Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) 2013 â€“ 2018 for Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Environmental management priorities of the Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) Saint John Inc., for the years 2013 through 2018.
Tim Vickers Graeme Stewart-Robertson 2013
The creation of an updated Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) for ACAP Saint John was made possible in large part through an Atlantic Ecosystem Initiative grant provided by Environment Canada. Environment Canada has provided annual financial, logistical and intellectual support of ACAP Saint John since this community group was founded in 1992, and ECâ€™s investment in this CEMP re-affirms their commitment to enabling the Saint John community to take a leadership role in the management of its regional environment.
ACAP Saint John would also like to thank the countless numbers of community stakeholders who have contributed (and continue to contribute) to advancing our understanding and ability to identify and resolve pressing environmental issues in our region. Your ongoing efforts to keep ACAP Saint John pointed in the right direction have been instrumental in the development of this Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan.
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Executive Summary The Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) Saint John is a multi-sectorial, not-for-profit, charitable organisation that was formed in 1992 to engage the community in the management of its regional environment. The pending (2013) completion of ACAP’s primary environmental issue, the cessation of untreated municipal wastewater discharges (termed ‘Harbour Cleanup’), coupled with changes in the economic, demographic and geographic characteristics of the region necessitated the revision of the organisation’s guiding document, the Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (CEMP). ACAP Saint John staff developed a draft CEMP framework based on recent (within three years) stakeholder inputs and established management plans, and solicited further augmentation to the document via workshops, meetings, direct queries and social media throughout 2012 and early 2013. The results of these efforts precipitated three overarching themes upon which this CEMP would be developed and implemented. These included (1) a better-defined description of the ACAP organisation including its governance structure; (2) an updated and focused strategic mandate (vision and mission statement); and (3) definitive management objectives that are founded on its newly articulated vision. ACAP Saint John’s Board of Directors, through a Governance sub-committee, conducted a thorough review of historical By-law revisions, and concluded that a contemporary template of By-laws applicable for a Canadian charitable not-for-profit organisation and augmented with ACAP Saint Johnspecific characteristics was appropriate. The new By-laws were ratified in December 2012. The preponderance of stakeholder input received by staff paralleled ACAP’s progression towards watershed-based environmental management that focused on incorporating the principles of sustainable development. It was with this perspective that ACAP formally adopted new a strategic mandate where [vision statement] ‘ACAP Saint John envisions a sustainable community that embraces the interdependence of the unique social, economic and environmental characteristics of the region’s watersheds’ and where [mission statement] ‘ACAP Saint John’s mission is to engage the multi-sectorial community of Greater Saint John in the collaborative management and restoration of our watersheds’. Environmental management priorities, which describe task specific objectives and actions, were grouped into five categories which facilitated the development of individual projects or programs for ease of implementation. The five management categories include (A) Habitat Improvements; (B) Pollution Prevention & Abatement; (C) Data, Information & Knowledge Management; (D) Land Use Planning& Sustainable Development; and (E) Capacity Development. It must be pointed out that although specific actions are presented as ‘stand-alone’ projects, every individual project contains elements of one or more of the five management priorities. This CEMP forms the guidelines and direction that will define the activities of ACAP Saint John between 2013 and 2018, and represents a definitive advancement in the efficacy in which the organisational can communicate its mandate to its stakeholders. As such, adoption of this CEMP is required by a majority of the organisation’s members at the 2013 Annual General Meeting.
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Table Of Contents Page
ACAP Saint John: Delivery Agent of the CEMP
Vision & Mission Statements
External Factors and Considerations
Environmental Management Priorities
A. Habitat Improvements
a. Riparian vegetation
b. In-stream habitat structures
c. Wetland enhancement
a. Removal of barriers to fish passage
b. Restoration of â€˜lostâ€™ wetland function
1. Source Identification
c. Litter & debris
2. Development of site-specific action plans
3. Community Cleanups
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C. Data, Information & Knowledge Management
1. Data acquisition
2. Information synthesis & presentation
3. Knowledge management
D. Land Use Planning & Sustainable Development
2. Beyond Marsh Creek
E. Capacity Development
1. Outreach & Engagement
b. Direct action
c. Network interactivity
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Background The Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) Saint John Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit multistakeholder organisation that was founded in 1992 to “improve the environmental integrity of the St. John Harbour and its estuaries”. ACAP Saint John employed a previously underutilised philosophy of multi-sectorial inclusivity that encouraged all sectors of Saint John society (including environmentalists, academics, entrepreneurs, and governmental and industrial representatives) to collectively and collaboratively contribute to the management and remediation of the regional environment. This multisectorial constitution has proven instrumental in facilitating ACAP’s numerous successes, the most significant of which has been unifying community support for the successful acquisition of government funding for the St. John Harbour Cleanup Project. This transformational wastewater infrastructure project will see the cessation of centuries of depositions of untreated municipal wastewater (raw sewage) into our harbour and urban watercourses in early 2013. The successful realisation of the St. John Harbour Cleanup project was rooted in the information and guiding principles outlined in ACAP’s first Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), which was developed in 19971. The original CEMP provided a wealth of information on socioeconomic factors, physical characteristics, and financial and policy considerations as they related to key environmental attributes of the region. The sixteen years that have followed the founding CEMP have seen the realisation of many of its recommendations (such as Harbour Cleanup) through directed action, as well as the diminishment of several other topics of interest due to unrelated factors (such as the closure and subsequent dismantling of the Lantic Sugar refinery). Regrettably, several of the issues identified in the CEMP (such as the creosote contamination in Marsh Creek) remain unchanged and in need of renewed efforts. It is important to recognise that substantive changes related [largely] to infrastructure developments in the region (Liquefied Natural Gas facility at Canaport, natural gas pipeline traversing the city, car shredding operation on the Port of Saint John, One Mile Interchange crossing over Marsh Creek, the receipt of rail transported crude oil by Irving Oil Ltd.) have incorporated new considerations into the management of our regional environment. Additionally, these physical changes have occurred during a period in which a shift has occurred in the direction in which the community envisions itself moving in the next fifty to one hundred years. This shift in perspective manifested itself through numerous collaborative initiatives (Vision 2015, Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, Benefits Blueprint, True Growth) with the most notable being the development of a new (and long overdue) Municipal Plan for Saint John. ACAP Saint John, being a true multi-stakeholder (hence ‘community’) organisation, recognises the inherent necessity of evolving to reflect the changing socio-economic characteristics of the region so as to be able to respond to the interests and requirements of its stakeholders. The acknowledgement of ACAP’s requisite organisational transformation is tempered with the recognition that ACAP strives to minimise the duplication of services with other organisations (be they government, commercial, institutional or non-profit) in the region. This philosophical approach to operating as a ‘competitively considerate’ entity requires ACAP to routinely evaluate its core competencies in relation to both pending changes in the physical environment (read management priorities) as well as changes to the availability of resources. It is in this context that ACAP Saint John in 2012 initiated a formal review of its market position with respect to its service deliverables, core competencies and resource assets. The results of this review are collated in this guiding document titled ‘A Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) 2013-2018 for Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada’.
ACAP Saint John: Delivery Agent of the CEMP A fundamental consideration of the CEMP is the organisational structure of the entity (ACAP Saint John) that will execute and deliver the specific recommendations contained herein. The effective and efficient operation of ACAP Saint John is critical to the successful delivery of the CEMP in that; • •
Maintenance of ACAP’s registered charitable status is contingent upon adhering to increasingly stringent federal regulations; Grant agencies and philanthropic donors are imposing increasingly rigorous standards and requirements of recipient organisations in terms of financial accountability and auditing, reporting, governance protocols, and operational securities (including liability insurance and documented Health & Safety policies); Intra and inter-disciplinary resource competition (i.e. for funding dollars, in-kind support, human resources, media coverage, public awareness) necessitate not-for-profit organisations deliver the greatest return on the investments of donors so as to maintain preferential market position; and, It is fundamental to the attraction and capitalisation of the intellectual assets contained within ACAP’s Board of Directors.
In summary, ACAP Saint John must adhere to operational and governance processes that are founded on the highest standard of professional business conduct if it is to maintain or improve upon its credibility as a reliable and proven delivery agent for environmental management in greater Saint John. It was this understanding that [in 2011] ACAP initiated a formal review of organisational governance to pre-empt revisions to ACAP’s original CEMP. The governance review delivered three critical modifications to ACAP Saint John’s organisational structure, including;
1. Vision and Mission Statements The members of ACAP Saint John acknowledged that the organisation’s original mission and vision statements, which had served effectively for two decades, were no longer accurately aligned with the evolving environmental needs of the community, nor of the ACAP’s increasing expertise in watershed management and social marketing. The following statements, which publicly convey ACAP’s assumed roles and responsibilities, were redefined and approved by the Board (June 7, 2012) to better recognise the interconnectivity of social, economic and environmental factors. Vision ACAP Saint John envisions a sustainable community that embraces the interdependence of the unique social, economic and environmental characteristics of the region’s watersheds. Mission ACAP Saint John’s mission is to engage the multi-sectorial community of Greater Saint John in the collaborative management and restoration of our watersheds. The importance of these statements lies not only in the outward purveyance of ACAP to the community, but more importantly defines the boundaries within which ACAP will focus the allocation of its resources. Page 7 of 49
2. By-laws The revision (update) of ACAP Saint John’s By-laws were predicated on the following; •
The legal requirements of operating a not-for-profit charitable organisation in Canada had changed since ACAP was first incorporated (Letters Patent) on June 5, 1992, and the credibility of the organisation to government agencies, and grant and philanthropic donors necessitated ACAP maintain continued alignment with contemporary regulations; Many of ACAP’s governance records (including the original by-laws, meeting minutes, and bylaw revisions) pre-dated the era of digital media, creating a labour-intensive process of documentation, distribution and timeline management; and, Historical revisions to ACAP’s By-laws had not kept pace with the evolution of the organisation’s operational regime.
ACAP retained the legal services of Coffin Prowse Barristers & Solicitors to draft by-law revisions that were not only aligned with contemporary Canadian laws and regulations, but were tailored to meet the operational requirements of ACAP Saint John. Maggie Coffin-Prowse also provided the ACAP membership with a detailed overview of the organisational structure of an incorporated not-for-profit business, including the roles and responsibilities of members, directors and the executive, as well as advice on developing sound operational policies and practices to reduce exposure to liability (see Operational Policies below). The new By-laws were reviewed by the membership, and on December 19, 2012 the updated By-laws (with all associated revisions) were ratified, confirmed and approved by all Directors of ACAP Saint John.
3. Operational Policies The Directors of ACAP Saint John, in keeping with the requirements to advance the organisation’s professional code of conduct, identified the need to review and amend (where necessary) three categories of operational policies which included Health & Safety, Human Resources and Financial. Committees were struck, consisting of Directors with expertise in these areas, to draft revised policies that would be reviewed by their peers for consideration of adoption at the pending (at the time of this report) Annual General Meeting in June 2013.
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External Factors and Considerations The natural environment is the greatest defining feature of Saint John. The Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River, both unique in their own right, come together in spectacular fashion right here in Saint John. The city’s extensive coastlines, “world class” geology and vast forested areas help Saint John top the list as the most environmentally diverse city in Atlantic Canada. However, Saint John’s natural environment is under constant pressure from the impacts of industrial, commercial and urban development. Saint John’s citizens rely on their drinking water from lakes within the city. The need to provide clean and safe drinking water to the majority of Saint John residents depends upon the continued health of the environment. Development patterns and trends, if not planned for appropriately, can threaten the quality of the local environment, such as sources of potable water. The challenge in sustainable planning is to provide a better understanding of the relationship between our built communities and our natural landscapes. Development patterns in the majority of North American cities have traditionally ignored natural features of the undeveloped landscape. Land was plentiful and affordable therefore city builders laid out streets, channeled streams, filled in wetlands and cleared forests with- out any concern for the longterm environmental impact of their actions. Over the years this pattern of development has come into conflict with the natural environment. For example, the effect of our city’s growth on wildlife can have unforeseen circumstances. While some wildlife species decline due to habitat loss other species such as white-tail deer are proliferating in many suburban areas, due to the presence of well-watered and fertilized garden plants that provide “deer level” vegetation. In light of recent developments associated with the City’s continual change, including transportation infrastructure, big-box commercial developments, and expanding industries, it is important that the City take a balanced approach towards development and environmental protection. In order to protect and respect Saint John’s natural ecosystems, development needs to take the characteristics of natural systems into consideration. This chapter describes the key features of Saint John’s natural environment and, where appropriate, discusses how they may impact patterns of development. The chapter also discusses some of the key environmental initiatives and sustainable planning policies the City has already undertaken, and provides an overview of the regulatory framework that aims to protect the natural environment.
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Environmental Management Priorities The revision of ACAP Saint John’s governance framework provides increased clarity with respect to the types of projects and programs (directed activities) towards which the organisation will invest the majority of its resources between 2013 and 2018. ACAP has acknowledged its role in advancing priority environmental issues in greater Saint John by basing its watershed centric framework on the principles of sustainable development. Specifically, ACAP endeavours to incorporate long-term ‘value-added’ components to regional watershed features so as to leverage their inherent natural capital to better contribute to the social and economic fabric of our community. It is important to note however, that while this document highlights the ‘priority’ topics that ACAP Saint John will strive to address, the organisation will evaluate the merits of addressing other environmental issues on a case by case basis. While this document provides eighteen definitive and site specific examples within the categories and sub-categories of environmental issues that define this CEMP, there are existing bodies of work that provide a substantially greater scale and scope to ACAP Saint John’s intended direction of over the 2013-2017 period. The five most influential works that will augment this overarching CEMP include; 1. McKenna, L., Stewart-Robertson, G. and T. Vickers. 2007. Marsh Creek Watershed Management Plan. ACAP Saint John Archives. www.acapsj.com/Reports 2. McKenna, L., Stewart-Robertson, G. and T. Vickers. 2007. Little River Watershed Management Plan. ACAP Saint John Archives. www.acapsj.com/Reports 3. McKenna, L., Stewart-Robertson, G. and T. Vickers. 2007. Alder Brook Watershed Management Plan. ACAP Saint John Archives. www.acapsj.com/Reports 4. Orford, W., Sproul, A., Stewart-Robertson, G., Vickers, T. and L. McKenna. 2008. Morphological History of Hazen Creek 1945-2006. ACAP Saint John Archives. www.acapsj.com/Reports 5. ACAP Saint John. 2012. Watershed Management in Saint John, New Brunswick (2011). An update on the status of watershed management recommendations for Marsh Creek, Hazen Creek, Little River and Alder Brook. www.acapsj.com/Reports.
A. Habitat Improvements (Enhancement, Restoration & Conservation) Saint John, New Brunswick, is a region undergoing substantial changes in the environmental integrity of its landscapes. Dubbed as a future ‘Energy Hub’ of Eastern North America, the city has already begun the infrastructural transformation of being crossed by natural gas corridors, transportation and communication infrastructure, industrial parks and power generation facilities, as well as the residential and commercial developments needed to support the accompanying community growth. Each of these developments occurs at the detriment of our existing natural capital. The physical attributes of our watersheds (geographic boundaries, water storage volume, green spaces, proximity to developed properties, wildlife habitats, connectivity, etc.) form the tangibles upon which ACAP’s environmental management strategy (this CEMP) must be founded. This section describes three overarching topics (Enhancement, Restoration & Conservation) by which the otherwise naturally occurring physical attributes of the regional watersheds can be improved by ACAP Saint John to better serve the needs of our community. Each of the following topics will provide a minimum of two specific project examples, with references (where applicable) to a more comprehensive list of priority habitat improvements.
1. Enhancement Saint John possesses a plethora of watershed features that can be readily improved upon to augment their functional value. Habitat enhancement projects are an attractive option for ACAP-led activities as they build upon existing features that often require only minor modifications to increase their functional value, include volunteer appropriate activities such as tree planting, and create ideal ‘before-and-after’ photo ops that augment educational and promotional endeavours. The following three categories provide sitespecific examples of priority watershed enhancement activities in Saint John.
a) Riparian vegetation Vegetation is a fundamental requirement for the sustained health of a watershed. The plants themselves provide forage, shelter and the physical materials needed for breeding and nursery habitats for a diverse array of insects, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. The dense root structures reduce the potential for erosion and the transport of sediments into watercourses, and (where immediately adjacent to watercourses) can create preferred in-stream cover for many species of fish including salmonids. The canopy created by taller shrubs and trees adds shading effects which provides a measure of protection against the solar warming of waters, while also reducing the risks of predation of fish by piscivorous birds. Vegetative canopy also provides a food source for fish by way of insects that drop into the water, and for aquatic invertebrates that feed upon organic materials and detritus. Aesthetically, vegetation creates visually appealing land and waterscapes which augment the social and cultural value the community places on watersheds. It is important to note that all greening projects must involve the use of native species, and that (wherever possible) a mix of plant types be considered to maximise floral diversity.
Project: Majors Brook Riparian Enhancement Location: Between Parkway Mall and Wal-Mart Majors Brook is a tributary of Marsh Creek that flows through the largest commercial sector of Saint John. The close proximity of this watercourse to numerous parking lots has created ‘ditch-like’ conditions along several hundred metres of its riparian zones (Figure 1). The removal of and subsequent lack of tall vegetation (shrubs and trees) along these lengths has been a factor in decades of public apathy towards its [existing] value as nesting habitat for migratory birds and as rearing habitat for fishes such as the American eel. The public misconception that Major’s Brook is merely a ditch is evidenced by the tonnes of litter, debris and illegally dumped materials that are removed from its banks and substrates each year during community cleanup events.
Figure 1. Photos showing close proximity of Major’s Brook to parking lots and commercial developments (top) and the relative lack of canopy cover (bottom photos). ACAP Saint John has initiated the process of re-establishing tall vegetation (shrubs and trees) along the southern bank of this section (bottom left); however, snow removal operations thwart efforts to establish trees and shrubs along the northern bank (bottom right).
This section of Major’s Brook requires a substantial increase in the density of native shrubs and trees to improve public appreciation for its status as a watercourse, and to improve its capacity to offer cover for birds and mammals. Property owners must be engaged to minimise activities (such as snow plowing) that not only degrade riparian vegetation, but also result in deposits of sand and shopping carts that further degrade aquatic habitats. Page 12 of 49
Project: Hazen Creek Bank Stabilisation Location: Grandview Industrial Park The vegetation of riparian areas must occasionally be preceded by bank stabilisation techniques so as to improve the structural integrity upon which the shrubs and trees are planted. These stabilisation projects typically involve placing hard structures (rock gabions or constructed log walls) to bear the brunt of higher water velocities that are eroding unconsolidated soils. The section of Hazen Creek that runs downstream of the natural gas pipeline in the Grandview Industrial Park between Grandview Avenue and Industrial Drive (Figure 2) is comprised of a hard clay bottom substrate that rests upon riparian substrates consisting of unconsolidated sand, gravel and soil. The flow characteristics of this section of the watercourse are such that substantial yearly losses of bank substrates occur, resulting in the in-stream deposition of large volumes of sediment and the loss of large overhanging vegetation (Figure 3).
Figure 2. Location of proposed bank stabilisation project in Hazen Creek within the Grandview Industrial Park.
Figure 3. Photos showing the substantial erosion of banks and the associated loss of large trees in Hazen Creek.
This section of Hazen Creek requires the construction of rock or wooden (log) rip rap to decrease bank erosion caused by stream hydrology and improve the potential for vegetative stability by reducing the bank slope immediately adjacent to the watercourse. The highly dynamic nature of annual changes in the channel morphology of this section necessitates that a well-crafted plan be developed that will augment the future flow characteristics and not create any new problems.
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b) In-stream habitat structures Virtually every watercourse in greater Saint John has been physically altered through human activities. Many of these alterations are hard structures such as culverts, channelization or bridges, which affect the natural flow patterns and course corrections that occur over time in lotic systems. In-stream structural modifications can help to offset the original anthropogenic effects and improve the ecological integrity of the watercourse by creating desired habitats, reducing erosion or improving sediment transportation dynamics.
Project: Hazen Creek digger logs and deflectors Location: Grandview Industrial Park The aforementioned stretch of Hazen Creek that flows through the Grandview Industrial Park (Figure 2) lacks an appropriate quantity and diversity of instream habitat for fish. The clay bottom and eroding bank cover have resulted in predominantly fast flowing runs with little instream or undercut shelter for fish to hide in (Figure 4) despite the large quantities of woody debris that enter the watercourse from bank erosion. This section would benefit from several in-stream habitat enhancement structures such as digger logs or wing-deflectors which are augmented by both bank stabilisation and vegetation projects and channel deepening (pool creation) from the artificial removal of clay substrates.
Figure 4. Photos showing the predominant in-stream habitat in Hazen Creek where it flows through the Grandview Industrial Park. Clay bottom substrates, unconsolidated banks and a lack of overhanging and instream cover create unfavourable habitat characteristics for fish.
Project: Digger logs adjacent to snow dump in Hazen Creek Page 14 of 49
Location: Hazen Creek immediately downstream of Bayside Drive. A main tributary of Hazen Creek skirts around and to the south of the City of Saint John snow dump located on Bayside Drive (formerly Old Black River Rd.) (Figure 5). This section of Hazen Creek has been subjected to decades of sediment inputs associated with runoff from the snow dump, upstream commercial developments and riparian erosion (see previous Project: Hazen Creek digger logs and deflectors). The substrate in this section of Hazen Creek consists mainly of sand with some fine organics (Figure 6), creating little in the way of quality habitat for fish. 2009 electrofishing results produced only eight fish in a 50m stretch, with no salmonids (ACAP 2010). Figure 5. Location of Hazen Creek adjacent to City of Saint John snow dump off of Bayside Drive in the Grandview Industrial Park.
This section of stream does contain overhanging riparian cover in the form of dense alders (Figure 6); however, it lacks the in-stream substrate and structure needed to support more desirable densities of fish, including salmonids. It is recommended that double deflectors be installed to restrict steam width, increase thalweg velocity and depth and to liberate sediments trapped by the slow water velocities and low grade (Fisheries & Oceans Canada 2006).
Figure 6. Photo of Hazen Creek adjacent to City of Saint John snow dump off of Bayside Drive in the Grandview Industrial Park. The light brown substrate is dominated by sand with some fine organics.
c) Wetland enhancement opportunities Page 15 of 49
Saint John contains an abundance of wetland habitats that can be altered to provide improved resources and attributes to our community. In many cases, the ecological function of the wetland can be enhanced while improving socio-economic benefits such as bird watching, community aesthetics and stormwater management. Identifying critical wetland features is necessary to ensure that municipal development does impede on resources that could augment artificial infrastructure. Project: Coldbrook Floodplain Location: Glen Falls adjacent to Golden Grove Road The community of Glen Falls in east Saint John contains a constructed stormwater retention area that was built to alleviate the excessive flooding that occurs on an almost annual basis. The retention area currently exists as a large muddy scar (during non-flood conditions) that has changed little since it was excavated more than two decades ago, providing little value to the community (Figure 7).
Figure 7. Aerial photo showing the lack of standing water in the Coldbrook during non-flood conditions.
ACAP Saint John proposes that this area be further excavated and landscaped such that it contains standing water year-round, thereby providing an opportunity to establish permanent wetland habitats. The existence of standing water would increase the aesthetic value of this site while providing an opportunity for outdoor skating during winter months.
Project: Courtenay Forebay Page 16 of 49
Location: Outlet of Marsh Creek at Courtenay Causeway The outlet to Marsh Creek consists of a brackish marsh contained by the Courtenay Causeway (Figure 8) that fills twice daily as tide gates close to reduce the intrusion of salt water and the subsequent potential for upstream flooding in the cityâ€™s commercial district. This wetland provides habitats for a variety of birds and mammals, but contains a low diversity of fish species outside of the spring freshet period. The pending (2013) completion of Harbour Cleanup will dramatically reduce the influx of pollutants (untreated municipal wastewaters) and almost certainly increase the water quality in this Provincially Significant Wetland.
Figure 8. Aerial overview of the Courtenay Forebay at the outlet of Marsh Creek. This wetland comprises a significant component of the larger Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative. Enhancement opportunities include expanding the eastern wetted areas to contain more stormwater during upstream flood conditions, adding an active transportation link around its perimeter, and incorporating interpretive education panels to increase community awareness of its sustainability potential. Given that this wetland approximates the geographic centre of Saint John, enhancing its social, economic and environmental attributes stands to deliver the greatest amount of value to the greatest proportion of stakeholders.
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2. Restoration The watersheds of greater Saint John have a rich history of providing area residents with an abundance of natural resources including migratory birds and migratory fishes such as alewives, sturgeon and salmon. The original stream channels and wetland features also provided transportation and recreational opportunities, and established well-defined flood prone areas. Centuries of anthropogenic activities (direct and indirect) have not only undermined the ability of our regional watersheds to augment our quality of life, but have actually degraded some urban watersheds to the status of liability. Restoring watershed features that have been lost due to development-related activities is a top priority of this CEMP.
a) Removal of barriers to fish passage ACAP Saint John has sampled or observed virtually every watershed in greater Saint John, and has found each one to contain habitats that were supporting fish. However, in many cases there were physical barriers that were restricting the upstream passage of fish. Such a lack of upstream access could reduce the genetic variability in upstream populations, and could prevent the watershed from achieving its full ecological potential by preventing migratory species from utilising the upstream habitats. The scale and scope of the existing barriers is such that many of the remediation solutions will require ACAP to engage commercial, industrial or governmental stakeholders to oversee their implementation. In these situations, it is imperative that ACAP acquire (a priori) the requisite baseline information on the effects of the suspected barriers with regards to their influence on the upstream passage of fish so as to facilitate ay opportunities for their removal. The elimination of man-made barriers to the upstream passage of fish is considered to be ACAP Saint Johnâ€™s single highest priority, and as such a greater number of definitive examples will be provided herein.
Project: Tide Gates on Marsh Creek / Courtenay Bay Location: Courtenay Causeway The [arguably] single greatest barrier to fish passage in Saint John exists in the form of five tide gates that are incorporated into the Courtenay Causeway where the outlet of Marsh Creek reaches the Bay of Fundy via Courtenay Bay and the St. John Harbour. These antiquated flapper-style gates are comprised of five large iron gates that each hang from two chains so as to cover their respective culverts during high tide (Figure 9). The gates pose two potential problems with respect to improving the environmental integrity of Marsh Creek. First, the nature of the gates is such that they close during high tide conditions when many species of migratory fish would be moving to enter the watercourse. While the gates do not pose a substantial barrier to the upstream movement of American eels, which appear capable of navigating most man-made barriers in Saint John, there is mounting evidence1 that the gates do impede the ability of migratory fish such as Rainbow smelt to enter the Marsh Creek watershed (Figure 10).
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Figure 9. Photos showing the five flapper-style tide gates at the outlet of Marsh Creek in Courtenay Bay.
Figure 10. ACAP Saint John staff (left) set a fyke net in the Courtenay Bay estuary below the tide gates at the outlet of Marsh Creek in June 2012. Fyke net captures included numerous large bodied Rainbow smelt (right) below the tide gates, but did not catch any large bodied rainbow smelt in simultaneous fyke netting above the tide gates in the upstream channel.
Secondly, these flapper gates do not provide an appropriate level of protection against the upstream movement (intrusion) of sea-water during high tide conditions. The gates are in a state of disrepair (Figure 11) with concerning levels of structural concrete and rebar now absent, apparent holes in at least one of the gates, and incomplete sealing of the culverts during high tide conditions. The state of disrepair is clearly evident by the intrusion of sea water into Marsh Creek (Figure 12), raising concerns about the effectiveness of this infrastructure to adequately mitigate tidal effects on the periodic upstream flooding of Marsh Creek. The replacement of the Courtenay tide gates with structures that better enable upstream fish passage and reduce the intrusion of seawater is one of ACAP Saint Johnâ€™s top priorities. The existing tide gates, which are owned and maintained by the New Brunswick Department of Transportation, have an influence on the Page 19 of 49
Courtenay Forebay, which is a designated Provincially Significant Wetland. This, in conjunction with the scale of any proposed modifications, will require resources (Environmental Impact Assessment, engineering, capital costs, monitoring) that are clearly beyond the capacity of ACAP Saint John. ACAPâ€™s role in facilitating the implementation of this project will be one of ongoing knowledge acquisition (continued evaluation of the upstream barrier-effect on anadromous fishes) and dissemination, where the merits of the project are continually expressed to key stakeholders, including regulatory agencies (Fisheries & Oceans Canada, New Brunswick Departments of Environment and Transportation), and to consulting and engineering firms who may be representing clients in need of environmental compensation for previous or pending developments.
Figure 11. Photos (top and left) showing the loss of concrete and the subsequent loss of structural rebar in the structural walls of the Courtenay tide gates located at the outlet of Marsh Creek in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Figure 12. Surface debris (left) indicating the location of seawater inflow past the Courtenay tide gates during high tide conditions and white water (right) highlighting the rush of seawater intrusion into Marsh Creek during high tide conditions. These images reflect the existing lack of integrity of the flapper gates at the outlet of Marsh Creek. Page 20 of 49
Project: Carpenter’s Pond Dam on Taylor Brook Location: Adjacent to Highway 1 near Dolan Rd. The Town of Rothesay maintains a water control structure at the outlet of Carpenter’s Pond on Taylor’s Brook which does not enable the upstream passage of fish (with the possible exception of American eels) (Figure 13). Installing a fish ladder poses a simple fix to this problem. Taylor’s Brook has a resident Brook trout population which could benefit from greater access to upstream habitats and genetic stock. Furthermore, with lentic habitats available upstream of this water impoundment structure, anadromous fishes such as Alewives (which occur in adjacent watersheds) might be able to establish spawning runs thereby increasing the overall productive capacity and native species diversity of this watershed.
Figure 13. Water control structure located in the Town of Rothesay, NB. The vertical drop does not allow for the upstream passage of resident or anadromous fishes.
Project: Dam at the old fish hatchery site on Little River Location: Outlet to the ‘Rez’ adjacent to former fish hatchery The Little River watershed supports a diverse array of social amenities, including well developed walking trails, a municipal beach and swimming reservoir (the ‘Rez’) and recreational angling for Brook and Brown trout. The outlet to the Rez contains a formidable barrier to the upstream passage of fish in the form of a large concrete dam that served to maintain water levels in the reservoir necessary for the operation of a fish hatchery (Figure 14). A fish ladder should be added to enable the safe two-way passage of fish without jeopardizing the structural integrity of the dam a as water impoundment structure.
Figure 14. Two photos depicting the layout and formation of a concrete dam located at the outlet to the Rez swimming area on Little River. Page 21 of 49
Project: Ashburn Lake rock dam Location: Outlet to Ashburn Lake at Glenn Carpenter Centre Ashburn Lake is a clear, cool water body located in the Ashburn sub-drainage of Marsh Creek. The lake contains a healthy abundance of Brook and Brown trout, along with American eels and numerous cyprinids. The outlet of the lake is defined by a rock and rip-rap dam that prevents the upstream passage of fish, with the exception of American eels (Figure 15 left).
Figure 15. (Left) Photo of rip-rap dam at the outlet of Ashburn Lake. This water impoundment structure prevents the passage of fish into upstream lakes and tributaries. (Right) ACAP Saint John environmental education coordinator Kaitlin Fitzpatrick engages three curious children in the collection and identification of fish and aquatic invertebrates during a YMCA summer day camp program conducted annually at the Glenn Carpenter Centre.
Ashburn Lake is also home to the Glenn Carpenter Centre (GCC), a multi-use facility owned and operated by the SJ YMCA. The GCC delivers numerous youth-oriented outdoor summer programs of which ACAP Saint John has a long history of augmenting with environmental education themes (Figure 15 right). The replacement or modification of the current rip-rap barrier should be pursued such that upstream fish passage is attained while the educational benefits of the restoration are highlighted to future camp attendees. Furthermore, the Ashburn sub-drainage has been identified as an important contributor to downstream flooding in the Marsh Creek basin. The replacement of the existing structure with one that provides improvements in regulated water retention times could contribute positively to the City of Saint John’s municipal stormwater management plan. Projects like the replacement of the rip-rap dam on Ashburn Lake must take top priority in ACAP Saint John’s CEMP due to the multitude and diversity of community benefits that can be achieved. Specifically, these types of ‘value-added’ watershed restorations add considerably to advancing ACAP’s agenda of delivering demonstrable sustainable developments.
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b) Restoration of ‘lost’ wetland habitats Saint John, like all virtually all communities in New Brunswick, has developed with little consideration to the implications of removing wetland functions. While higher density developments (versus urban sprawl) are viewed as being more ecologically considerate for urban areas, a reduction in quality of life characteristics can occur if too many wetland functions are removed from areas where they have historically contributed value to the community. ACAP will look to restore critical wetland functions such that they augment and complement existing and future urban development. Project: Courtenay Forebay Restoration Location: Outlet of Marsh Creek at Courtenay Causeway The potential value of the Courtenay Forebay (as mentioned previously on page 17) from an aesthetic, ecological and economic (eco-tourism and stormwater management) perspective is unparalleled in the region, and a focused effort must be directed to restore many of its characteristics so as to provide improved functionality to the benefit of the community. This large brackish marsh has experienced centuries of anthropogenic alterations ranging from the establishment of ship building facilities to the infilling and subsequent reduction of its volumetric capacity with large concrete and metal debris from the demolition the former Saint John General Hospital. Reclamation and restoration of western portions of the marsh (Figure 16) that were ‘lost’ could focus on the removal of demolition and construction materials to provide greater volumetric capacity for aquatic habitats and stormwater retention, with carefully planned landscaping to enable riparian habitats for birds and mammals.
Figure 16. Aerial image of Courtenay Forebay highlighting (in blue) areas recommended for restoration through the removal of in-filled debris and subsequent landscaping which would provide suitable riparian habitats for birds and mammals. Page 23 of 49
Project: Commerce Drive Wetland Location: Commerce Drive adjacent to McAlister Mall The Commerce Drive Wetland, located adjacent to the eastern parking lot of the McAllister Mall (Figure 17; left) represents yet another example of development that has occurred in the absence of consideration for the functional value of adjoining wetlands. This wetland, which is a remnant and isolated portion of the much larger Marsh Creek flood plain, has been subjected to decades of infilling associated with commercial developments, a former sewage lagoon, road construction and even sand from snow removal operations. The loss of volumetric capacity in this wetland undoubtedly adds to the chronic and severe flooding that occurs during heavy precipitation events when the wetland overflows its banks (Figure 17; right). ACAP proposes that as much of the in-filled portion of this wetland as possible (Figure 17 left) be excavated to increase stormwater containment and fish habitat, and increase the area available to be utilised as an outdoor skating rink during colder winter months. This wetland currently serves as habitat for mammals and nesting waterfowl, and landscaping and re-vegetating the riparian areas should be conducted to maintain or enhance these ecological functions. The close proximity of this wetland to both the prime retail district and residential neighbourhoods suggests that it is an ideal candidate for demonstrable sustainable development, providing soft infrastructure benefits along with quality of life features. Given the continued development pressures within the Marsh Creek floodplain, stakeholders must be educated and vigilant about restoring, enhancing and conserving the functionality of this wetland.
Figure 17. Photo (left) indicating the location of the Commerce Drive wetland near the McAllister Mall in east Saint John. The blue dot (left) depicts the location of the flooding highlighted in the photo on the right. The shaded region outlined in green (left) represents the area proposed for wetland restoration and enhancement through the removal of in-filled materials.
c) Watercourse Channel Integrity The physical characteristics of watercourse channels are integral to the functional value provided by watersheds. Channel morphology influences the velocity and volume of water that moves through a watershed which in turn influences ecological factors such as the ability of fish to travel throughout the watershed and the stability of critical habitats, as well as socio-economic factors such as the severity and duration of flooding and the erosional loss of riparian areas. I many cases, restoring channel integrity can be accomplished through â€˜passiveâ€™ in-stream structures such as deflectors which use the transformational forces of moving water to establish predetermined and preferred channel direction or morphology. Page 24 of 49
Project: Hazen Creek Stream Braiding Location: Grandview Industrial Park The lower stretch of the Hazen Creek tributary located between Industrial Drive and Grandview Avenue (Figure 18) has experienced a substantial loss of channel integrity resulting in numerous braided subchannels. The smaller braids not only result in shallower water depths that are more difficult for fish to navigate, but also foster unpredictable erosion vents that destroy riparian vegetation which subsequently create piles (â€˜log-jamsâ€™) of woody debris that reduce fish passage and cause additional erosion during high water conditions (Figure 19, left). The woody debris presents a serious risk to downstream infrastructure where the tributary enters a culvert and runs beneath commercial properties. If the woody debris continues to migrate downstream it will inevitably block the culvert creating a risk of flooding and property damage. Channel diversions have also been shown to result in barriers to fish passage by way of small vertical drops (Figure 19, right). Figure 18. Aerial image showing the location of channel braiding in Hazen Creek.
Figure 19. Woody debris (left) and vertical drops (right) resulting from stream braiding in Hazen Creek. Braided channels can be mitigated by employing wing deflectors to maintain preferred channel orientation. In this case, the woody debris should also be removed to mitigate the associated aforementioned risks. The use of wing deflectors, like all instream structures, must consider the placement and influence of other structures such as the proposed digger logs (page 14) suggested for increasing pool depth in this section of the watercourse. Page 25 of 49
Project: Loss of volumetric capacity in Marsh Creek Location: Main channel Marsh Creek near Marco Polo Bridge The main channel of Marsh Creek has experienced substantial anthropogenic alterations resulting in a decrease in total volume of water it can contain and the rate at which it can transport stormwater out of the floodplain and into the Forebay before exiting into the Bay of Fundy. The accumulation of sediments from storm drains and sewer outfalls is easily observed in the field and can be viewed from aerial images (Figure 20). Channel constrictions also present a hindrance to maximising the transport of stormwater out of the upper floodplain areas.
Figure 20. Aerial image of lower Marsh Creek highlighting the infilling of the channel with sediments from stormwater and wastewater outfalls (blue arrows) and channel constriction from road infrastructure (red arrow).
The remediation of channel degradation in Marsh Creek is of a large enough scale that ACAP must act as an advisor and proponent to assist stakeholders who are working around this section. Specifically, ACAP should encourage contractors and planners to identify opportunities to remedy outstanding volumetric issues in Marsh Creek at every opportunity. It is important to note that techniques such as digger logs that can liberate sediments may not be suitable in this section due to the underlying creosote contamination in the substrate. A preferred scenario would be to conduct channel dredging in conjunction with other pollution/contamination abatement efforts such as for creosote remediation (see Section B. Pollution Prevention & Abatement).
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3. Conservation It is imperative that existing or restored priority environmental features are provided some measure of long term protection (read conservation). The industrial nature of Saint John coupled with the exceptional growth in outlying communities such as Grand Bay-Westfield, Rothesay and Quispamsis has been occurring in the absence of an integrated and comprehensive environmental management plan. The resulting landscape fragmentation is making the prospects of realising a vision of contiguous wildlife and active transportation corridors increasingly unlikely. ACAP Saint John’s primary role in advancing its agenda of conserving environmental assets lies in the leveraging of indirect actions. Specifically; •
Increasing the direct engagement of stakeholders in environmental initiatives fosters a network of knowledgeable community-centric advocates who have ‘buy-in’ on the importance of conserving the results of their efforts. ACAP has always been and (through this CEMP) will continue to be founded on the merits of being a grass-roots community organisation that takes direction from the multi-sectorial composition of its members. This perspective is particularly important in Saint John where much of the land is owned by private entities.
Expanding ACAP Saint John’s sphere of influence through participation in boards and committees. ACAP Directors and staff should exert their advice, opinion and position when working with other boards, commissions or committees so as to decrease the likelihood that environmental assets will be degraded through a lack of awareness or understanding.
Fostering improved communications with governmental regulatory agencies such as (federal) Environment Canada and Fisheries & Oceans, (provincial) Departments of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy and (municipal) Planning, Municipal Operations and Leisure Services. ACAP Saint John is situated to provide a uniquely perspective to regulatory agencies that (in an era of ongoing cuts to their budgets) may not have the resources to gauge community interests.
Overall, ACAP Saint John’s principle conservation strategy is to create societal value in our regional environmental assets. Once the community legitimately embraces the inherent value of an environmental feature, the likelihood of that feature being diminished is reduced. This concept underlies ACAP Saint John’s development and promotion of initiatives like the Eco-Challenge that provide a direct connection between people and their environment. It is also important to note that ACAP Saint John is not by definition a ‘conservation organisation’ that acquires land or negotiates conservation easements with property or land owners. Rather, ACAP Saint John’s role when these opportunities arise is to act as a mediator in fostering awareness of conservation options for landowners and providing the appropriate contact information for conservation agencies such as the nature Trust of New Brunswick or the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
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B. Pollution Prevention & Abatement The previous section Habitat Improvements focused on advancing the environmental quality and quantity of morphological (physical) features within greater Saint John so as to secure the spatial characteristics needed to improve the long-term sustainability of our community. However, there exist numerous sources of pollution that pose an ongoing risk to the environmental integrity of these features through chemical, aesthetic and physical degradation. In many situations, the capacity for existing landscape features to provide beneficial resources to our community is undermined by undesirable inputs (pollutants) that are most often associated with [ongoing or remnant] commercial or municipal operations. The elimination of remnant pollutants and the management of ongoing or future pollutant risks is a critical success factor in the fulfilment of this CEMP. 1. Source Identification The first task in developing a pollution abatement strategy for Saint John is to identify the existing sources of inputs. While many of the most notable sources have been superficially identified, the specific nature of their pollutants requires more detailed analyses. Furthermore, stakeholders continuously provide insights into new or previously undocumented sources of pollution which must be ground trothed and evaluated for their potential effects. a. Sediment Sedimentation is arguably the single-most widespread and damaging pollutant within the watersheds of Saint John. Sediment clogs the interstitial spaces of cobble and gravel substrates reducing the productivity of these habitats for invertebrates, smothers the eggs of fish and degrades spawning habitats, and reduces the volumetric capacity of pools and channels to sustain aquatic life or contain stormwater. Sedimentation, while a natural process during seasonal watercourse erosion, is most damaging when accelerated through high input events associated with runoff from improperly managed developments, un-vegetated slopes and road sanding operations. b. Chemicals Chemical pollutants pose the most sinister form of inputs into our environment in that they comprise a long list of compounds with varying characteristics and varying levels of effects. Whereas some chemicals only pose a direct risk to aquatic life, others (such as creosote) have the ability to harm humans through contact or through indirect channels such as bioaccumulation in the food chain. The identification of chemical inputs is often achievable initially through visual inspection; however, confirmation and elucidation of specific chemical characteristics requires careful sampling and analytical analyses. It is imperative that ACAP work with both the suspected polluter and the appropriate government regulatory body to alleviate chemical pollutants in a timely and permanent manner. Many of the historical sources of chemical pollutants are well documented in Saint John; however an updated and digitally disseminated map should be developed to assist in their remediation. Former dump sites (i.e. Howeâ€™s Lake, Old Black River Road) and industrial activities (auto salvage, metal recycling, creosote treatment (see below)) are worthy of mention given their close proximity to businesses and residences.
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Project: Creosote removal from Marsh Creek Location: Main channel of Marsh Creek between Marco Polo Bridge and One Mile The single most substantial source of chemical pollution in Saint John is undoubtedly the long-standing creosote conatimination that exists within the sediments and riparian areas of lower Marsh Creek. The contamination results from the historical operations of a wood treatment facility (Likely Lumber Mill) that operated from the mid 1930â€™s through the mid 1970â€™s (Figure 21, left), until the site was purchased by Canada Post which still opoerates at that location.
Figure 21. Photo (left) showing the operation of a creosote-based wood treatment facility on the banks of Marsh Creek in Saint John, N.B. The photo on the right shows ACAP staff installing passive creosote recovery devices in the soft sediments of Marsh Creek. The liberation of creosote from the sediments is evident on the surface waters surrounding the ACAP staff. Oil absorbing boons were deployed to capture the liberated creosote. ACAP Saint has a long history of documenting the occurrence and distribution of creosote within Marsh Creek, including several years demonstrating the ease at which creosote could be extracted from areas where high concentrations existed in the sediments (Figure 21, right). The durability of this contaminant, along with its centricity within the City of Saint John, high toxicity and tendency to bio-accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals makes the remediation of creosote from Marsh Creek the highest of all of the priority chemical contaminant projects identified (to date) by ACAP Saint John. The scale and scope of this project necessitate the engagement of all three levels of government, along with several commercial and industrial stakeholders who own effected properties. The value of Marsh Creek as integral infrastructure for active transportation, eco-tourism and stormwater management (see Section D. Land Use Planning & Sustainable Development) can only be fully realised upon the remediation of this creosote contamination.
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c. Litter & Debris The deposition and accumulation of solid wastes in our watersheds is more than just a degradation of aesthetics, and can have demonstrable consequences to both ecological and infrastructural integrity. Twine and shopping carts can entrap fish and wildlife; while large debris such as plastic bags, tarps corrugated vinyl signs can cover large tracts of bottom sediments rendering these habitats useless for aquatic life. These latter materials can also collect on the trash racks of culverts and create blockages that further reduce the ability of channels to transport stormwater out of flood prone areas (Figure 22).
Figure 22. Photo on left shows the trash racks in Majors Brook (beneath Westmorland Rd) clogged with litter, signage and shopping carts. Photo on right shows flooding at the same Westmorland Rd intersection (beneath which Majors Brook runs).
2. Development of Site Specific Action Plans The logical progression in pollution abatement is to develop site specific plans to address the unique issues identified (see Source Identification above). Action plans must involve stakeholder consultation (especially landowners) who may be unaware that a problem exists on their property. Action plans for pollution abatement follow the same format as all ACAP projects, with credible science and stakeholder consultation forming the basis for the development of a recommended course of action for remediation. The following two examples highlight how a similar pollutant (sediment) entering two adjacent tributaries (~500m apart) within the Hazen Creek watershed require differing approaches to addressing the issue. The areas in question occur in the Grandview Industrial Park and involve a private property along Expansion Ave and the City of Saint John snow dump off of Bayside Drive (Figure 23).
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Figure 23. Locations of large sediment inputs into Hazen Creek from City snow dump (blue arrow on left) and private property (red arrow on right).
Project: Sedimentation abatement on Expansion Avenue Location: Expansion Avenue in Grandview Industrial Park The Hazen Creek tributary that runs along the northern side of Expansion Avenue receives large volumes of sand and gravel resulting from the erosion of barren slopes on the opposite side of the road during rain events (Figure 24). The volumes of sediment have been sufficient to have required heavy equipment from the City to remove the plumes from Expansion Ave. This obvious environmental issue could be addressed by installing berms near the base of the slopes, applying topsoil and (potentially) a reinforcing landscape mat, and vegetating the slope to create a dense mat root structure. Unfortunately, previous attempts at landowner engagement have not proven fruitful suggesting more assertive actions might be warranted.
Figure 24. Photos highlighting the unconsolidated sand and gravel that slumps and erodes into Hazen Creek at Expansion Avenue in the Grandview Industrial Park.
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There are numerous examples of sediment exporting landscapes throughout greater Saint John, most of which exist on private (predominantly commercially) property, and many of which involve former gravel pits. The two largest watersheds in east Saint John, Hazen Creek and especially Little River, possess the greatest number of such sediment exporting sources. Given that this pollutant not only represents the most predominant source of pollution in the majority of our watercourses, but also poses a serious risk to decreasing the capacity of watercourses to contain excessive e precipitation events, ACAP must increase its efforts to work with private landowners and find creative solutions and value propositions to improve our track record of securing the engagement and buy-in from these stakeholders.
Project: Sedimentation abatement at municipal snow dump Location: Bayside Drive in Grandview Industrial Park The municipal snow dump located just off of Bayside Drive has been used for decades as a location in which to store excessive snow during winters. The site, under the direction of the city, has made efforts to reduce the transportation of sediment from the melting snow into the immediately adjacent Hazen Creek. Unfortunately, applications such as silt fencing tend to lose their structural integrity quickly when heavy snow is pushed against them, rendering them virtually useless as a silt barrier (Figure 25).
Figure 25. Photo showing the ineffectiveness of silt fencing used to protect Hazen Creek from snow-borne sediments arising from the City of Saint John snow dump.
A more effective and permanent solution would be to create a double-berm wetland around the perimeter of the site. The interior berm would pose a more noticeable structure for heavy equipment operators to gauge their proximity to the edge of the site, while the exterior berm would provide the best barrier against any sediment that did pass over the interior berm. The berms should also be vegetated with shrubs or trees such as alders or willows to further define the site boundaries, improve the structural integrity of the berms, and to provide the overhanging canopy cover for fish and avian habitat. The wetland ‘moat’ nestled between the berms would provide ‘polishing’ to further entrap any sediment laden waters as well as removing toxins that can become entrapped within the snow banks in residential garbage that is buried by snowfall before it can be collected.
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3. Community Cleanups Physical pollutants such as litter and debris provide ideal opportunities to engage stakeholders in direct action initiatives such as community cleanup events. While such events are reactive in nature providing only indirect influences on pollutant source reduction, they remain one of the most popular forms of citizen engagement and should be lauded for this attribute. Moreover, with the exception of the St. John Harbour Cleanup project, the ‘Green Network’ can be viewed as the most successful environmental initiative in ACAP Saint John’s twenty year history. Cleanup events provide an immediate reduction in the amount of physical debris in the environment with a corresponding improvement in the aesthetic appearance of the recipient green space. The Green Network has engaged more than 11,000 volunteers (an average of 1,592 volunteers per year) since it was created in 2006, resulting in the removal of 162.8 metric tonnes of debris (an average of 23.3 tonnes per year) during this same time period. It is worth noting that virtually all of these cleanups and all of the corresponding materials were removed from beaches and watercourse riparian zones in greater Saint John, thereby reducing the potential for these physical pollutants becoming an undesirable export into our nearshore and offshore marine environments (Figure 26).
Figure 26. Green Network volunteers remove litter and debris from our coastline (left) and inland watercourses (right) during two of the dozens of community cleanups that occur each year in Saint John, NB.
Cleanup events provide an excellent opportunity to instill a sense of community ownership in the management of our regional environment and are integral to ACAP Saint John’s strategy for developing stakeholder capacity (see Section E. Capacity Development). These events, in addition to delivering demonstrable and measureable reductions in pollution, also provide a year-to-year baseline upon which to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-litter and anti-illegal dumping campaigns.
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C. Data, Information and Knowledge Management The ability to acquire a measure or understanding of the status of an environmental attribute is fundamental to making sound management decisions. ACAP Saint John has (since its inception) adhered to a policy of basing its decisions on integrating the most credible evidence available with community knowledge, while trying to minimise ‘knee-jerk’ responses to what are often contentious issues. ACAP’s experience with conducting field work in often overlooked areas of Saint John, coupled with its unique position on leveraging urban watersheds as the foundation for sustainable development, results in the acquisition of measures of environmental features that have proven to be valuable assets at times of proposed change (i.e. developments). The ability to acquire valued measures of environmental characteristics is critical to both ACAP’s ability to advance its mission statement and to assist other stakeholders (regulators, consultants, developers, educators, etc.) in making decisions that maximise regional sustainability while minimising negative environmental effects. The successful delivery of this critical management success factor relies on the acquisition of data, the synthesis and presentation of these data as information, and the ability to interpret and predict how this information relates to our world through the application of knowledge.
1. Data Acquisition Data represent the discrete characteristics or facts about a feature such as the water temperature at a given point in time or the number of volunteers attending an event, and as such tend to be static in nature. It is essential that measures of data, which are a fundamental requisite to the synthesis of information, be acquired using instruments that have been calibrated to be as accurate as possible, and maintained to foster maximal precision. The number of measures of data taken from within a population has a direct effect on the precision of any statistical induction and as such it is important that appropriate sample sizes be estimated or pre-determined whenever possible. That being said, data acquisition is often a costly and time consuming endeavour and ACAP must be vigilant in its determinations of what data need to be measured.
2. Information Processing & Presentation Information is the synthesis, organisation or presentation of data. In essence, information is the representation of data in a format (graphs, charts, tables, maps, statistics, reports, presentations, etc.) that improves our ability to both understand the data and distribute it to others in a meaningful context. ACAP has a definitive role to play with respect to the provision and distribution of timely information on regional environmental attributes, and must continue to improve upon its status as a leader in this field. Of particular importance is the increased use of e-storage and social media dissemination of information. These media enable virtually instantaneous reporting of information to the widest possible audience, and decrease the need for the resources associated with hard copy media (paper, bindings, physical storage space). Electronic media also enable unparalleled ease of search and acquisition tasks, thereby improving operational efficiencies within ACAP and improved (external) stakeholder support. Existing priority information development includes the long term monitoring of Marsh Creek water quality parameters, presence/absence of fish species by water body, sources of pollutants, species at risk, expanding project lists for environmental management priorities, development of management plans for watersheds currently lacking them, recurring monitoring and community cleanup metrics. Page 34 of 49
3. Knowledge Management Knowledge refers to our ability to interpret and understand information (from formal learning, study or experience) in terms of its relevance to a particular problem. As such, knowledge is more akin to our ability to utilise information from a management perspective where decisions are made based upon the most reliable available resources. While debate exists about the ability to truly exchange knowledge (given that it possesses an individualistic element unique to each person) there are approaches that foster the communication of these individualistic knowledge elements. These include; •
The development of best management practices where information is combined with experience to suggest the most feasible approach to delivering a service or conducting an activity such as tree plantings (suggesting which species to use in a given situation using which technique and at what time of year).
Including recommendations in reports so as to imply the most appropriate course of action to take in future endeavours
Providing (carefully thought out) advice or opinions on relevant (and only relevant) subject matters
Participating on boards, committees or panels where opportunities exists to contribute to the direction of dialogue
It is important that ACAP staff and members strive to remain knowledgeable of issues of importance to the delivery of the organisation’s mandate. The multi-sectorial composition of the ACAP board should be leveraged as a strong asset but only if the members are engaged in environmental issues of regional importance. While ACAP has established an enviable reputation with the professional media as being a credible source of information, it must be conscientious in the dispersion of knowledge as it is therein that errors in judgement can erode the organisation reputation.
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D. Land Use Planning & Sustainable Development 1. Sustainable Development Every community has its unique history and values, its goals and aspirations for the future, and its particular strengths and weaknesses. Sustainable communities use these community characteristics as the basis for their long-term planning. The planning process begins with a dialogue that involves the whole community in searching for and reflecting upon its history and values; about key relationships; on the use of land and resources; on the consequences of planning options; and on the future viability of traditional industries and â€œways of lifeâ€? that have sustained the community in the past. Sustainable development presents a challenge to society to leave their community in a better state, thereby enhancing the quality of life for present and future generations. The Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) meets this challenge by providing unified solutions to pressing local, national and international issues. By incorporating a multifaceted approach to urban development, and integrating active transportation routes, green space conservation and enhancement, and flood mitigation, all as parts of community-industry partnerships, the MCRI is one of the most remarkable opportunities for community advancement ever seen in Canada. Though wetland remediation is the over-arching theme of the initiative, the benefits will be felt region-wide. These benefits include: Economic-social impacts (green spaces, active transportation, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, education); Enviro-economic impacts (community partnerships, business accessibility); and Socio-environmental impacts (flood event mitigation, climate change adaptive strategies, wetland remediation).
Commercial developments within the Marsh Creek floodplain suffer from the historical lack of sustainable urban planning.
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In recent years, ACAP Saint John has been hard at work not only securing community support for the St. John Harbour Cleanup – an initiative that will have unprecedented benefits for Saint John’s image and environmental well-being – but also on coastal climate change adaptive strategies, research on the history of the city’s harbour in conjunction with UNBSJ’s CURA project, compiling an in-depth database of Saint John wetlands, and on creating comprehensive watershed management plans for the city’s major urban watercourses. Throughout all of ACAP’s studies, the city’s sustainable planning initiatives and the province’s Self-Sufficiency Agenda, one common denominator began to emerge as a central component of Saint John’s environmental, economic and cultural future: Marsh Creek.
The medial sections of Marsh Creek offer exceptionally scenic backdrops as a world-class example of contemporary sustainable development. Natural areas and human development do not have to be mutually exclusive. Sustainable developments incorporate natural habitat as integral components of the infrastructure of the project, such as using constructed wetlands as filters for contaminated parking lot runoff. By incorporating soft infrastructure into planning processes, a developer can reduce maintenance costs and increase property values, while also preserving natural capital and providing benefits for the community. In addition, the advantages of the MCRI, by its very nature, are not simply short-term gains, but meaningful long-term improvements to the community that will provide value well into the future. Page 37 of 49
The Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative [MCRI] combines the functionality of a multi-use (i.e. walking & cycling) trail system with the existing natural benefits of an urban watercourse to provide the foundation of this sustainable development proposal. Specifically, the MCRI proposes that a number of existing wetlands in east Saint John could be expanded and interconnected via a walking and cycling trail, and enhanced with interpretative panels, gazebos, landscaping, and more to provide the maximum number and variety of benefits to the greater Saint John community. These varied benefits include; • • • • • • • • •
offering increased storm-water retention capacity to reduce the frequency and intensity of flooding in East Saint John; offering environmental and historical educational opportunities for the 10,000 students attending schools in or around Marsh Creek; creating recreational opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and camping; increasing property values and growing the municipal tax base; improving the environmental health of this degraded watercourse; filtering parking lot and snow dump runoff; improving fish passage and riparian vegetation health linking existing parks and green spaces; offering a one-stop-shopping list of wetland compensation projects to ease the burden for those proposing new economic development in the City of Saint John; and much, much more.
Despite its negative image, Marsh Creek contains some of the most scenic and undeveloped natural areas within the City of Saint John, particularly in the medial and upstream sections. Restoration projects would include expansion of existing wetlands throughout the watershed, both in the lowlands and in the headwaters. These measures could contribute significantly to a reduction of increasingly-frequent flooding incidents. In addition, by taking advantage of the creek’s linear configuration, an essential component of the city’s active transportation ambitions could be realised. This would directly link the Uptown business core with the city’s east side and the suburban communities in the Kennebecasis Valley. Many portions of Marsh Creek are located within residential neighbourhoods and within easy walking distance of several public schools. Remediated and expanded wetlands would provide countless educational opportunities for local students and a chance for younger generations to develop a sense of stewardship toward invaluable wildlife habitats and their community’s green spaces. Improvements to wetland areas would also reinvigorate community links with the environment. Increased pedestrian and cycle traffic would provide new business opportunities in commercial districts, while supplying existing businesses with increased ‘walk-by’ advertising. Re-establishing Marsh Creek as a productive ecosystem for anadromous fishes would serve as one of the most substantial accomplishments of the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative. An enhanced and protected Marsh Creek would ensure a legacy of habitat for native flora and fauna for future generations. As part of any wetland expansion, opportunities could also be created for increased carbon sequestration into plant biomass.
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2. Beyond Marsh Creek The concepts identified through the development of the MCRI can be applied to other areas of Greater Saint John (and New Brunswick), providing a region-wide initiative that would provide enhanced benefits to the community. In order to make the project a success, work must continue on meeting with landowners and key stakeholders to maximise potential opportunities and outcomes. As working with all facets of the community is a key aspect of sustainability, this open dialogue will allow the community to take ownership in the project and begin to take pride in what Marsh Creek can become. By not limiting our expectations based on the errors of the past, we can not only envision a brighter future for Saint John, but actually make it a reality through co-operation and sound planning. It is critical to continue to assist the City of Saint John with the renewal of its Municipal Plan to ensure the incorporation of key natural features and the recognition of wetlands as critical infrastructure. The implementation of sustainable development practices comprises the single greatest opportunity to re-invent Saint John since the post-war period. By establishing new municipal planning policies, revising business mandates, improving public consultation and taking stock of our natural capital, Saint John can become not only a more vibrant and livable city, but it can begin to attract new residents and become a model for sensible and sustainable living throughout Canada and North America. By investing in sustainability today, weâ€™re not only assuring that we enhance the ability of future generations to meet their needs, but we are also giving those future generations a better economic foundation on which to build, a better environment in which to live, and a better city to call their own.
Active transportation routes that embrace natural watershed features, such as those in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia (photo on left), add immense value to quality of life assets in a community. Photo courtesy of the Clean Annapolis River Project. The work done to date on the MCRI is just the tip of the iceberg, and there exists dozens of other potential wetland projects throughout Saint John that have to be identified and fully developed. Development of a comprehensive wetland functionality survey would allow potential developers to contribute to a holistic system of sustainable urban wetlands, rather than simply creating a patchwork of projects across the region. Such a survey would prioritise and package the projects in a manner which would allow the public, government regulators and developers alike to see not only where progress can be made toward an end goal, but to allow them to have complete access to information on the wetland size, water quality, aquatic and terrestrial habitat, and restorative potential. Page 39 of 49
E. Capacity Development A recurring theme in this CEMP is the need for initiatives to increase awareness and provide more information about ways in which individuals, businesses and governments can contribute to regenerating a healthy, sustainable environment in Greater Saint John. This comprehensive management plan also highlights the urgency of this shift to sustainable behaviour, not just to reduce our present impact on the environment, but to create an accepting market for innovative community and watershed designs which will form the basis of redeveloping more sustainable communities as population density continues to rise. How our neighbourhoods and lots are redeveloped and renovated will determine our environment’s long term health. Technology transfer to planners, consultants, developers, and the construction and home renovation industry will be key to success. Building on existing programs such as LEED professional accreditation by Canada Green Building Council and sustainability workshops, there is a need to train industry professionals in the use of new technologies for stormwater management, water and energy conservation to hasten their adoption and use on the ground. The City of Saint John and the Province of New Brunswick are likely candidates for these initiatives and have taken up their mantle in recent years. Another focus of this watershed planning involves increasing awareness of erosion and sediment control practices for construction sites and best practices for restoration of a site after a project is completed. The eclectic and diverse nature of a truly comprehensive management plan founded on watershed dynamics necessitates the use of a multi-faceted approach to developing the capacity of stakeholders to appreciate, recognize, and understand and strategize about ways to improve our regional environment. This multifaceted approach can be summarized via two broad themes; Outreach & Engagement and Education.
1. Outreach & Engagement ACAP Saint John’s approach to community outreach and engagement can be defined as ‘conducting regional environmental awareness activities through targeted community interaction’. This approach improves stakeholder ‘buyin’ through inclusivity as suggested by Community Based Social Marketing theory. Specifically, ACAP employs both proof-of-concept and direct action strategies to meet its outreach & engagement objectives.
a. Proof of concept Proof-of-concept initiatives should be employed to re-enforce pre-existing notions or contentions about an environmental issue that has not yet been fully realised. These initiatives represent ‘next-step’ stages in project development, often when momentum or community support has waned, and should strive to engage key stakeholders or stakeholder sectors who have the ability to champion an initiative.
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Project: Marsh Creek Eco-Challenge Location: Marsh Creek watershed, east Saint John ACAP Saint John hosted the inaugural Marsh Creek Eco-Challenge on June 25, 2011. The event was envisioned to support two strategic objectives associated with the advancement of the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) on the national and international stage. Firstly, it was a proof-of-concept event to confirm ACAP’s contention that the Marsh Creek watershed could be the foundation for a multitude of active transportation activities (including cycling, hiking, running and biking). Secondly, it was an awareness event designed to directly engage new stakeholders in knowledge and capacity development that could foster additional community support for the MCRI.
Members of ‘The Wolf Pack’ transition from trekking into a cycling stage of the inaugural Marsh Creek Eco-Challenge, held on June 25, 2011 in Saint John, NB.
The success of 2011 Eco-Challenge in meeting the two aforementioned objectives precipitated the development of the successive 2012 Marsh Creek Eco-Challenge. ACAP incorporated participant feedback and internal analyses from the inaugural event to make improvements to the 2012 Marsh Creek EcoChallenge. The Marsh Creek Eco-Challenge was designed from the ground up to promote community engagement in environmental issues and to bring people closer to the amazing natural areas of Marsh Creek. Taking the Page 41 of 49
form of a full scale adventure challenge place across the watershed, involving paddling, running, orienteering and cycling through some of Canada's finest urban green areas. The Marsh Creek EcoChallenge engages a large regional and cross-border audience into watershed issues and promotes the tourist potential of a restored urban watercourse and active transportation alternatives, all while providing a fun, engaging opportunity to meet new people and learn about nature. When all was said and done, the Marsh Creek Eco-Challenge showcased the Marsh Creek watershedâ€™s potential to local, national and international participants in a unique outdoor adventure-racing event, unparalleled in eastern Canada. In just a few short days, the Marsh Creek Eco-Challenge brought the focus of the region onto the untapped natural beauty and geographic diversity of Marsh Creek and truly showcased the ability of the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative to transform the worst of Saint John's image into an economic driver for not just the city, but for New Brunswick as a whole.
b. Direct Action One of the most effective approaches to leveraging the good will and sincere interest of stakeholders in participating in the management of their regional environment occurs in the form of direct action initiatives. These activities are arranged such that the stakeholders themselves play the most integral role in effecting improvements to the environment. The most common (and effective) types of direct action include activities such as tree planting, the construction of bird or bat houses, surface water sampling or green space cleanups. Given that these are demonstrably quantifiable action-based initiatives, ACAP should strive to promote several direct action projects each year.
Volunteer-based direct action events, such as the riparian tree planting conducted by TD employees (above), result in immediate improvements to the environment while empowering stakeholders with the knowledge that their actions have contributed to a more sustainable community. Page 42 of 49
Project: The Green Network Location: Greater Saint John ACAP Saint John introduced the Green Network in 2006 to better engage the community in removing solid waste (litter & debris) and household hazardous materials (antifreeze, oils, paints) from green spaces and natural areas throughout Saint John. The initiative has grown over the past 7 years, and has now engaged nearly 14,000 volunteers who have removed over 180 tonnes of debris from Greater Saint John, including SCUBA cleanups that have debris from the bottom of our lakes, rivers and estuaries (Figure 27). The Green Network’s partnership (equipment and human resources) with the City of Saint John Municipal Operations coupled with financial assistance from the New Brunswick Department of Environment’s Environmental Trust Fund are key components in its success. The Green Network has been a valuable asset to the Saint John community for seven years and despite its success in previous years, it is still continues to grow. It has not only helped remove more than 180 tonnes of debris from Saint John, it has also been a resource community members have come to depend on. ACAP receives countless phone calls, emails and personal visits pertaining to proper waste disposal and illegal dumpsites. The Green Network is a well-known environmental information source in the community. Partnerships with the City of Saint John and the Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission allow for a collation of information, reducing demand on these organizations. The Saint John community is eager to clean their local environment and the Green Network is a resource to help accomplish this goal. Removing debris from Greater Saint John will provide a safer and more aesthetically pleasing environment for citizens and tourists alike.
Figure 27. The multi-sectorial composition of ACAP Saint John’s Green Network includes members of the SCUBA diving community. These volunteers from The Dive Shack in Saint John have removed more than 500 glass bottles from the waters of the Crystal Beach campground, a popular summer swimming destination for residents and visitors.
2. Education Page 43 of 49
The exchange of information is critical to the capacity development of both ‘external’ stakeholders, as well to the staff and members (internal stakeholders) of ACAP Saint John. The two-way communication of regionally-relevant information (current events, development proposals, regulatory changes, wildlife sightings, school curricula, pollution monitoring, etc.) provides a more level platform upon which to base proposals for sustainable development within the community. Virtually all of ACAP Saint John’s initiatives contain some form of education component or contribute to the development of information dissemination media.
a. Media In this day in age, having an online component as a part of any project is a critical facet of its success as the demand for open, online information sources in the past five years has moved from being a mere luxury to a necessity of modern environmental work. As a result, ACAP Saint John has embarked on an in-depth set of social media tools, while also creating new interactive solutions to solicit even greater dissemination within Greater Saint John and the Province of New Brunswick. These tools and frameworks are to be made readily accessible to every segment of the population and therefore could be easily adopted by other watershed groups and municipalities across the province and the region. The linking of photos, video and datasets to geo-located reference points bridges the gap between what is measured on the ground and what is presented to the public; and a colour-coded system of iconography has been developed to allow rapid consumption of the threats facing each of the Saint John’s major watersheds. The goal of this new method of report delivery is to disseminate information so as to encourage others to participate in the decision-making process associated with managing the future of our watersheds. The core mandate of this initiative has been to leverage ACAP Saint John’s well established, and rapidly growing, social media networks to engage otherwise out-of-touch segments of society directly into environmental management processes, furthering the coalescence of scientific research and the public realm. In addition, as part of the on-going reforms to ACAP Saint John’s image, and continue to build upon its existing reputation for professionalism within the community, it is important for ACAP to develop a system of guidelines and standards for all media it produces, ranging across the spectrum from final project reports, to video productions for social media. Logos, branding identifiers, formatting, visual continuity and voicing are all essential components of marketing ACAP Saint John to the general public, and potential funders, in a cohesive, professional manner. In 2010-2011, ACAP Saint John’s Status & Trends Project conducted a telephone-based survey to gauge the public’s perception and knowledge of regional environmental priorities and ongoing initiatives, and to determine the degree of satisfaction that their priorities were being addressed. The public survey employed the services of Corporate Research Associates (CRA) from Halifax, Nova Scotia to ensure the statistical significance (α = 0.05) of the data. CRA used their ‘Urban Report’ (a syndicated research tool) to sample opinions and perspectives from 400 adult residents in the greater Saint John region. CRA also assisted in the questionnaire design, which ultimately consisted of eight questions, one of which had three components, which resulted in ten answer categories. The questions were divided equally to consist of five open-answer questions and five multiple-choice questions. The questions were designed to evaluate the public’s perception of the environment as a priority issue, which specific priorities exist, their opinion as to degree by which these priorities were being addressed, the consequences of not adequately addressing these priorities, and who (i.e. which stakeholder) was currently doing the most to advance these priorities. The remaining questions in the public survey Page 44 of 49
asked respondents on knowledge and support for specific ACAP Saint John projects. These questions were deliberately held to the end of the survey so as to prevent bias in the aforementioned questions. The results of ACAP Saint Johnâ€™s commissioned public survey on environmental priorities in the greater Saint John region have provided critical information on how residents in the area perceive what environmental issues are important to them and how effective current measures are at addressing their concerns. In an unaided question, Saint John residents were asked to name the single most important issues they believe is facing the region today. Although the survey found that economic concerns rank as most important, environmental-related issues were a close second when it came to important issues that needed to be addressed in the region. As it related to specific ACAP projects, one of the most interesting results of the public survey was the level of awareness for the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative. Results indicate that three-quarters of the regional population having heard of this project with residents 35 years or older most likely to be aware of this project. The survey told residents that the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative seeks to develop land in the east Saint John to create a green space corridor through the City for walking, cycling, wildlife habitat and flood management. Based on this information and their previous knowledge, residents were asked for their level of general support or opposition to the use of these lands for this purpose. The results show that, Saint John residents clearly endorse this initiative. Indeed, the vast majority of the population offers some level of support towards this initiative (90 percent), while opposition is minimal (5 percent).
b. Presentations While social media enables the highest number of stakeholder interactions in the shortest possible time, the interpersonal nature of public or group presentations often generates the greatest level of stakeholder engagement and provides an opportunity to deliver messages that are custom tailored for a specific audience, or that solicit specific feedback on topics of relevance (such as in the development of this CEMP) (Figure 28). As a community organisation, it is imperative that ACAP continue to provide opportunities direct dialogue with our members and stakeholders, especially schools, business development entities, private landowners and developers, and government representatives.
Figure 28. Members of the Saint John community attend an open house to discuss issues related to sustainable development (left). Events such as these often provide information and insights into the perceptions of the community on the management of the regional environment (right). Project: Outdoor Environmental Education: Glen Carpenter Centre / YMCA Page 45 of 49
Location: Ashburn Lake Hands-on learning that is pre-empted by directed presentations by ACAP staff delivers one of the most rewarding and engaging education opportunities provided by ACAP Saint John. The Environmental Education program that has been delivered by ACAP Saint John in partnership with the YMCA reaches hundreds of area youth each year. This exceptional education forum highlights a diverse array of watershed themes, including water quality, invertebrates and fish. Participants, which can range from 5 to 17 years of age, are given the rare opportunity to participate in scientific fish collection involving beach seines (figure 29). The students apply knowledge of habitat use to determine the best locations to collect fish, and by association learn of the value in enhancing and conserving aquatic habitats. This program is arguably the most successful direct learning initiative in the history of the organisation, and new techniques (underwater digital video cameras) are providing even more learning opportunities for participants, who are able to share the video images with their friends and families via social media. For many urban youth, the Environmental Education program represents their first direct encounter with wildlife, creating exceptional opportunities to instill the value of conservation in them at an early age. The program also provides opportunities to incorporate up-to-date information, themes and trends into the curriculum thereby adding additional credibility and value.
Figure 29. Saint John area youth participate in the collection, identification and release of fish from Ashburn Lake during ACAP Saint Johnâ€™s Environmental education program. Hands-on learning programs such as these provide unparalleled opportunities to introduce or re-acquaint local youth with the wonders of their outdoor environment.
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c. Network Interactivity ACAP Saint John, as a true multi-sectorial community group, is reliant upon constant interaction with its members and stakeholders for information exchange and direction. Leveraging the human resources that comprise its membership is an important tool in both maximising ACAP’s sphere of influence and in receiving up-to-date information on community issues. As such, it is imperative that ACAP Directors remain involved in and knowledgeable about the affairs of the organisation and actively promote the merits and details of ACAP’s mandate and initiatives. Specifically, Directors should be encouraged and empowered to sit on other the Boards and committees of other community entities, participate in workshops, seminars and advisory panels, and attend information sessions and presentations of topics of relevance and interest to ACAP Saint John. Additionally, ACAP staff should constantly strive to advance their professional development, and to seek opportunities to hire youth and post-secondary students so as to provide regionally-relevant employment related skills and knowledge. Community-based environmental management is a highly competitive multidisciplinary field that not only requires applicable knowledge in the environmental sciences, but in public, government and media relations, finances, rules and regulations, project management, grant and report writing, event coordination and human resource management. ACAP Saint John’s ability to effectively deliver upon the tasks and objectives outlined in this CEMP will ultimately be determined by the organisations success at nurturing its community interactions.
Closing Remarks ACAP Saint John has [historically] made efforts to deliver community-based services across the broadest spectrum of environmental management needs. While this approach was both sincere and honourable in terms of its intent to achieve as many environmental improvements as possible, it lacked an element of focus aligned to the available resources of the organisation and of the community that it represents. The newly minted 2013-2018 CEMP references a succinct description of the organisation itself, along with a refined and focused mandate to found improvements to the greater Saint John environment on the basis of sustainable watershed management. The staff and members of ACAP Saint John firmly believe that this clarity in direction is the most appropriate course of action for the organisation and for our stakeholders, and are committed to continuing to advance ACAP Saint John’s stature the most credible and reliable community-based environmental management resource in the region.
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ACAP Saint John. 1997. Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan “Realising the vision”. ACAP Saint John Archives.
ACAP Saint John. 2012. Fish Collection: Summary 2012. A year-end report on the collection and sampling of fish from three Saint John, New Brunswick watersheds by the Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) Saint John, Licence # 322675 FIN 7-000148-47 ACAP Saint John. 2010. 2009 Electrofishing: East Saint John. ACAP Saint John Archives.
Fisheries & Oceans Canada. 2006. Ecological restoration of degraded aquatic habitats: A watershed approach. Fisheries & Oceans Canada. Oceans and Science Branch. Gulf Region. ISNB: 0-662-42818-8 Cat. Number: Fs104-4/2006E.
ACAP Saint John is a non-profit charitable environmental organisation that was founded in 1992. Our Mission is to engage the multi-sectorial community of Greater Saint John in the collaborative management and restoration of our watersheds. ACAP Saint John works with those stakeholders in the community who share a common belief that an industrialised urban center can support an abundance of functional natural capital. ACAP Saint John envisions a sustainable community that embraces the interdependence of the unique social, economic and environmental characteristics of the region’s watersheds.
ACAP Saint John 76 Germain Street, PO Box 6878 Stn ‘A’ Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L 4S3 Ph: 652-2227 fax: 633-2184 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.acapsj.com Facebook.com/acapsj
“This CEMP forms the guidelines and direction that will define the activities of ACAP Saint John between 2013 and 2018, and represents a def...