February 2nd, 2021 – PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting

PEI Watershed Alliance Board Meeting

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

4pm – 6pm

Teleconference

 

Teleconference: Scott Roloson, Mike Durant, Dale McIsaac, Andrew Lush, Nicolas Bergeron, Johanna Kelly, Jason Campbell, Dale Cameron, Karen Rank, Angela Banks, Rebecca Ramos, Mary Finch, Dan McAskill (observer), Kris Hunter (observer), John Lane (observer), Claire Martin (observer)

 

*Board members met privately 4:00pm – 4:30pm

WMF committee proposal:

–    Motion to have the proposal shared with groups, 75% endorsement will be needed to move forward. Moved by Johanna, seconded Dale M.

–    Sub-committee will continue work next year to identify potential changes. Moved by Andrew, seconded Dale C.

 

Meeting begins: 4:32pm

 

Approval of minutes, Jan 6th: Approved by Dale M, seconded by Scott.

 

Financial update:

Motion to approve finances: motion moved Dale M, Johanna seconds

 

Project Manager Update:

Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) for Aquatic Species at Risk– “Atlantic Salmon Habitat Restoration in Prince Edward Island.” Salmon management plan draft has been completed for the West River as well as a prioritized work plan document. These were sent out to the 8 groups so they could start working on their own plans. Jordan, Matt and I will sit down with each group this month to assist. 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. No response yet.

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.Expect to be notified soon.

Agri-Watershed Partnership-website has been launched with info on how to apply. We are hosting a webinar to answer any AWP questions on Wednesday.

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. Continuing to reach out to groups in order to assist with getting their data online. Rebecca and I met with Patrick LeClair to discuss on Jan 21st.

Data Rescue Project (with FFW)- Mary and I did interviews last Friday and have offered the 8 week term position to a great candidate. We will have orientation with her and Allie at FFW office on Monday Feb 8th. This will be an 8 week term position mainly funded by the department of FFW ($5000) and the PEIWA ($1500) to format and make accessible fish population and water quality data stored at FFW and going back almost 40 years!

 

=CRF Project Updates

(From DFO) Dear recipients,

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) recognizes that we are in unprecedented times as a result of COVID 19, and many recipients have been unable to complete the tasks/activities originally outlined in their agreements for FY 2020-2021. As such, DFO has worked with TBS/Finance to identify flexibility for participants who have had to suspend various work items such as face to face outreach and education, orientation activities or registrations, group fieldwork activities or workshops and training.

With approval from DFO, recipients will be allowed to retain a portion of the advance received for FY 2020-2021, so as to be able to undertake (in FY 2021-2022) those tasks/activities interrupted by COVID 19. If you wish to bring forward activities and their associated funds impacted by COVID 19 into FY 2020-21, please complete the application attached and send to us by replying to this email. We will accept applications between January 14, 2021 to March  12, 2021. Should you have any questions regarding this process please contact us.

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).

Waiting on a report from SMU/TransCoastal Adaptations re oyster reef site selection. Met with DFO and BESE (https://www.bese-products.com/biodegradable-products/bese-reefpaste/ ) folks and got a quote on materials for reef construction pilot projects. Will meet with them again on Thursday to discuss.

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.

 

Presentations/Panels

  • I presented to the Canada Water Agency’s Atlantic Regional Freshwater Forum today (see invite in google drive folder).
  • I took part as a panelist in the Atlantic Water Network-wide meeting last week.

 

Meetings/Training

  • Had a project update meeting with Souris Wildlife staff last week.
  • Attended the HRA board meeting and assisted with AV last week.
  • Attended the WCF board meeting where I was nominated as chair of the WCF committee.
  • Hosted the webinar with Clean Foundation staff re RTK mapping and data analysis.
  • Attended the Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting on Jan 12th.
  • Agri-Watershed Partnership Meeting on January 8th.
  • Climate lab meeting – ClimateEast on January 6th. No update on a proposal from the UPEI Climate Research Lab. Reached out to Adam, no response as of yet.
  • Taking “Open standards for the practice of Conservation” training offered (for free) by the New Brunswick Environmental Network.
  • Rebecca and I met with Atlantic DataStream folks to discuss PEI Watershed data upload.
  • Attended the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative bat acoustic training day (Feb 1st).
  • Assisted Mary with candidate review and interviews for the new forest specialist position.
  • Reviewed and interviewed candidates for the new data rescue technician position and will be doing orientation with her on Monday.

 

Potential new funding opportunity

Sarah Wheatley sent me the link for a new funding opportunity that the Alliance could apply for in order to “provide training to watershed group staff, especially coordinators that need to know about a lot more than just field skills  (like Human Resource management, budgeting/ bookkeeping, grant writing, conflict resolution, etc).” Applications due March 4th. Potential for partnership with new Holland College Center of Watershed excellence?

Sector-based solutions- Information, tools, and/or strategies that address sector-specific labour market issues faced by both the employers and workers.

Labour market issues could include, but not limited to:

  • recruitment and retention
  • skills development
  • capacity building for employers

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/sectoral-initiatives.html

 

Ecologist Update:

Projects underway: 

 

  • Forested Landscape Priority Places: 
  • Contribution agreement signed and money deposited into account

 

  • Job interviews conducted, based on time-line for the project (needs to be completed by March 31st) and the deliverables, we split the job into 2 positions and hired Simon Wilmot for a 9 week fulltime position starting February 1st and Matt Guindon starting January 25th for a 6 week fulltime position.   This hiring decision was reviewed and approved by the Board through email (January 19th).
  • Simon is tasked with the Urban Forestry component and the Land Protection  Workshop component of the project
  • Matt is tasked with the Riparian Forestry component
  • 2 UPEI Wildlife Conservation students (John Miller and Ivey Walfield) have been assigned to work with the Alliance on this project and they will be working closely with Simon and Matt on surveying stakeholders.
  • Bi-weekly Advisory Team Committee meetings have resumed – I am participating as the Alliance’s representative for the visioning and identification of priority actions and implementation of the initiative.

 

 

  • Habitat Stewardship Program – Bats
  • Rebecca is currently working fulltime on this project (funding till March 31st) and will be reporting on deliverables in her update.

 

  • Technical advisory committee met last week  to discuss monitoring priorities for this field season
  • February 10th webinar will focus on bat HSP project including monitoring plans for this year and ways groups can get involved.   There is funding for groups to complete monitoring/outreach activities.   We are looking to build an outreach kit for groups.
  • Alliance will not be submitting a HSP bat project for this round of funding but I have offered to continue partnership with CWHC and provide support if they choose to apply.

 

  • Living Labs 
  • Presented on progress at producer meetings: 1 in Emerald and 1 in Souris last week

 

    • This week is the national annual general meetings for the initiative and our BMP is generating quite a bit of interest on a national level at Ag- Canada and for the other regional Living Labs Initiatives

 

  • Community Nominated Priority Places –  Saving the North Shore
  • Followed up with INT regarding presentation to groups
  • Working with groups
  • Webinar series

 

    • Talking with groups over the phone and discussing project ideas for funding applications

 

  • Communications: 

 

    • Met with Mike and Kate to review my job duties as this hadn’t been done since 2016.  Please see 2Feb meeting folder for  2020 summary.
    • Invasive Species Committee – am a member of this committee now and receiving communications from this organization.  Agreed to provide in-kind support on a WCF application regarding invasive species signage.
    • Met with Shawn Hill regarding blanket permit, a draft of stipulations will be sent out to Alliance and groups for review in next couple of weeks
    • Canada Water Agency Forum- discussions to initiate comments on the development of the agency. Mary developed a google doc to discuss- link here- https://docs.google.com/document/d/13WotkD_jfpK6WN4KMbRr4kP20zFsLbaNZa67ySPamjA/edit?usp=sharing

 

Equipment Manager Update:

DataStream data upload (Dec-Feb):

  • Help groups by formatting templates to ease DataStream uploading process:
  • Templates w/past and present data completed for: CQueens, R-M, Tignish, WPAW, BAWG, TREC (excluding 2018 data)
  • Will be completing templates in the following weeks for: HCWG, Lot 11, TUPCC, Harmony, Cascumpec
  • MRMC is working on uploading all past/present data themselves
  • SSWA, SAWIG, KNWSA, HRA/PREP have uploaded all past and present data to DataStream, 2020 included

 

Habitat Stewardship Program – Bat Analysis (Dec-Feb):

  • 11 NA Bat GRTS (44 sites) monitored in July 2020
  • 1 detector lost – 43 sites
  • Kaleidoscope Auto ID: 22,910 bat calls detected across the island
    • Little brown myotis: 21,706 calls detected
  • No ID: 4740 files, will need to ID these manually

 

  • Fall monitoring: 9 sites to analyze
  • July 2021: will likely monitor most of the same GRTS as 2020

 

Winter Woodlot Tour:

  • Setting up a PEIWA booth with information about bat project
  • Bat mounts/skins and other display materials will be borrowed from UPEI/CWHC
  • A bat detector from equipment bank
  • Will have a french translator present, and 9 bat advertisements have been translated and can be used at this event as well
  • Will also include key info on PEIWA and AWP

 

Equipment assistance:

  • Helped KNWSA setup and calibrate their new YSI
  • Calibrated/troubleshot HCWG’s YSI, downloaded their winter flow/depth logger data
  • The equipment locker is overflowing! I will try to organize but will likely have to find a little space outside of the locker

 

Agri-watershed Partnership Update:

  • PEIAWP website has gone live
  • Mike Angela and Gwen will host a Q&A on project for groups via PEIWA Webinar Series (this will also be recorded)

 

WMF formula subcommittee update:

  • One in-person meeting, Andrew asks about mileage and other compensations
    • A: All necessary costs will be compensated for with proper documentation and receipts
    • Mary will forward Andrew the appropriate documents to fill out

 

Discussion of Alliance’s WMF allocation:

  • Mike had a meeting w/minster; also plan to have a discussion with transportation minister on how watershed groups can better align with TIE construction projects

 

Request from Soil Conservation Council:

  • Council is trying to create a database and is wondering if PEIWA would like to be involved

 

Next Meeting scheduled for March 3rd, 4-6pm

 

Meeting adjourned 5:34pm