Eastern Charlotte Waterways, with the support of Environment Canada’s EcoAction program, is pleased to announce the formation of the ECW Habitat Squad. Made up of four local high school students, the Squad will work together for six weeks in July and August implementing environmental improvement projects under the supervision of ECW Field Technician Peter Crowley. Mr. Crowley’s professional background, including both forestry and aquatics, provides a wide base of knowledge from which the Squad can draw leadership and expertise.
The primary focus of the Habitat Squad will be to improve the riparian zones of the Magaguadavic River. A collection of native tree species including willow, white spruce, and jack pine will be planted throughout vulnerable sections of riparian habitat. During the intense flooding of 2010, the riparian area of the Magaguadavic was heavily degraded in places, which has resulted in destabilized riverbanks and increased erosion.
Landowners on the Magaguadavic River are encouraged to contact ECW to take part in the project. Senior ECW staff will visit the property and work with the landowner to chart a suitable course for the riparian area. Following that, the Habitat Squad will move in and implement the plan. There is no cost for the service, which includes all labour and materials. Landowners will benefit from the strengthened riverbanks and should see an increase in wildlife, thanks to the improved shade and natural habitat along the rehabilitated coastline.
During its six week deployment, the Habitat Squad will also work with the Village of Blacks Harbour as part of their continued effort to address illegal dumping within the village. The Squad will also be assisting with a wetland habitat analysis in the Magaguadavic watershed, helping to ensure that the GIS maps accurately reflect the watershed’s wetland habitats.
Throughout their time with ECW, the Habitat Squad will be keeping the community up to date on their activities with videos and blog posts. These will be available via ECW’s social networks and here at:
The work of the Habitat Squad would not be possible without the support of Environment Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program. Since 1995 this program has provided financial support to community-based, non-profit organizations for projects that have measurable, positive impacts on the environment. The Program encourages action focused projects that will protect, rehabilitate or enhance the natural environment, and build the capacity of communities to sustain these activities into the future.