Northumberland Strait Coastal Restoration Project

Spring 2021 Newsletter

From monitoring our restoration sites, to connecting with various stakeholders, to sharing knowledge and skills with our amazing partners and allies, Clean Coasts is grateful for a successful spring season. 
Read to find out what the team has been up to since March!

  Restoring and Assessing the Pugwash River Watershed

 Site Monitoring Winter Walks

 ACCESS Virtual Conference 

 Building Capacity for Data Consistency

 Blue Carbon Monitoring with LIDAR-Drone

 Nature's Way Donation

  Meet the New Staff
Clean Coasts has been busy monitoring and managing salt marsh health, engaging with project partners, allies and stakeholders, and strategizing for the final year of the Northumberland Strait Coastal Restoration Project. We continue to promote coastal stewardship, both virtually and in person!

As we enter our project's final year, we are putting plans in place to complete restoration at Sitmu'k by involving community Elders and youth. We will also work to apply adaptive management and monitoring techniques at our two restored sites, Brule Shore and Marshall's Crossing as well as begin planning for our new project: Restoring and Assessing the Pugwash River Watershed!

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

#ilovesaltmarshes #iheartestuaries #cleanrecovery
CleanFoundation CleanFoundation
CleanFoundation CleanFoundation
CleanFoundation CleanFoundation
CleanFoundation CleanFoundation
Clean Foundation Clean Foundation
Please note that some photos included in this newsletter were taken at a time with no or fewer COVID-19 restrictions. Clean Coasts continues to follow all health guidelines of Clean Foundation and the Government of Nova Scotia.
 Restoring and Assessing the Pugwash River Watershed

We are pleased to announce the Pugwash River Watershed Project that will be starting this summer, thanks to the generous support from the Nova Scotia Salmon Association (NSSA), Adopt a Stream Program. The NSSA is a leader in watershed stewardship and innovative aquatic habitat restoration. Through the support from the NSSA, our team will assess the health and connectivity of rivers within the Pugwash Watershed and prioritize areas for future restoration. We will re-visit past restoration sites from over a decade ago and ensure all the structures are working properly and providing erosion control, as well as suitable habitat for brook trout and other important species. Based on what we find, we will conduct maintenance work at these sites as needed.

Clean Coasts would like to congratulate Amy Weston of NSSA for "Water's Next Award for Non-Government Leader", which she was awarded at the virtual Canadian Water Summit. The Clean Coasts team sends a huge thank you to Amy for all she has done to help lead watershed stewardship programs in Nova Scotia as without her the Pugwash River Watershed Project would not have come to be!

We are excited to work collaboratively with our friends with the Friends of the Pugwash Estuary and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to engage and train community members to participate in restoration related activities.

Members of our team have participated in a course offered by the NSSA in collaboration with NS Environment and Climate Change that focuses on Aquatic Habitat Restoration and certifies installers in Fish Habitat Improvement activities. Logan Horrocks and our Clean Leaders intern Rebecca Dodge have completed their in-class component, with a field component happening later this season. Through this, Logan and Rebecca will be trained and certified installers for this field season! The training will teach our team best practices for watercourse restoration while following provincial guidelines.

Adopt a Stream members providing in field training to promote best practices for watercourse restoration. 

We want to send a huge thank you to NSSA for funding and supporting the Restoration and Assessment of the Pugwash River Watershed project and are looking forward to collaborating with our partners!

 Site Monitoring Winter Walks

This past March our team conducted winter walks at Marshall’s Crossing and Sitmu’k to survey the sites. The team used drone imagery and observations to determine if and how both sites changed since our last visit.

Marshall’s Crossing Winter Walk Update

At Marshall’s Crossing our team had the opportunity and benefit of communicating with a local landowner about any changes they saw at the site and the nearby environment. By communicating with residents about habitat changes, our team gets a better understanding of the impact of the project as they see the site frequently and know the history of the area, often noticing more details! In the fall the team noticed that a slope near the bridge was eroding. The team placed a natural erosion barrier consisting of logs, wooden stakes, hay bales, spruce boughs, and metal wire in the fall and are happy to report that the erosion of the bank has not escalated throughout the winter!

The Natural Erosion Barrier at Marshall's Crossing

Sitmu’k Winter Walk Update

Our winter walk at Sitmu’k concentrated on monitoring the reef balls that were deployed this past November. 40 reef balls were placed in two rows along a short area of the coast in hopes of extending and restoring the salt marsh habitat. To secure the reef balls, the Clean Coast team used two pieces of rebar welded together in a “t” formation. We discovered that while much of the rebar was contorted from wave action and ice movement, the reef balls stayed in the same position as they were initially placed and remained in good condition. To our knowledge, Clean Coasts is one of the only groups using intertidal reef balls for habitat restoration, erosion reduction, and shoreline stabilization through slowing the speed of the waves at this latitude. We were curious to see how the reef balls would handle winter conditions and are thrilled to see that they remain in place and intact! The team has removed the remaining rebar, leaving the reef balls to continue to restore the salt marsh. This is done to minimize the grey infrastructure and to ensure that the restoration is as close to a living shoreline as possible. The reef balls also began to attract algal growth which increases the productivity of the area!

We also continue to monitor salt marsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and sweetgrass in the Millbrook greenhouse. The sweetgrass was donated by Peter Steiner of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM).  Peter also helped us harvest the S. alterniflora last fall and has been aiding in the maintenance of the plants in the greenhouse Thank you CMM and Peter! We will be planting sweetgrass and S. alterniflora this summer at Sitmu’k to help promote the regrowth of natural and traditionally important native species to the area. To adjust the plants to salt marsh habitat we have been introducing salt water to them while they are growing in the Millbrook greenhouse to aid in their transition to a salt marsh this summer!

Images from our winter walk at Sitmu'k. The left photo is of bent rebar pieces after their removal from the reef balls. The right photo is of the reef balls placement and in it you can see some of the algal growth!
 2021 ACCESS Conference

ACCESS Virtual Conference

The Atlantic Canada Coastal and Estuarine Science Society (ACCESS) hosted their 2021 conference May 13th and 14th. The conference traditionally has been an opportunity for students and professionals in aquatic science to network and share their research. This year the conference was virtual due to the restrictions in place from COVID-19. The virtual conference was in the format of pre-recorded video presentations and posters. This year ACCESS hosted.

ACCESS is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. The Society's members are dedicated to advancing human understanding and appreciation of Atlantic Canada’s estuaries and coasts, to the wise use and management of these environments, and to making the results of their research and management actions available to their colleagues and to the public. Members of the Society include academic and government researchers, public sector managers, teachers, consultants, students and others who are interested in estuaries.

Screenshots taken from the CRF Session of the ACCESS Conference.
CRF Session

 As part of the ACCESS conference, Clean Coasts held a virtual session highlighting Coastal Restoration Fund (CRF) groups across Atlantic Canada. The intention of the session was to showcase each groups’ project to ACCESS attendees, promote knowledge and data sharing across regions, and to share lessons learned across unique CRF projects. The CRF groups were asked to present a brief overview of their work and any lessons learned regarding two themes. The first theme was discussing the monitoring and assessment protocols for coastal restoration and the second theme was reflecting on data collection, management, and sharing.  The session also featured a talk on data management best practices for coastal and ocean data, delivered by Coastal & Ocean Information Network (COINAtlantic). We hope that the session might inspire continued knowledge-sharing and collaboration across CRF groups and are grateful to have had the opportunity to showcase each project’s amazing work in the field of coastal and estuarine restoration and management!

We would like to thank ACCESS attendees for taking part in the session as well as the CRF groups for sharing their projects!  We had upwards of 60 participants during the session. In order, there were presentations from TransCoastal Adaptions (TCA), The Mi’kmaw Conservation Group (MCG), Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council (MAPC), Université de Moncton, Centre for Fisheries Ecosystem Research (CFER) Marine Institute, World Wildlife Fund (WFF) Canada, PEI Watershed Alliance (PEIWA), and  COINAtlantic. The presentations and discussions were inspiring, and we learned so much, thank you all! Wela'lioq!

 Building Capacity for Data Consistency

Our GIS Specialist, Logan Horrocks has had the opportunity shared knowledge with a researcher from Université de Moncton on methodology employed in the field. Logan shared Clean Coast’s knowledge of water loggers which we learned about throughout the duration of the Northumberland Straight Salt Marsh Project. Water loggers are placed in waterbodies to measure tidal height and water temperature over a period. The data is stored on the water logger and can be downloaded later. Specifically, Logan helped by providing knowledge on the deployment of water loggers, where to put them, and what parameters to use.

This was a wonderful experience for capacity building for both Université de Moncton and Clean Coasts as it way to share ongoing research and to help promote consistent data collection across distinct groups, contributing to longevity of work by making data across regions and groups more comparable! We appreciate having different groups reach out to us and are frequently collaborating with others to help promote consistency and data sharing!

A deployed water logger at one of Clean Coasts' restoration sites.
 Blue Carbon Monitoring with LIDAR-Drone
Our Restoration Specialist, Allen Beck operating a drone. 

RBC Tech for Nature has provided funding for Clean Coasts to purchase a LIDAR-drone! The drone will allow us to explore how coastal ecosystems in Nova Scotia/Mi'kma'ki capture carbon. LIDAR stands for light detection and ranging and uses pulses of light to measure distances. This sensor captures a series of elevations, including the vegetation canopy and the ground below, allowing us the get clear and exact measurements of habitats. This will let us more precisely measure habitat changes over time as well as estimate carbon storage in those areas!

Capturing carbon is a valuable tool in mitigating climate change as carbon dioxide significantly adds to atmospheric pollution. The carbon absorbed in coastal ecosystems is referred to as blue carbon. Globally, salt marshes have great potential for blue carbon absorption, so it is important to maintain healthy salt marsh ecosystems. Little information is known about how much Blue Carbon Nova Scotia’s/Mi’kma’ki coastal wetlands absorb, which means we do not have a clear understanding of how protecting and restoring these ecosystems can help reduce our carbon emissions. It has been estimated that coastal systems (vegetation and soil) in the Bay of Fundy store upwards of 66 million tonnes of carbon dioxide!

We are excited to be receiving funding from the RBC Foundation. RBC Tech for Nature is a multi-year commitment that helps its partners preserve natural ecosystems. They focus on helping leverage technology and innovation towards solving pressing environmental challenges. The RBC Foundation committed nearly $10 million in 2021 to environmental programs across the world and support over 100 charitable partners!

The purchase of the LIDAR-drone will allow us to begin studying Blue Carbon storage in two salt marshes in Northern Nova Scotia/Mi'kma'ki. The funding will help prove the viability of the drone for the use of determining carbon capture and allow us to start building a blue carbon inventory! Thank you, RBC!

For more information on blue carbon from our project partners Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) click the link below!

Coastal Blue Carbon - Restore America's Estuaries
 Nature's Way Donation
Julia Stoughton and Charlynne Robertson from Clean Coasts and Simran Shergill from Nature's Way.

We would like to thank Nature’s Way for their donation to Clean Coasts! This donation will help us continue to foster coastal resilience in Atlantic Canada through researching, restoring, and preserving coastal ecosystems as well as increasing capacity by providing knowledge and skills training.

Nature’s Way works to help people live their best lives through natural health supplements. For over 50 years Nature’s Way has been the forefront of the natural health industry through their commitment to source sustainability and supporting communities!

We are pleased to receive this donation from Nature's Way! The donation will go towards our work to restore salt marshes in Nova Scotia/Mi'kma'ki through a collaborative effort with local communities and groups. We are delighted to be a recipient of the donation and look forward to inviting the Nature’s Way team to an educational experience!

 Meet the New Staff

New Interns working with Clean Coasts! Top Left: Rebecca Dodge, Top Right: Kelsey Crouse, Bottom Left: Darlene Francis, Bottom Right: Stephanie Barr.

Clean Coasts is excited to welcome four new members to their team! The Interns hired have a wide background of interests and will either be working with Clean Coasts directly or collaboratively through partner projects.

“My name is Rebecca and I will be working as the Coastal Restoration Intern with the Clean Coasts team this summer. My role will be to support the Coastal Restoration team with monitoring salt marsh restoration sites on the Northumberland shore while assisting with other restoration projects and outreach programs! Previously I have worked with at-risk species, fungal associations of plants, and marine ecology of bivalves. I have a BScH in Biology from Acadia and will be continuing school this Fall in a Masters in Ecological Restoration at Simon Fraser University!  I am so excited to be working for the Clean Foundation this summer and I am particularly looking forward to getting muddy and exploring the marshes and rivers of the North Shore!”

“Hi everyone! I’m Kelsey Crouse and I am a recent graduate of Acadia University, where I studied Environmental Science. This summer I have been hired on as the Coastal Restoration and Community Outreach Assistant with Clean Coasts. I grew up in Nova Scotia and am excited to be working for an organization that is focused on community and partner collaboration as well as maintaining our beautiful coastal habitats!”

"Hi! My name is Darlene Francis, and I am a Chemical Engineering student at Dalhousie University. I am originally from Trinidad and Tobago; however, I grew up on the beautiful island of St. Lucia. I will be working as Clean's Climate Policy Research Officer, and my role is to work with the different departments to identify and bridge knowledge gaps in Climate Policy. I am looking forward to connecting with the Clean Coasts Team and can't wait to meet you all in person!"

“Hi! I’m Stephanie Barr and am the Assistant Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change’s Climate Adaptation Leadership Program (CALP) and Clean. I recently finished my PhD at the University of Waterloo in Social and Ecological Sustainability where I studied climate change adaptation for biodiversity conservation in protected areas. In my new role, I am an embedded employee with the Clean Coasts team and will be collaborating with the team on projects related to climate change adaptation. The CALP program aims to coordinate climate adaptation capacity building initiatives both inside and outside of government.  I will be coordinating the CALP program for Nova Scotia’s coastal parks system and working with stakeholders across Nova Scotia.”

CCC Intern

Tatum Freigang, Clean Coasts' intern from Canadian Conservation Corps. 

Clean Coasts also has brought on an intern from the Canadian Conservation Corps (CCC). CCC is a program developed and administered by the Canadian Wildlife Federation and is funded by the Government of Canada through its Canada Service Corps initiative.

"Born and raised in Richmond, B.C., I came out to Halifax to pursue my undergrad at Dalhousie. After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce,  major in Finance in 2020, I started working at Fidelity Investments as a Business Development Representative. After one year in the role, I knew it wasn’t for me and was eager to pursue my passion for the environment. Thankfully, this led me to the Canadian Conservation Corps and to the Clean Foundation. Through this internship, I hope to gain hands on experience in restoration and use my experience as a steppingstone for future careers in environmental work!"

Tatum will be working closely with our GIS Specialist, Logan Horrocks on the Restoring and Assessing the Pugwash River Watershed project funded by NSSA.

We are excited to welcome all of our new members to the team and can’t wait to work with them and have them bring their skills to Clean Coasts!

 Get Involved with Clean Coasts!

Due to COVID-19 and the restrictions that are in place for our safety we have been exploring ways to engage with partner organizations, local communities, rights holders, municipalities, and regulatory bodies.
We are passionate about engaging interested individuals in the work we are doing. With the final year of our CRF project underway we are currently searching ways for volunteers to become involved. We are always eager to see our volunteer list grow as we explore ideas for new projects. If you are interested in gaining skills and knowledge in coastal restoration and volunteering with our team, please visit our website! Without the help of our volunteers we would not be able to carry out the projects that we do.
Click here to register as a Clean Coasts Volunteer!

All of us at Clean Foundation grieve for the 215 children of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation found at the Kamloops Residential School and are saddened by the news. As an organization, all of us at Clean recognize that we are all treaty people, and we stand in support of all Indigenous communities across Canada. Clean Coasts shares this feeling and want our friends and partners who are grieving to know we support and hear them.

Thank You. Wela’lioq.
The Clean Coasts team wishes you a safe, healthy, and happy start to the summer. We look forward to sharing more project updates with you in our upcoming summer 2021 newsletter.
Project funded by: 

Project partners:   
CleanFoundation CleanFoundation
CleanFoundation CleanFoundation
CleanFoundation CleanFoundation
CleanFoundation CleanFoundation
Clean Foundation Clean Foundation
Copyright © 2021 Clean Foundation, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up for our newsletter to receive information about the Northumberland Strait Coastal Restoration Project. 

Our mailing address is:
Clean Foundation
126 Portland St
Dartmouth, NS, B2Y 1H8

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
Copyright © 2021 Clean Foundation, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp