January 6th, 2021 – PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting

PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

4pm – 6pm

Teleconference

 

Teleconference: Scott Roloson, Mike Durant, Dale McIsaac, Andrew Lush, Nicolas Bergeron, Johanna Kelly, Jason Campbell, Angela Banks, Rebecca Ramos, Lynne Lund (guest), Hannah Murnaghan (observer), Kris Hunter (observer), Mary Finch

Regrets: Dale Cameron, Karen Rank

Meeting begins: 4:02pm

 

Lynne Lund sent out Environmental Bill of Rights documents to the board earlier this week to discuss today.

Specific questions for board/stakeholders:

“1. What level of information would you like to see made public through an Environmental Registry with the purposes of providing opportunities for public input on government regulations, acts, instruments and approvals related to the environment?

  1. Which of the following principals would you consider critical and would like to see mandated?
  2. The precautionary principle that if there is a threat of significant harm to the environment, lack of complete scientific certainty is not to be a reason for postponing reasonable measures to prevent that harm;
  3. The polluter pays principle that a person who causes an adverse effect on the environment is responsible for taking remedial action, and is to bear the costs of that action;
  4. The principle of ecological sustainability that the integrity, biological diversity and productivity of the ecosystems in the NWT are to be protected, maintained and restored;
  5. The principle of intergenerational equity that it is important to meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;
  6. The principle of environmental justice that there is to be a just distribution of environmental benefits and burdens among residents of NWT;
  7. The principle of sustainable development according to which development must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;
  8. Do you feel that mandating public participation for certain types of development is

critical?

  1. Currently it appears that the Department of the Environment, Water and Climate Change only subjects a small minority of total proposals received to the full EIA process.
  2. Would an EBR with this limited information be sufficient? Should a broader set of criteria be used when determining which proposals are subject to public consultation?
  3. Would it be important for individuals to be able to take legal action regarding environment impacts/damage?
  4. Is there anything else you’d like to comment on?”

 

The board expressed more communication is needed between watersheds/community members and government, particularly TIE projects.

The board suggested a regularly-updated webpage, or community-based email/mailing lists, with proposed infrastructure projects.

They also suggest a consultation process be laid out for the Environmental Impact Assessment.

 

Appealing to auditor general (Q #5) – Yes, it is important that individuals are able to take legal action, there is a great need for accountability. Ideally an environmental commissioner would be the pathway for this.

Scott noted that projects going forward are not as concerning as projects completed in the past with little environmental perspective; some of these past projects still have on-going negative effects on the area. Individuals need more information on the unnamed corporations handling these projects.

Question to Lynne: Could this change be utilized for past projects?

A: It would be hard to retroact, these changes will most likely be seen on projects going forward.

 

The board thanked Opposition critic Lynne Lund for touching base. Lynne asks that any further comments on EBR be sent by the end of next week, before it is sent off for consultation.

 

Approval of minutes, Dec 9th: Approved by Andrew, seconded by Scott.

 

Outstanding items:

  • Message to Dan M re flora publications
  • Draft message to public re importance of trapping

 

Insurance quotes:

In order to get a full quote, the company would need alliance’s Commercial General Liability

 

Johnson’s River:

Angela, Dale M and Dan M met privately – motion to approve a public meeting, moved by Dale M and seconded by Nic

 

WMF sub-committee:

Currently 5/7 representatives. The first meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, will continue without western representatives as no names were put forward. Committee expects proposal to be completed by early Feb, a draft Terms of Reference has been pieced together by Andrew – he will upload draft to google drive

*It should be noted that the WMF sub-committee’s job is to provide recommendations for changes in the allocation formula to the Director FFW, ultimately the Gov’t has final say on the formula.

 

Financial update:

Financial Administrators: Karen (treasurer) and Dale M (vice chair)

Signing Authorities: Dale M, Karen, Johanna, Mike

Motion – Johanna moves, Nic seconds

 

Project Manager Update:

Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) for Aquatic Species at Risk– “Atlantic Salmon Habitat Restoration in Prince Edward Island.” Salmon management plan outline has been drafted and meeting with Rosie, Daryl, Mary, Jordan, Matt and Kris next week to discuss. We are on budget and I’ll be starting the final report for DFO in the coming weeks.

HSP Round 2– Each (8) group confirmed they would like the Alliance to submit another application on their behalf. The application was submitted on Dec 19th and receipt was confirmed.

ECCC Climate Action and Awareness Fund– application- “Community-Based Climate Action on Prince Edward Island” submitted to promote awareness, to educate, to train, and to execute living shoreline projects on PEI. No response back from this project.

Agri-Watershed Partnership-assisted with application documents and feedback for website. Meeting again on Friday and new round should be announced next week.

Atlantic DataStream– The Gordon Foundation has provided 20k for Rebecca’s wages and we are working on a final report showing the work she has done to get data onto ADS. 77% of groups are currently uploading data and Rebecca and I are reaching out to those that aren’t to offer assistance.

 

CRF: Sub-Project Updates

Our reprofile request to DFO has been approved with funds being moved forward to next fiscal (for WRTBWA’s culvert, some event funding ($5000) for the PEIWA, and work on the 2nd bridge structure for TUPCC).

Meeting with SMU/TransCoastal Adaptations folks today to discuss projects and future needs.

AGM Feedback Form: I received lots of feedback from the AGM re equipment and training that groups would like to see available and we are working towards developing some online training in the coming months as well as purchasing equipment for the equipment bank.

I met with Mary, Barb and Karen to review the project budget details

I also received an invitation to participate in a panel for the Canada Water Agency’s Atlantic Regional Freshwater Forum (see invite in google drive folder).

 

*CWA Atlantic Regional Forum Panel invitation – board is in favor of Angela representing the alliance

 

Ecologist Update:

Projects underway: 

 

  • Forested Landscape Priority Places: 
  • Successful on our proposal “Review of municipal forest initiatives, deeper dive into riparian forests, and capacity building for environmental groups on land-conservation options”
  • Receiving $20,000 for our project – awaiting contribution agreement.
  • Job posting for positions which closes on Sunday, January 10th
  • Meeting with project partners: Connie Gaudet with UPEI/Nature PEI and Beth Hoar with Invasive Species/Urban Forestry to discuss UPEI student involvement in project on Thursday, Jan 7th.
  • Habitat Stewardship Program – Bats
  • Rebecca is analyzing data and communicating with CWHC on this task
  • Will be writing communication documents in the next couple weeks as these need to be to ECCC by Jan 31st for their approval
  • Will be planning outreach/education webinars to take place in the next couple months
  • Living Labs
  • Met with permitting staff in Kensington area to discuss project locations for next year.  Permitting will be required for locations, however, staff seemed positive about project.
  • Dr. Murray has provided us a summary of Vegetated Ditch Drain site considerations and resources.
  • Community Nominated Priority Places –  Saving the North Shore
  • Will be following up with INT about presentations to groups about Species-at-Risk
  • Will be following up with groups regarding project involvement as Alliance has some funds available to disburse to groups for related work.
  • Working with groups
  • Webinar series started today January 6th with a presentation from Cindy on Watershed Report Cards
  • Communications:

 

    • Webinar with Rosie and groups to talk about upcoming DFO Rec Fish Advisory Committee and identification of potential agenda items
    • On the radar: Aquaculture Act,  Canada Water Agency

 

AgriWatershed Partnership:

  • A meeting is scheduled for end of this week
  • Call-outs to watersheds and ag community early next week
  • Draft website is currently being finalized, Mike will send link to board members
  • Will be putting out calls for 2021 projects soon and will be seeking input from watershed groups

 

Request from Farm Food Care PEI to feature PEIWA in social media post:

  • Dale M suggests a Living Labs partner/member could be the face of this story
  • Johanna notes that Living Labs discussions have to be approved by the LL communications dept, proposes AWP may be better suited for this role
  • Mary will follow-up with Santina to put Mike’s name (AWP chair) forward as a contact

 

DFO Species at Risk Listing comments for Atlantic Salmon and Striped Bass:

  • Board is in agreement to send a letter (deadline Jan 15th)
  • Mary will draft a letter and share with board for input beforehand

 

WGIS Training this winter for groups:

  • Andrew estimates cost will be ~ $400 plus venue for the training
  • Motion moved by Mike, seconded by Dale M, all in favor.
  • The board notes the session should be recorded so that groups have access to this training at all times

 

Request from CBC re Dunk extraction letter:

  • Laura C is asking for further explanation on gov’t online data
  • Board is in agreement that Bruce Raymond would be the appropriate contact for CBC’s questions
  • Mike will follow-up with Laura and recommend Bruce be contacted for further interpretation of data

 

WMF:

  • Alliance amount: maximum payable to $78,879 ($25,000 for the Alliance under WMF, plus $53,879 buffer)
  • Mary explained the buffer is reserved incase groups exceed their projected performance/leveraging/community involvement for that year
  • In the past PEIWA has invested buffer into more training for groups and other activities
  • The Alliance has not been asked to provide a plan for the buffer, but the board will note this as a discussion item on the forward agenda

 

Climate East – Climate Lab Request for Proposal (see document in google drive)

  • Angela attended meeting earlier today, it is still too early for board to determine stance on this project

 

Nic mentioned Dan’s unallocated areas request for HRA (Earnscliffe/Pownal, Savage Harbour)

  • Kate is planning a meeting with groups interested in these areas
  • Dale M offers to assist as a mediator
  • Angela notes BAWG has expressed interest in one of the areas as well
  • Mike will offer the alliance’s support, but the board does not have any policies / procedures that help us in making these decisions.  If the ALliance is to take on this role we need to develop a policy.

 

Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee:

  • A meeting with groups was carried out in December
  • Mary will share a summary with the board before the committee has their annual meeting next week
  • Mike plans to attend this meeting – Mary will forward link to the board in case anyone else wants to attend

 

Next Meeting scheduled for Feb 2nd

 

Meeting adjourned 6:22pm