The City of Charlottetown, Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group Inc. and Wright’s Creek Environmental Committee have announced the completion of the City of Charlottetown Brook Trout Conservation and Protection Plan. The plan identifies key goals and objectives to improve the health of City streams and support the health of the City’s brook trout population.
City Council formally adopted the Plan through resolution at its August 10, 2015 public meeting.
Environment Canada provided $26,000 in funding to complete the plan and involved consultation with the City, the watershed groups and the provincial Department of Communities, Land and Environment. The goals laid out in the plan include reducing sedimentation, minimizing habitat fragmentation, improving water quality and protecting water quantity. These goals will be achieved in partnership with watershed groups and will involve changes to the City’s planning practises and stormwater management.
"The City has had strong partnerships with local watershed groups for some time," said Mayor Clifford Lee. "This plan provides a solid framework for the shared goals of the City and the watershed groups and gives us a clear direction moving forward. We see the significant value in protecting and enhancing city waterways as they provide numerous environmental benefits and greatly contribute to the natural beauty of the city."
Work has already begun on implementing the objectives of the plan including remediation in the stream near the Sherwood Road crossing, monitoring siltation at Andrews Pond and an upcoming riparian zone enhancement project at West Royalty Community Centre.
"A healthy brook trout population is an excellent indicator of overall watershed and habitat health," said Darragh Mogan, Chair of the Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group Inc. "This plan and the partnership that has been established between the watershed groups, the City and the Province will guide our shared efforts in creating a healthy urban watershed. It represents a major step in the creation of a long term city-wide watershed plan."
John Andrew with the Wright’s Creek Environmental Committee said they have been working to restore the Wright’s Creek watercourse for the past ten years.
"The restoration process has been needed in part because the absence of required regulations and bylaws governing the control of storm water has led to heavy siltation and severe degradation of aquatic habitat," said Mr. Andrew. "The Brook Trout Conservation and Protection Plan is a first step to the creation of a watershed management plan for the City, which, if implemented, will protect and restore our remaining watercourses on into the future."
Members of the City’s management team from the Planning, Public Works and Utility Departments have been involved throughout the development of the Plan and have formed a working group that includes representatives from the watershed associations. The working group will be tasked with the implementation the Plan.
"Council, City management and staff, the province and the watershed groups have all come together for the development of the Brook Trout Conservation and Protection Plan," said Councillor Bob Doiron, Chair of the City’s Environment and Sustainability Committee. "This collaborative approach will be essential during implementation and will give us the best chance of success in meeting the goals we hope to achieve."
The Plan will be made available on the City’s website at www.charlottetown.ca on Tuesday, August 11. Individuals looking to get involved as a volunteer can contact either of the urban watershed associations.
About Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group Inc.:
Ellen's Creek Watershed Group Inc is a non-profit community group dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Ellen's Creek Watershed which contains Ellen's Creek, the only remaining stream system within the City of Charlottetown that sea run fish such as smelts and brook trout can still access the headwaters to spawn. For more information, visit: www.ellenscreekwatershed.ca
About Wright’s Creek Environmental Committee:
The Wright's Creek Watershed Environmental Committee is a member of the Hillsborough Area Watershed Cooperative and is dedicated to restore, protect and promote one of Charlottetown's most beautiful, historic, and environmentally significant natural areas – the Wright's Creek Watercourse. For more information, visit: www.hillsboroughriver.wordpress.com
City of Charlottetown
Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group
Wright’s Creek Environmental Group