ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, NS - 2018 has been a busy and diverse field season for the team at Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP). The small but mighty environmental organization is currently engaged in 11 different projects that span marine, freshwater, coastal, and terrestrial ecosystems.
The Soaking Up Stormwater project, now in its first full field season, has focused on the creation of low impact development projects to help manage surface water runoff in order to reduce the transport of sediment and pollutants into receiving waters. This project is being undertaken in partnership with the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, allowing the two groups to tackle the issue in a wider geographic area.
To date, project leader Samantha Hudson has overseen the creation of eight new rain gardens, and two new dry swales in the Annapolis River watershed. CARP has been fortunate to have had enthusiastic and supportive partners at the Town of Digby, the Town of Middleton, and the NSCC Annapolis Valley Campus.
Through the Wetlands on Working Landscapes project, project leader Aaron MacKinnon planned and oversaw the creation of a quarter hectare wetland in Granville Beach and has been working to install fencing to exclude livestock from a wetland in Middleton. This project has also allowed MacKinnon to identify several candidate sites for potential future work on wetland restoration and enhancement.
CARP has been brought on as a partner for the Atlantic Canada Microplastic Research project to sample the Bay of Fundy Area. Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation is leading the project and will sample in the LaHave River estuary and ACAP Humber Arm is working to sample the Bay of Islands in Newfoundland. The project involves sampling sediment at sandy beaches and surface water trawls, in order to quantify microplastics and collect baseline data for the three sample regions.
Fish habitat restoration has become one of CARP’s core areas of work. The organization works closely with the NSLC Adopt-a-Stream program. In addition to the many in-stream restoration activities being undertaken this season, CARP was excited to see the launch of the ‘Aquatic Connectivity Analytical Database’ in April 2018. This online database is a tool that can store culvert assessment data, analyze data for potential barriers to fish passage, and produce reporting outputs based on the results for six species: brook trout, American shad, alewife, American eel, rainbow smelt, and Atlantic salmon.
Many of CARP’s projects would not be possible without the support of partners and volunteers. The Wood Turtle Stewardship project is a prime example of a project that has been able to continue and thrive thanks to the hundreds of hours that volunteers dedicate to visual surveys and nest monitoring and protection each year.
Volunteers have also been helping conduct biweekly beach clean ups at locations across the watershed. These clean ups commenced in May and continued into September, culminating in a “World Clean Up Day” on Sept. 15.
Other active projects include Annapolis River Guardians water quality monitoring, Youth Leading Environmental Change, Lawns to Gardens, wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement, and ocean acidification. Anyone interested in learning about CARP’s other project areas are encouraged to check out the organizations “Year in Review” report, available online at annapolisriver.ca/publications.
Clean Annapolis River Project is an environmental NGO that operates throughout the Annapolis River Watershed, with an office in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Their mission is to enhance the ecological health of the Annapolis River watershed through science, leadership and community engagement. For more information visit www.annapolisriver.ca