Clean Coasts

Fall 2021 Newsletter

From connecting with various stakeholders, monitoring old and new restoration sites, to finishing two large restoration projects, Clean Coasts is grateful for a successful summer season.  

We continue to promote coastal stewardship, both virtually and in person! 

Read to find out what the team has been up to since June! 

 Shoreline Restoration at Sitmu'k

 Collaboration with UNB

 Partner Project Highlight: CBWES Plant Rescue

 Brule Shore Restoration

 Public Consultation on the Coastal Protection Act

 Clean Foundation National Green Jobs Internship Program
During the summer we planned, collaborated, and conducted our final restoration steps at Sitmu’k. We also applied adaptive management and monitoring techniques at Brule Shore and began planning assessments of the Pugwash River Watershed!

Clean Coasts continues to focus on building coastal resiliency and capacity among North Shore communities to carry on this kind of work.

#ilovesaltmarshes #iheartestuaries #cleanrecovery
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Please note that some photos included in this newsletter were taken at a time with different COVID-19 restrictions. Clean Coasts continues to follow all health guidelines of Clean Foundation and the Government of Nova Scotia.
 Shoreline Restoration at Sitmu'k
Clean Coasts, partners, and wonderful volunteers from PLFN planting salt marsh grasses at Sitmu'k!
In August, we completed a shoreline restoration project at Sitmu’k (Moodie Cove) with the goal to extend the marsh into the cove that will restore and create salt marsh habitat, as well as enhance shoreline protection from storm surge and sea level rise. We worked with Pictou Landing First Nation to incorporate the planting of traditional medicines, such as sweet grass.  
Tupper Excavation, a local contractor in the area was hired to remove a rock pile that had been placed on a salt marsh some time ago and prevented salt marsh plants from growing in the area. Salt marsh plants have extensive root systems that help secure coastal soils and protect them from eroding away during high tides and storms. The plants also help secure carbon in salt marshes which reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the air and works to improve air quality!  
After the rock pile was removed, Tupper Excavation filled in the area with clean sand so that it matched the nearby elevation. With the help from CBWES, the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM), Mi’kmaw Conservation Group (MCG), and community members from Pictou Landing First Nation (PLFN) we then worked to plant salt marsh grasses in the area to help promote further salt marsh plant growth.  
The plants came from the Barbeau Lab at the University of New Brunswick, CBWES, and CMM. Plugs were also collected at Marshall’s Crossing in Pictou County – another previous restoration site.  
Boreas Heritage Consulting Inc. was also present on both days to ensure no digging occurred on culturally sensitive land. 
We are so grateful for the hard work that all our partners put into the planning process and the restoration event. Thank you to Restore America’s Estuary (RAE), Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Save the Bay Narangansett and Tampa Bay Watch who were crucial for introducing us to restoration techniques and helping with the design phase of the project. We also want to thank the Pictou Landing First Nation community (PLFN) for their support and participation, Michelle LeBrun for providing an opening and closing prayer, as well as the Elders from the community who shared knowledge and stories. Wela’lioq!
Coir Logs, which are logs made of coconut husk were used to protect the new sand and salt marsh plants.
A drone image of Sitmu'k after the restoration!

Research Collaboration with University of New Brunswick

Clean Coasts continues to collaborate with Lyle Vicaire at the Barbeau Lab at the University of New Brunswick to study the use of Spartina alterniflora at the Sitmu’k Restoration site. The research will specifically look at the phenology of seed development, causes of seed loss and germination rates of Spartina alterniflora in the hopes this can inform future restoration projects. We look forward to working together on this exciting research project!

Plugs of Spartina alterniflora being arranged for planting!
 CBWES Plant Rescue

In June, Clean Coasts joined CB Wetlands & Environmental Specialists (CBWES) in the field to collect plugs of salt marsh plants at a site scheduled for future construction in the Bay of Fundy. CBWES was a consultant working on the project who wanted to find a way to save the plants that would otherwise because of the construction. They saw an opportunity to rescue some plants before construction began. 

Coastal Action and Clean Coasts had on separate occasions reached out to CBWES asking if there were any groups rescuing or retrieving plants from sites slated for construction that could be used for restoration purposes. Clean needed 80 large plugs of Spartina alterniflora to use for our shoreline restoration work at Sitmu’k, and Coastal Action was embarking on an exciting initiative, the Home Bay Living Shoreline Project in Mahone Bay. 
CBWES has collected and saved over 3000 salt marsh grass plugs at the construction site, with plans to collect more in the fall and winter. CBWES mimicked traditional Acadian methods when removing salt marsh plants. Special spades were used to cut trapezoidal bricks or plugs of salt marsh plants. 
Collecting the plants from a construction site is a way to continue the life of grasses that otherwise would have been lost.  Rescuing these plants and replanting them elsewhere will give the future planting sites a kickstart at securing shorelines, storing carbon, and building habitat biodiversity. The rest of the plants from the plant rescue will be going towards a native salt marsh plant nursery headed by CBWES.  
CBWES works with Department of AgricultureNova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure RenewalNova Scotia Department of Environment, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for the Marsh Plant Rescue Project.  Clean Coasts is thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this initiative and is looking forward to collaborating with CBWES in the future with this project and other projects! 

Click here to explore CBWES website!
 Brule Shore Restoration
In August, we completed the second phase of our restoration work at Brule Shore! The site at Brule consisted of a drowned salt marsh that could not drain due to an agricultural impoundment. This impoundment prevented tidal water from entering the salt marsh, causing high levels of salinity and dangerously low levels of oxygen, making it difficult for salt marsh plants and wildlife to live there.  
Last year, a small group of volunteers completed the first phase of restoration by digging small channels, called runnels, to allow tidal water to move in and out of the salt marsh, creating better conditions for plants and fish to live. After a year of monitoring, it was determined more work was needed to continue to drain and restore natural tidal flow to the area.  
Before the restoration began, our team worked with Boreas Heritage Consulting Inc. to take archaeological cores to ensure that the restoration activities would not uncover or disturb cultural resources.  We also collected cores of sediment to determine the amount of “Blue Carbon” stored in the ground. Blue carbon refers to the carbon stored in salt marshes, as healthy salt marshes can trap carbon from the atmosphere, like trees! On the second day we dug the runnels and did vegetation sampling. 
Images of the Clean Coasts team, Earth Keepers, and Boreas Heritage Consulting Inc. taking archaeology cores!
The valuable expertise from and knowledge shared by Save the Bay – Narragansett, CMM, CBWES, and Boreas Heritage Consulting Inc. provided an experiential learning and networking opportunity for a small group of Earth Keepers who were recruited to restore Brule Shore. The Earth Keeper program is coordinated by the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and the Unamaki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR). The program recruits Indigenous guardians to steward the land in Mi’kma’ki.

An orientation session was held prior to the event to introduce everyone involved, go over logistics and explain the purpose of the restoration. On the day of the event, the Earth Keepers were given a tour of the area and a walk through of the archaeology and blue carbon sampling. They also got their hands dirty and participated in the runnel digging!
It was an absolute pleasure and honour to work with such friendly, passionate, and inspiring stewards The continued support and expertise from our partners at CBWES, Save the Bay Narangansett, CMM and Boreas Heritage Consulting made this project possible and for that we are grateful. Our team would also like to extend a big thanks to The Country Bread Basket for providing delicious lunches each day of the event. Wela’lioq!
On of the runnels that were dug with the help of our volunteers and partners.
 Pugwash Estuary River Watershed Project 
Clean Coasts was busy this summer with training and field work to assess and monitor the Pugwash River.  

Gettin’ Certified
The summer crew participated in Habitat Restoration Training hosted by Adopt a Stream (AAS) and the Nova Scotia Salmon Association (NSSA). Through the training our team learned the permitting requirements, as well as the theory and practice for designing and installing in-stream structures to improve fish habitat. As part of the training the team successfully installed a digger log to help create ideal spawning and cover habitat for fish. The team was also trained on how to conduct habitat suitability and culvert assessments in different watersheds. Clean Coasts would like to thank Amy Weston, Bob Rutherford, and Will Daniels with NSSA and Adopt a Stream for the support and the opportunity to gain knowledge and build new skills that our team can use in future projects!  
Clean Coasts intern Tatum installing a digger log with the help from Bob Rutherford.
A digger log that Clean Coasts helped install as part of their training!

Site Visits

Using the new skills learned from the NSSA training, the team visited various culvert crossings in the Pugwash Watershed, Canfield Creek and Pattens Brook and visited in-stream structures that were installed over a decade ago through NSSA and the Friends of the Pugwash Estuary. This ground truthing is important in understanding the overall state of the watershed and whether the system is healthy and functioning in a way that can support native fish species. The visits helped identify crossings that require further assessment, as well as in-stream restoration structures that require maintenance.   
The team is looking forward to studying the outcomes of the assessment work that can be used to prioritize restoration work in the future.  
Did you know: 

Two parameters included in habitat assessments are measuring the width and depth of the river and doing quadrats!

Measuring: Measuring the width and depth of rivers show us how a river changes in an area where there was a culvert placed. If the river is shallower and skinnier downstream of a culvert that could be an indication of the culvert altering the natural flow of the river.

Quadrats: Quadrats can be used to determine what plants or substrate are most common in a river. This can indicate what species are likely to be found there as some species prefer cobble over sand and vice versa!


Team members and members from NSSA  Adopt-A-Stream taking substrate quadrats and measuring the width of the river as part of their culvert and habitat assessment training!
 Public Consultations on the Coastal Protection Act
The Nova Scotia government has extended public consultations for the Coastal Protection Act (CPA) until September 30th.

Nova Scotia is facing the severe compound threat of rising sea-levels, increased erosion, flooding, storm surge, and storm damage. The Coastal Protection Act is intended to protect coastal ecosystems and to keep Nova Scotia safe in the face of climate change.  

Clean Coasts supports the Coastal Protection Act and feel that the regulatory framework that has been created is well-designed and critical to begin to address the significant threats facing Nova Scotia's coastal communities.
Want to learn more about the Act?

The Ecology Action Center (EAC) and East Coast Environment Law are holding a final information session on September 27th at 12:00pm AST. The purpose of the session will be to provide an overview the CPA regulations and will include a description of how the Act will work. There will also be a question period.

The EAC has provided an online portal to make it easier to send submissions for the Coastal Protection Act public consultations. Click the link below to submit your thoughts!
Coastal Protection Act Public Consultation Submissions

More information regarding the CPA can be found on the Government of Nova Scotia website.

Coastal Protection Act - Government of Nova Scotia

You can also submit your thoughts on the Coastal Protection Act to

Clean Foundation Green Jobs National Internship Program
The Clean Foundation is looking for passionate youth and employers who want to help advance Canada's clean economy! With the Clean Foundation Green Jobs National Internship Program youth and interns can gain access to paid internship opportunities that have positive environmental impacts. eligible employers can get wage subsidies up to $32,000 to hire Canadian youth!
Interested people can apply for the Clean Foundation Green Jobs National Internship Program here!
Clean Foundation Green Jobs National Program

The Green Jobs National Internship Program is funded and supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

For more information please email 

Thank You! Wela’lioq!
The Clean Coasts team wishes you a safe, healthy, and happy start to the fall. We look forward to sharing more project updates with you in our upcoming Winter 2022 newsletter. 
Project funded by: 

Project partners:   
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