Climate Change Adaptation: Risk Assessment (2014)
Following on the successful completion of a vulnerability assessment in 2013-2014, ECW engaged various local stakeholders to successfully complete an accurate risk assessment.
Identifying and quantifying the risks was a multi-step process the required project facilitators to group identified vulnerabilities into threats and then ranking those threats according to a number of criteria. This gave each threat a numerical score which could then be used to rate the risk posed by each threat to the community. This is the final step prior to the completion of a full adaptation plan for Charlotte County, which is scheduled to be completed in 2015-2016.
Climate Change Adaptation: Vulnerability Assessment (2013)
The effects of climate change continue to be felt in Charlotte County. Destructive flooding was once again an issue in 2013. Municipalities also remain wary of the effects of sea level rise, ocean acidification, and the economic results of a changing marine environment. In 2013 Eastern Charlotte Waterways (ECW) and the St. Croix Estuary Project (SCEP) joined efforts to begin addressing climate change in southwestern New Brunswick. Together the NGOs led community vulnerability assessments in St. Stephen, St. Andrews, St. George, Blacks Harbour, and Grand Manan. These vulnerability assessments were conducted in each municipality by volunteer working groups. Each group was educated about climate change and its anticipated effects and then asked to share their experiences as well as their concerns for the future. This work received support from the elected councils of each participating municipality, as well as ongoing support from staff at the New Brunswick Climate Change Secretariat, Environment Canada staff, and UNB’s Centre for Research and Innovation in Sustainability.
Each municipality’s working group met five times to complete the assessment. At these meetings the groups identified the climate hazards that have affected or are most likely to affect their municipality and then assessed the vulnerabilities in their community resulting from these hazards. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) maps were modeled using data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and depth to water table information, to create climate change scenarios for each municipality, allowing working group members to visualize potential vulnerable areas. Vulnerabilities were identified on satellite maps and prioritized, to identify which pose the greatest risks.
The results of this project will be communicated to municipal and provincial governments, and will also be shared with other stakeholders throughout New Brunswick and across Canada. It is hoped that the lessons learned in this project will assist other coastal communities with their own adaptation efforts. The outcomes of this work will represent a significant step in the communities’ long term adaptation process, and will ultimately increase the resilience of southwestern New Brunswick in the face of a changing climate.
Lake Stewardship (2011-2014)
With funding from New Brunswick’s Environmental Trust Fund, ECW continues to facilitate lake stewardship efforts in Charlotte County, and across New Brunswick. ECW has been pleased to assist the Chamcook Watershed Landowners’ Association in their formation. Also, ECW continues to work with dedicated volunteers in developing the New Brunswick Alliance of Lake Associations.
From 2010 until 2013 ECW proudly hosted the Annual New Brunswick Lakes Conference.
Cyanobacteria in Lake Waters: An International Symposium (25/10/2014)
Eastern Charlotte Waterways proudly hosted an international symposium on cyanobacteria in October, 2014 at the Algonquin Resort in Saint Andrews By-The -Sea. The symposium was organized in partnership with the New Brunswick Alliance of Lake Associations and the Chamcook Watershed Landowners’ Association.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Ken Wagner, the owner of Water Resource Services, a consulting company focused on water supply protection and lake management. Dr. Wagner has a Ph. D. in Natural Resource Management from Cornell University. He is a former President of the North American Lake Management Society and the current Editor in Chief of Lake and Reservoir Management. He discussed cyanobacteria biology, ecology, and mitigation.
Dr. Holly Ewing, a professor of Environmental Studies at Bates College in Maine, spoke about Gloeotrichia toxicity in oligotrophic lakes, an issue important to the people of Saint Andrews. Dr. Ewing has co-authored a collection of academic papers that concern cyanobacteria blooms throughout New England, with a focus on the same species and environmental conditions found in Chamcook Lake.
In addition, water resource managers from Maine and New Brunswick presented their methodology, challenges, and successes while managing cyanobacteria. The event was attended by stakeholders in New Brunswick’s freshwater from throughout the province, and was supported by the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund.
Soft-shell Clam Workshop (19/09/13)
On Thursday September 19th, Eastern Charlotte Waterways co-hosted a full day soft-shell clam workshop along with the Charlotte County Clam Harvesters Co-operative. The event was held at Magaguadavic Place in St. George, NB. The organizing committee for the workshop consisted of representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries. The objectives were to further the understanding of the regulations that govern the industry, as well as identifying potential opportunities for strengthening the industry, including the possibilities for voluntary resource management.
Speakers included government agency representatives, researchers from the St. Andrews Biological Station, and the University of Maine, as well as industry stakeholders. The one day workshop was attended by over forty active clam diggers from the area, and a total of 75 people.
Magaguadavic Integrated Watershed Management Plan (2013)
With support from Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program, Eastern Charlotte Waterways conducted a planning exercise in the Magaguadavic Watershed. The management plan took an ecosystem based approach towards the improvement of habitat, engaging Magaguadavic stakeholders in the development of effective, sustainable, and measurable recommendations for improvements to the watershed. These stakeholders included federal, provincial, and municipal governments; the aquaculture industry; the pulp and paper industry; local conservation groups; and landowners.
Eastern Charlotte Waterways consulted with the stakeholders separately to identify the current and emerging issues facing the watershed, and how best these challenges can be overcome. Topics covered included present and future uses of the watershed, current and anticipated issues, as well as any efforts outlined for mitigation of those issues. Attainable goals were established along with strategic outlines on how to meet those goals.
Chamcook Integrated Watershed Management Planning (2012)
ECW is facilitating the development of an Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP) for the Chamcook Watershed. The watershed provides potable water for the Town of St. Andrews and local enterprises, recreation and aesthetics for landowners, and habitat for freshwater, estuarine, and marine species.
By working with the stakeholders, ECW hopes to effectively develop an IWMP that will:
- identify attainable goals with respect to environmental quality
- define the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the management of land-use and water-related activities
- improve ecological awareness among stakeholders
- prioritize remediation activities to more efficiently and effectively make measureable improvements to water quality
- improve coordination among regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over activities within the watershed
- increase awareness among watershed landowners about the importance of voluntary stewardship activities
- create a participatory environment that encourages stakeholders to implement resulting recommendations
This project is supported by Environment Canada’s Atlantic Ecosystems Initiative.
Blacks Harbour School (2012-2015)
ECW is proud to partner with the Blacks Harbour School to provide science enrichment to Ms. Christine Leeman’s grade 6 class. The class visits ECW to learn more about the organization’s activities, and also takes part in a field trip to the Pea Point Nature Reserve. They learn about the geology, biology, and ecology of the area, while exploring a natural area in their hometown.
ECW Executive Director Donald Killorn also serves as the WITS community representative for the class. WITS is a national anti-bullying program. During visits, Donald discusses the importance of them using their WITS (Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, Seek help), and also brings them up to date on ECW activities, and answers any science questions the class may have.
Project Webfoot (2010-2015)
This is the fourth year that Eastern Charlotte Waterways has partnered with Ducks Unlimited to facilitate field trips to the St. George Marsh for Grade 4 classes throughout Charlotte County. The wetland visit is part of the Project Webfoot program. The program consists of interactive classroom activities and a field trip designed to encourage stewardship of natural resources, and foster an appreciation for the wetland ecosystem.
ECW hosted a drop-off location for the South West Solid Waste Commission’s annual E-Waste drive. A total of 681 computer parts were collected from a total of 109 participants, and a shipment containing the computer waste was sent to Resnet in Edmundston, where most parts were dismantled and reused.