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Public Notice - The Avalon Wetlands


THE AVALON WETLANDS - A FOUNDATION TO A HEALTHY COASTAL AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM

 

Funded by DFO's Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Fund, The Avalon Wetlands – A Foundation to a Healthy Coastal Aquatic Ecosystem, will focus on education, outreach, and environmental monitoring over the next three years. Bonavista was selected as one of the focus areas along with St. Shotts River and Pipers Hole.  This project is still in the preliminary stages and teams will be visiting these areas in the coming weeks and returning several times throughout the summer and fall.

 

Project description:


This project is proposed in response to increasing anthropogenic impacts on the wetlands and headwaters of major migratory rivers for species at risk including the American Eel and Southern Atlantic Salmon populations. The importance of monitoring, restoring, and protecting wetland habitat is evermore present since wetlands are a vital tool against the effects of climate change for both riparian and coastal species. These wetlands act as a sponge of both water and carbon actively mitigating the effects of climate change on the rivers. The project plans to educate and positively impact selected sites across the Eastern coastline of the Island of Newfoundland, with the goal of prolonged sustainability and local stewardship of restored wetland habitat that will extend beyond the life of the project.

The objectives of the monitoring (sampling & citizen science) are to a) collect data on flora and fauna while assessing the environmental conditions that affect flora and fauna in wetlands in the Bonavista, Swift Current, and St. Shotts areas and to inform decision-making on appropriate restoration measures for each area; b) provide hands-on learning opportunities for members of the public. As such, regular water quality monitoring of the wetland watersheds surrounding selected prominent rivers will be conducted, including the collection and testing of water samples, in addition to in-situ water quality analysis. The water monitoring and local knowledge will be used to select sites for environmental restoration in the final year of the project. Local groups and volunteers will be invited to learn about their neighbouring environment through hands-on training to encourage the fostering of habitat stewardship.


The project will also develop an educational campaign to enhance public knowledge and appreciation of wetland and their impact on coastal aquatic habitats and species at risk. The outreach campaign has the following objectives: a) enhance public knowledge of wetlands and their conservation and climate change value; b) enhance public awareness of threats to wetlands in NL; c) bring public attention on how to be “a good wetland neighbour”. To do so, the project will have the following deliverables: a) develop and implement a social media campaign spanning the three years, b) deliver several public talks and school presentations on wetlands and aquatic species at risk, c) provide art-based youth engagement opportunities across the province, and d) conduct citizen science projects.



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