As summer slowly cools and we round the corner to fall, WRIG says a fond farewell and thank you to our 2014 Summer Field Crew. This year marked the first watershed job experience for both our Field Supervisor Brittany, and our Field Technician Jerrica, and we couldn’t be prouder of them! Both have begun academic careers focused on Science and the Environment, and the hands-on experience they’ve gained over the summer with WRIG was a chance to put their education into action. We wish the best of luck to Brittany at Holland College and Jerrica at UPEI this coming year!
Although the summer field season is brief for our watershed restoration and enhancement work, our field crew completed an incredible amount of work in 10 weeks. We planted close to 800 native tree and shrub species, cleaned debris and removed blockages to fish passage along kilometres of our streams, built brush mats to help trap sediment, and kept Rackham’s Community Pond looking spiffy. The crew also took on a bank stabilization project to help protect the slope above the fish passage at Rackham’s from erosion. The PEI Department of Transportation donated some jute matting, which was installed lengthwise on the slope and planted with wild rose and high bush cranberry, both of which are hearty, shrubby plants with roots that will anchor soil, keeping it in place on the slope and allowing other vegetation to grow.
Riparian Health Assessments have continued in our watershed, an ongoing project which provides an overall assessment of important stream health indicators, a tool we use to make our watershed management more effective. With landowner support, we have assessed new sections of our watershed and checked back on sections that former field crews have worked to improve. It’s a great feeling to see the trees past crew and volunteers have planted growing beautifully, keeping river banks stable and providing habitat for local wildlife. The 2014 Field Crew Report will be available on our website this fall for those of you interested in learning more about the work WRIG accomplished this summer. Funding for field crew positions is made possible in part through the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund, the Canada Student Jobs Program, and the PEI Watershed Management Fund.
There are a few things going on with WRIG this fall. We will be continuing our environmental education by offering the Adopt A River program in partnership with Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association, Hunter Clyde Watershed Group, and local schools. Our fall shoreline clean-up will be held September 20th on the North Rustico sandbar beach, which will be a great opportunity for volunteers to help keep our beaches free of litter and lost fishing equipment. There are also some great workshops being offered this fall through WRIG and other organizations, and details will be posted on our website as they become available.
Keep an eye out for our fall WRIG newsletter which will be published in October. If you’d like a digital copy delivered directly to your inbox, send your request to be added to our mailing list to Tamsyn@wheatleyriver.ca, and we’ll also keep you up to date on our latest events and WRIG information. You can also check us out www.wheatleyriver.ca and follow our Facebook page for more updates, stories and articles.