Northumberland Strait Coastal Restoration Project

Spring 2020 Newsletter

As we gear up for an exciting summer season, let's take a look back at the Northumberland Strait Coastal Restoration Project's activities this spring!

Online Atlas

CRF Workshop

Archaeology for Restoration

NSE Lunch & Learn
Oceans Week

Intern Spotlight 

COVID-19 &      In-Person Events 
As the Northumberland Strait Coastal Restoration Project approaches its final phases, our team is working diligently to restore salt marshes and build coastal resiliency and capacity of North Shore communities to continue this work! 

#ilovesaltmarshes #iheartestuaries
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GIS Specialist/Atlas Creator, Logan Horrocks, on the job.
Our Coastal Restoration Team is excited to announce the release of our interactive Atlas! This tool explores the salt marshes of the Northumberland Strait; it has been developed to inform future assessment and restoration work. It’s free to use and accessible on our website! The Atlas shows where future field assessments should take place, as well as the current state of several sites along the strait. This dynamic project publicly showcases our findings to further improve coastal capacity and engage communities during these initiatives.
The ability for tides to flow through the site can be impacted by features like dykes, roads and culverts. Sites visited by the team are shown as droplets: red means unhealthy sites with restricted tidal flow is restricted, whereas green means healthy and free-flowing sites.
Clicking a droplet provides information on the individual salt marsh.

Explore the atlas to learn about the health of sites near you. We’d love to hear what you think about it!
Give us a shout
Above is an image from with the open bottom culvert of Millard Creek.
Tidal flow is not restricted by this water crossing!


From March 10 - 12, 2020, our team attended and presented at a Coastal Restoration Fund (CRF) Workshop in Vancouver. This conference was hosted by our funder, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and was open to all recipients of the CRF. It provided an opportunity for teams to share experiences, showcase new initiatives, and network with the hope of assisting in the success of other restoration projects. We appreciated the opportunity to share our project updates and to connect with like-minded groups from across the country!   

Left to right -- Anthony King from CMM, Elsa Shwartz from Restore America's Estuaries, Allen Beck from Clean, Charlynne Robertson from Clean, Tony Bowron from CBWES and Caytlyn McFadden from TransCoastal Adapations. 

During the workshop, we learned from speakers from over 23 different organizations including the Mi’kmaq Alsumk Mowimsikik Koqoey Association (MAMKA), the Arctic Eider Society, the Aurora Research Institute and Sea Change Marine Conservation Society. The workshop covered topics like establishing partnerships, collaborations, social license to operate, restoration of aquatic habitats and the benefit for species at risk, shore stabilization techniques, restoration planning, and much more!  

We had the opportunity to share our engagement and collaborative approaches with project partners and communities. We discussed how our partnerships were established and how we collaborate with teams both inside and outside of Clean to achieve our objectives. The roundtable discussion that followed the presentation gave use the opportunity to reflect on building community capacity for future restoration work. We gained invaluable insights on best practices from dynamic teams across Canada, and we are excited to incorporate these insights throughout the final years of our project! 


Before our team decides which places of interest will be chosen for restoration projects, these locations must be assessed by archaeologists to ensure the areas’ potential cultural, spiritual or historical significance will not be disturbed by any project activities. The Coastal Restoration Team takes pride in its thorough site selection process and we are delighted that the Sitmu’k (top image), Marshalls Crossing bottom left) and Brule (bottom right) sites continue to be approved for restoration work this summer 2020.  

Clean values its partnerships, and one partner we depend on is the archaeologist team. Without them, Clean does not have the tools to learn about its places of interest and cannot acquire approval to work on those sites. As we learned from the workshop, permitting processes are challenging enough! Clean also ensures the input of Mi'kmaq knowledge in conjunction with archaeology analysis.


On May 7th, 2020 the Clean Coasts Team hosted a virtual presentation on our Northumberland Strait Coastal Restoration Project to the Climate Change and Adaptation Team at Nova Scotia Environment (NSE). As we entered the world of COVID-19 safety measures, we recognized that virtual presentations would be the way forward. We are grateful to NSE for being the audience for our first ever virtual presentation! 

This presentation allowed our team to discuss salt marsh ecology (e.g. how they grow and function), benefits of salt marshes to the environment and our communities, and the specific challenges that these ecosystems face in Nova Scotia. The data sharing elements of our project were discussed to spark a conversation about using these tools to inform future coastal restoration work in the province. This discussion and open dialogue ultimately allowed us to use our project as a case study for coastal restoration work in Nova Scotia.

We were appreciative of the dialogue that occurred as a result of this presentation, specifically surrounding the topics of community capacity building and what our project does to assess and meet the needs of the North Shore Communities implicated within our scope.   

We would like to thank Jason Hollett, Executive Director of the Climate Change and Adaptation Team at Nova Scotia Environment, and Scott Skinner, CEO of Clean Foundation, for arranging the delivery of this presentation. We feel that any opportunity to connect with experts in the field of climate change adaptation and resiliency is integral to the success of our project, and we hope to keep this knowledge-sharing avenue open.  


In honour of Oceans Week, our team delivered a virtual Coastal Restoration Workshop on June 10th, 2020. Workshop topics included the ecology and significance of salt marsh ecosystems, restoration work updates, and our experience with the public engagement and permitting processes that are fundamental to the success of this project. We were also thrilled to present the Atlas (see page 3), the Virtual Reality components of our project, and we opened a dialogue about how both of these tools can be used to inform future restoration work in Nova Scotia and beyond (even during COVID-19)! 

We were humbled by the interest from the public in our workshop, and we enjoyed connecting with 40+ participants! We loved seeing a broad range of attendees including landowners on the North Shore, local and international graduate students, project coordinators with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, government employees, and non-profit environmental organizations. Building interest and capacity around salt marsh restoration work is important to our team, and we look forward to using your feedback to inform future workshops and outreach initiatives. Thank you to those of you who were able to join! 

Click to view our new reef ball video!
We asked for feedback, and you delivered! 
I loved the presentations- they were very comprehensible and I felt guided through the contents thoroughly through informative voice over, images, and videos. Really enjoyed it, thank you for conducting the workshop through Zoom.”

“…salt marshes have been a favorite ecosystem of mine for years now. If anything, it has rekindled my appreciation for them and got me excited about their restoration in this province”

"I thought the presentation was super informative and I learned a lot about salt marshes, their importance and restoration."

-Anonymous Workshop Participants
 77% of respondents said our presentation changed the way they thought of salt marshes, citing:

- an increased understanding of salt marsh ecology, restoration techniques and the permitting process

- recognizing the importance of salt marshes, and

- the impact of sea level rise on salt marshes.

 100% of respondents said that  they would be interested in attending our team’s future workshops.

       We will see you there!

Please reference the
Get Involved section of our website for updates on
upcoming volunteer activities or workshops! 

The following percentage of respondents reported having a medium-to-high confidence level in sharing and/or applying the elements below to restoration work: 


 100% Public/Stakeholder Engagement

 92% Restoration Site Identification

 85% Restoration Site Monitoring

 77% Permitting

 75% Restoration Techniques 

 85% Data Sharing to Inform Restoration 


Missed our virtual coastal restoration workshop? Click the link below to view the workshop recording! 
An image of reef balls deployed for 10 years. Note how molluscs and marsh grasses have colonized the reef balls and how marsh grasses are flourishing behind the reef balls. 


The environmental workforce of tomorrow relies on today’s youth. Clean supports this future workforce by creating internships for these students, providing irreplaceable skill-building and positive work experiences. We are grateful to our partners for kindly funding these internships. 
Two of our summer 2019 interns shared their journey and experiences with Clean Foundation below. Thank you to Hannah, Eric, and all of our past interns for contributing to Clean and allowing us to support your experience in the environmental sector. 

"Hello! I’m Hannah. I graduated from Concordia University with a bachelor’s degree in human environment and biology in Spring 2019. While looking for a way to explore my career interests and do some traveling, I applied to the Canadian Conservation Corps. program. The program took me on a coast-to-coast adventure – first to BC for a 10-day sea kayaking trip, then to Nova Scotia for a 3-month internship with the Clean Foundation! At Clean, I worked both in the field and office as part of the Coastal Restoration team. I really enjoyed walking around salt marshes, making maps on GIS, and contributing to documents for the up-coming online atlas! Next, I’ll be returning to Montreal to complete a conservation project of my own as the final stage of the CCC program. Then I hope to continue on with habitat restoration work before eventually returning to school to complete a masters. I’ve really fallen in love with Nova Scotia and hope to return someday! 

My name’s Eric White, I’m a recent Bachelor of Arts Honours graduate of Carleton University where I majored in Criminology and Criminal Justice while concentrating in Sociology. Having worked with Ontario Parks the past 5 years and always having a passion for wildlife and conservation, I was looking to expand my knowledge of this field in hopes of doing some travel as well as meeting other likeminded individuals. Luckily, I came across the Canadian Conservation Corps which is a program that provides youth (ages 18-30) with an opportunity to be engaged in a hands-on conservation experience throughout different parts of Canada. During the second stage of this program, the first being a wilderness expedition, we chose from a wide-ranging list of environmental organizations as part of a three-month immersive field learning experience. The organization that I chose was Clean Foundation. Throughout my time at Clean, I gained invaluable experience working alongside members of the coastal restoration team while spending time in both field and office settings. This involved travelling to numerous restoration sites across Nova Scotia, participating in community events, and learning new skills relevant to equipment used in the field. Clean has very much enhanced my knowledge of coastal restoration as well as the work of other branches within this organization that touch on important issues moving forward with positive environmental change. In the future, I hope to find fulfilling work within the environmental and enforcement fields while applying what I’ve learned from Clean Foundation & the Canadian Conservation Corps program as a whole.
Find out more about the Canadian Conservation Corps!


COVID-19 has affected all of us, including the ways in which we interact with one another. In these times of health guidelines and physical distancing, the Clean Coasts team continues to find safe opportunities to engage with and learn from the North Shore communities during this time of COVID-19 and beyond.

In addition to offering virtual coastal restoration workshops, we will be looking for ways to safely engage with communities in the field in the coming months in accordance with provincial health and safety guidelines.  


To stay up to date with future volunteer opportunities, click the link below! 

Click here to volunteer and receive project updates!
Thank you! Wela’lioq!
Project funded by: 

Project partners:   
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