Updates

WRTBWA- Delivery of the embedded culvert for Tim’s Creek was delayed until October 13th and as such the project is delayed until spring 2021. Two old dilapidated culverts have been removed from another site restoring stream flow.

HCWG- Electrofishing surveys have been completed. New boat launch has been constructed. Hilary is working on analyzing the PIT tagging data.

KNWA- SMU staff visited to do elevations at the salt marsh restoration site and mapped the area using a lidar drone.

SABWF- Coir logs were installed and pumping continued up until October 30. Drone surveys were completed to show before/after images.

TUPCC- Bridge work has been completed and they are waiting on stringers to finish the top of the bridge. Materials are being quoted for next year.

PEIWA CRF Capacity Building

Training: Logan from NS Adopt a Stream (and his team) came to PEI Nov 4 and 5th  to do 2 hands-on RTK training workshops (1-Souris, 1-Kensington). Logan will be doing a follow up webinar to show how to upload and map the data. His team also toured our restoration sites and we discussed lessons learned from our respective CRF projects. We plan to visit their sites in spring 2021.

Mapping/Tesera App: Michael from Tesera is working with Chris Rice from KNWA on adding watershed work categories to the survey app. 

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 and I retrieved 2/3 this week.  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.

AGM Feedback Form: I received lots of feedback from the AGM re equipment and training that groups would like to see available. These will be compiled and I’ll discuss with Mary to see what is feasible this winter/spring.

 

Summary of Watershed Ecologist Activities

November 2020

Projects underway: 

 

  • Forested Landscape Priority Places: 

 

        • Participating in core advisory team meetings  and workshops bi-weekly to undertake the assessing and planning necessary for the Open Standards Approach.
        • Submitting an EOI for year 2 funding (due November 16th) looking at further gap analyses of projects related to urban areas as well educational opportunities for watershed groups this winter
        • Resources developed by MacPhail Woods through 1st year funding are now available online

 

  • Habitat Stewardship Program – Bats 
  • Contribution agreement signed
  • Rebecca worked with groups to complete fall survey work
  • Rebecca will be analyzing data from summer/fall transects this winter (3 month of wage funding provided through this project)
  • Will purchase a new acoustic detector to replace lost one.
  • Living Labs
  • 3 wetlands have been constructed, enough budget to complete another one in Kensington area.  Should be completed very soon
  • Audrey Murray is contracted to help us with identifying mini wetland sites for next phase of project.  Meeting with Souris and Kensington in next week to find sites for next year mini wetland projects
  • Was contacted by ECCW indicating that this type of project could potentially be funded by new Climate Challenge Fund moving forward.
  • Community Nominated Priority Places –  Saving the North Shore
  • Reached out to INT and they are planning for a meeting/visit of demo sites in near future.
  • Working with groups
  • Visiting groups as requested
  • Helping with project identification as we are in funding season
  • Organizing a new Watershed Group webinar series
  • ClimateSense Intern Proposal
  • Intern to start June 2021
  • Communications:

 

      • Blanket permit renewal discussions
      • Meeting with Rosie re: Fish Habitat plans, fish/habitat monitoring
      • Discussions with Cindy Crane regarding watershed report card updates and including watershed group information in new iterations