Op-ed by Nadine Ives

There is nothing quite like that back-to-school feeling.


But what if you could capture the freedom of summer days, the exploration of experimenting and learning outside, year round?

New Brunswick is home to a dedicated and innovative group of outdoor nature educators who know how to teach, outside.

The educators behind the Great Minds Think Outside program of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN) come from a broad range of backgrounds and disciplines, and they know their stuff. These educators know, for example, that a child who learns outside reaps benefits in physical, mental, emotional, and social development, in addition to improved academic outcomes. Math? Plot a graph of the plants found in different areas of the playground. Group objects found in nature according to colour, shape and texture.

Science and climate change? Measure temperature, rain, and snowfall and track changes over time.  Observe the life cycle of frogs in a local wetland.

Literacy? Write a story imagining a day in the life of a bug, or a tree. Use adjectives to describe the clouds.

Sometimes those who struggle in the classroom blossom when given opportunities to learn outside - and pretty well everyone loves exploring outdoors.

So it is good news that as teachers, parents and students across the province head back to class for another school year, our team of outdoor nature educators is gearing up for another season of helping teachers connect their students to the wealth of learning opportunities just outside their classroom walls. After all, in New Brunswick, nature is never far from our doorstep.

Since 2015, the Great Minds Think Outside team has visited more than 40 schools across the province to help teachers make lessons leap off the page and come alive before students' eyes in the outdoors.

The training sessions are activity-filled opportunities for teachers to experience for themselves the excitement of taking curriculum outside to see how effective it is for making memories full of important learning moments that will stay with children for years.

The activities can be adapted for any subject area, tying memorable hands-on experiential learning opportunities to the important skills and development goals outlined in the provincial curriculum. As one teacher from Sackville's Salem Elementary School said after taking the training, "this is the future of education." Many teachers who've participated in Great Minds Think Outside sessions say it is a fantastic way to reach kids who just learn better by doing, while reinforcing lessons learned previously inside the classroom. One teacher from a recent session put it best: "The more senses involved, the more movement and positive experiences, the better the learning." After taking a lesson outside, students return to the classroom with more focus and creativity, stronger recall and memory, and are better at problem-solving and working cooperatively with classmates. And it's not just the children who benefit. Teaching outside gives teachers a renewed enthusiasm for their work and promotes more innovative teaching strategies. A teacher who takes the class outside for a science lesson suddenly starts seeing ways to connect it to math, language arts, social studies and more. Talk to your child's teacher about inviting the Great Minds Think Outside team to your school. You can book a session by contacting Pascale Ouellette, the Education and Outreach Programs Coordinator with the New Brunswick Environmental Network, at 506-855-4144 or by emailing nben@nben.ca. Learn more about the program at www.nben.ca/greatminds.

Let's make sure that this year, at more and more schools across the province, going back to class does not mean going back inside!

Nadine I
ves, The Learning Outside Coordinator for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and a founding member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network's Great Minds Think Outside program.

Learning Outside Nov2016 75
The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is recruiting more volunteers to help steward the Caughey-Taylor Nature Preserve near St. Andrews and the Clark Gregory Nature Preserve on Deer Island and will be training volunteers this Sunday, September 3rd.

Caughey-Taylor Event: This Caughey-Taylor with a focus on trail maintenance and bird monitoring. Volunteers will meet in the new parking lot at the entrance to the Taggart’s Marsh and Chickahominey Mountain Trail.

 

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 3rd, 2017 from 9 am to 12 pm.

 

WHERE: Caughey-Taylor Nature Preserve, Bocabec, near St. Andrews, NB.

 

Clark Gregory Event: The Friends of Clark Gregory Nature Preserve land stewards will be gathering to meet new volunteers and complete trail work at the nature preserve. Volunteers will meet at the parking area at the top of the entrance road to the northern parcel of the preserve.

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 3rd, 2017 from 1:30 pm to 4 pm.

 

WHERE: Clark Gregory Nature Preserve, Deer Island, NB.

 

RSVP: For more info and to RSVP, please contact Richelle at richelle.martin@ntnb.org or 506-453-4886.
From the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

The struggle to keep unconventional gas and oil development (UNGOD) out of New Brunswick is a story filled with many actors, heroes and organizations, each playing important and vital roles.

However, for many of us involved in that struggle, the seeds for our victory were largely sown by a single person – Stephanie Merrill, the Water Specialist at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.  What follows is our special tribute to Stephanie, who is now heading out to share her expertise with the Global Water Futures program at the University of Saskatchewan.

http://www.noshalegasnb.ca/tribute-to-stephanie-merrill/
PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Fredericton — (August 1, 2017)


Resist spraying, groups tell rural New Brunswickers

An alliance of 12 groups is calling on members of the public to be on the lookout for industrial-scale spraying of herbicides in their areas and to ask the spray crews to leave the area, states a press release from The Alliance to Stop Spraying NB (TASS-NB).

As spray season gets fully underway on plantations and powerlines around the province, Stop Spraying NB Inc. spokesperson Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy says there is nothing illegal in rural residents politely asking sprayers to not spray, out of concern for deer and other wildlife habitat and their family’s health.

Most, but not all, spraying will take place on Crown/unceded land during the months of August and September.

Lubbe-D’Arcy says people should not put themselves at risk by approaching crews while they are actually applying the glyphosate herbicide, or get directly under spray planes or helicopters. Several incidents already this season have seen individuals who breathed in spray that drifted towards them sent to hospital for nausea and dizziness. Rather, people should try to go up to them before the spray begins.

Timber companies J.D. Irving, AV Cell, Acadian Timber and Fornebu as well as NB Power start actively carrying out their annual “vegetation management” programs this month. These involve both aerial and ground spraying of plantations and in the case of NB Power, transmission lines, dams, substations and other energy-related facilities.

Lubbe-D’Arcy notes there is much concern in the rural areas where alliance groups have been speaking with landowners and distributing signs opposing herbicide spraying.

“We are hearing from hunters that their hunting territories have been destroyed and the deer populations have vanished.  Also, moose livers often cannot be consumed, leaving doubts about the quality of the meat they are feeding to their family. We strongly suggest hunters call their MLAs and the Department of Energy and Resource Development (DERD) in their area to tell them to stop spraying their hunting zones,” she said.

Maps showing the proposed locations for spraying were released by the DERD last week and are available at http://geonb.snb.ca/herbicide/index.html. Stop Spraying NB had to file a “Right to Information” request in order to acquire maps showing spraying that took place from 2013-2016. In the past four years, more than 60,000 ha of New Brunswick Crown/unceded land has been sprayed at a total cost of $10 million in taxpayer funds. People who do forest thinning and brush clearing for a living are losing jobs due to this practice.

“The herbicide glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen” according to the World Health Organization, and New Brunswick has the highest application rate in all of Canada when it comes to forestry,” Lubbe-D’Arcy says.

Volunteer Joan Goodwin Price is one of a dozen or so volunteers out talking with rural people about spraying. “At first we weren’t sure how we were going to be received. But the reception we’ve had has been completely overwhelming. People embrace us and the signs because they [signs] express their outrage” against the spraying and the government which permits it to go on, she says.

Signs have started popping up in the Rogersville, Blackville, Doaktown, Petitcodiac, Elgin, Parkindale and Moncton areas over the past several weeks.

Alliance member group Écovie (Kedgwick) is taking their objections to spraying outside — to an area where glyphosate is slated to be applied — in order to make their point.  This year, the "Happy Campers" of Restigouche West will be camping in an area where spraying is planned, beside the road leading to Mount Carleton Wilderness Park, an important protected area and park.

This action will draw attention to their demand that the spraying stop. Organizers expect campers will erect tents, distribute literature and explain the alternatives to spraying to anyone wishing to learn about it.

Écovie spokesperson Francine Levesque said, “We are being drowned in spray in our region. The map of the past four years of spray activity we have shows the intensity with which lands in the Saint Quentin-Kedgwick area are getting clearcut and sprayed. It is a catastrophe.”

The campers will be on-site August 5, 6 and 7, on Route 385 near the Tobique River.


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Media Contacts:


Dr. Caroline Lubbe D’Arcy, Stop Spraying NB Inc. (506) 292-7503 (cell) carolinelubbedarcy@gmail.com

(French)Ms. Francine Levesque, Écovie, canot@xplornet.ca (506) 284-2769 (landline)

alternate: Denise Melanson, Council of Canadians, inrexton2013@yahoo.ca (506) 523-9467.

Kevin Shaw, Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation, Juniper (506) 245-1960 (landline)
July 24, 2017

Fredericton – In its latest annual report on the state of protected areas in Canada, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is calling upon New Brunswick to step up efforts to protect more land by 2020. CPAWS’ 2017 report “From Laggard to Leader? Canada's renewed focus on protecting nature could deliver results” calls Canada out for ranking last among G7 countries in the percentage of land and freshwater protected for conservation purposes, and encourages governments to conserve Canada’s natural heritage, starting by delivering on their international commitment. New Brunswick ranks 2nd to last among the Canadian provinces and territories.

With only 10.6% of its landscape currently protected, Canada lags behind the global average of 15%, and also trails other large countries such as China, Brazil, and Australia. In 2010, as part of a worldwide effort to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, Canada committed under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to protecting at least 17% of land and inland waters by 2020 and improving the quality of their protected area systems to more effectively conserve nature.

The report recognizes that Canadian governments are finally starting to take this commitment seriously after years of inaction. In February 2017, federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for parks and protected areas publicly announced their commitment to work together to achieve this target. A new Pathway to 2020 process was initiated, and the Indigenous Circle of Experts and National Advisory Panel appointed to advise Ministers on this work.

“In New Brunswick, there has been no progress on working towards the national protected areas targets,” says Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS New Brunswick. “There are steps that can be taken by the province immediately to help Canada reach our goals, including setting a target to increase protected areas, developing an action plan to 2020 and beyond, and protecting the Restigouche Wilderness Waterway.”

 “With less than 3 years to fulfill our 2020 commitment, we need to get going now,” adds Hébert-Daly. “In the report we identify places across Canada where a considerable amount of work has already been done on proposed protected areas. By acting now to permanently protect these sites, while also planning for what’s needed to conserve nature in the long term, Canada has a chance to move from laggard to leader.”

Clowater adds, “The New Brunswick government could create a world-class wilderness tourism destination by establishing the Restigouche Wilderness Waterway – a wide protected corridor along the river, on Crown land. Currently, 97% of the New Brunswick portion of the Restigouche watershed is open to development, and industrial development is eating away at the region’s wild forests and rivers year by year. By conserving this area’s special nature, promising ecotourism businesses could reliably promote a quality wilderness destination to nature-seeking tourists around the world.”

Protected areas are important to conserve wildlife and wilderness, as well as provide clean air and water for all Canadians, store carbon, and play a major role in improving our health and well-being. They also make economic sense. Protected areas around the world generate US$600 billion per year in direct spending, while costing less than US$10 billion per year to manage.

For over 50 years, CPAWS has been working with all levels of government, and other partners across the country to protect more of Canada’s public lands. As the only nationwide charity dedicated to the protection of our public lands and water, we are uniquely positioned to help governments protect what nature really needs.

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Read the full report. http://cpaws.org/uploads/CPAWS-Parks-Report-2017.pdf

Read the Executive Summary with recommendations. http://cpaws.org/uploads/CPAWS-Parks-Report-Executive-Summary-2017.pdf

For interviews, contact: Roberta Clowater, rclowater@cpaws.org; 506-452-9902NB Needs to Act Protect Restigouche Wilderness Waterway2
Ben Baldwin will forever be remembered by many Miramichiers and New Brunswickers as the farmer who used his scientific knowledge to take on the polluters of Miramichi. Ben died peacefully at his home in Miramichi on July 7, 2017 at the age of 86.

A founder of the Miramichi Environmental Society and a former board member of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Ben was a geologist and an environmentalist when being an environmentalist wasn’t cool nor easy.

Ben Baldwin 2009 321x480Ben Baldwin at the Conservation Council’s Spring Auction in 2009.

An edition of Harrowsmith magazine from 1991 features Ben in its hometown hero series. Ben told the reporter, “Somebody has to speak out. It’s nothing particularly heroic on my part. I care about what’s happening. You get disgusted, and it takes a lot of physical energy. But as long as we live here, we can’t avoid being involved in environmental issues. We breathe the air too; we can’t just sit back and ignore the stink.”

Starting almost immediately upon his return from Western Canada to live a life on his family farm in Miramichi in 1985, Ben soon responded to remedy a local farmer’s concerns of chemicals oozing onto her property from the Domtar Wood Preserving Plant, and then to a long list of other environmental problems plaguing Miramichi.

“Ben was a big guy with a big heart who stood up for what he believed in. I had the good fortune to know Ben as a friend, and my life is the richer for it,” wrote David Coon, who worked with Ben during both their time with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

My earliest memory of Ben is of my dad, Donald Glynn, and Ben talking about their vegetables at the Miramichi Agricultural Exhibition on a hot summer day in August. Ben’s vegetables from Spruce Shade Farms almost always took first prize. Whenever dad spoke of Ben, it was always with such respect — an admiration shared by many across the province.

Ben was the partner of Inka Milewski, the Conservation Council’s former science advisor. The Conservation Council family expresses condolences and love to Inka and Ben’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Written by Tracy Glynn of The Conservation Council of New Brunswick
Were you informed, inspired, or impressed by environmental reporting in New Brunswick in the past year? If you know of a deserving writer consider nominating them for this 2nd annual award. The deadline for nominations is July 31st, 2017.
 
 
The Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award
 
By recognizing the best environmental reporting, this award seeks to inspire journalists in all media and to showcase reporting that best addresses important environmental issues in New Brunswick. We invite journalists from traditional news media, independents, and non-profits, citizen journalists and students to submit their finest work.
 

Criteria and eligibility:

Entries must be predominantly about an environmental subject occurring in or affecting New Brunswick, and must have been published, broadcast, or posted during the calendar year preceding the current prize year (ie. in 2016).

Entries which address the following issues are particularly encouraged:

* investigative reporting that uncovers an important environmental issue in New Brunswick or is about an important issue not covered elsewhere
 
* stories alerting readers/listeners/viewers to an important emerging issue in New Brunswick

* stories that help clarify complex environmental issues or events of significance in New Brunswick

stories that uphold the journalistic principle of protecting the public interest

stories that resulted in improvements or positive change in the community

How to Apply:

Nominations may be made by environmental groups, media organizations, teachers, or any other interested parties.  Applicants may be self-nominating.

Submission deadline: July 31st, 2017.

Submit entries to: Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Southeast Chapter Environmental Journalism Award Committee, at ccnbsoutheast@gmail.com

Information to Include:

1. Nominator’s name, email, and phone number.

2. Journalist’s name, email, phone and/or other contact information.

3. Provide links to broadcast and online entries. Print entries can be provided as a pdf or html attachment or via web links where the entry is published or posted and publicly accessible. All links must be to the same version of the entry as originally aired, published or posted, with all the same graphics, headlines, photos, etc. and not modified after the contest year.

4. If the entry is not publicly accessible, permission must be obtained from the publisher for CCNB SE to link to it or repost it for public access.

5. Background information on the piece for the judges may be added, but is not required.

Thanks to generous donors, the award this year is worth $500.00 and two tickets to the CCNB SE Chapter fall event.

Full details at :  http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/13679/

Letterhead.png 

PRESS RELEASE

Swim Guide launches third version of water quality app

July 6, 2017


(FREDERICTON) -- Getting ready for beach time in New Brunswick? Before you go, download the brand-new version of the Swim Guide app.

With over a million users worldwide, the popular (and free!) application gives beachgoers access to the latest water quality monitoring results for their favourite beaches, along with descriptions, photos, and directions.

New in 2017

The 2017 update means Swim Guide is now available in French, English and Spanish. It includes information for over 7,000 beaches in Canada, the United States, Mexico and New Zealand, and has individual entries for over two dozen New Brunswick beaches.

What’s in it and Why is it Helpful?

Swim Guide lets people browse the map or search for a beach by name.  Each beach has a description that list amenities, informs you about lifeguards, provides tips about where to park and other valuable information.

If you don’t know your way to the beach, don’t worry, the app also provides directions whether you’re walking, cycling, driving, or taking transit.

Using Swim Guide

Every beach in Swim Guide is marked with an icon that easily lets you know if the water quality is safe for swimming.
  • Green means the beach’s most recent test results met relevant water quality standards.
  • Red means the beach’s most recent test results failed to meet water quality standards.
  • Grey means water quality information for the beach is too old (more than 7 days old) to be considered current, or that info is unavailable, or unreliable.
The water quality data for NB destinations comes from the Department of Environment and Local Government’s website, and is uploaded to Swim Guide by the Conservation Council. Each beach has a “Source” section which details how the data was obtained.

Quotes

“Since launching Swim Guide in 2011 our goal has been to make water quality information simple to access and easy to understand, for as many people as possible. In addition to improving the search, design, and data presentation with this latest version of the iOS app, we are incredibly proud to be able to provide this service in multiple languages so that even more beach lovers can easily find all of the information they need to have a great day on the water.” - Mark Mattson, President, Swim Drink Fish Canada 

“The new Swim Guide is timely and evidence-based. We hope NB citizens and visitors love it as much as we do. Its clear information about when and where our beaches are monitored will also help us identify sources of water pollution so that together we can act to protect healthy waters and sustainable communities.” Lois Corbett, Executive Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick

About Swim Guide

Swim Guide was developed by Swim Drink Fish Canada (previously a project of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper), a non-profit organization based in Toronto, with the goal to ensure that 100 per cent of Canadians have access to basic data about the health of their watersheds. The group just released the first-ever Canada Beach Report, which was created in collaboration with Waterkeepers, Riverkeepers and Baykeepers across Canada, including the Conservation Council.

For more information, see these resources:
Want to check it out for yourself? Download the iOS version for your Apple product or the Android app for your smartphone.

To arrange an interview, contact: Corey Robichaud, Communications Officer, corey.robichaud@conservationcouncil.ca506-458-8747.
The Conservation Council’s Executive Director, Lois Corbett, is calling for caution and transparency after the federal government gave its approval of the proposed open-pit Sisson Mine near Stanley.

Corbett told CBC Radio’s Information Morning Fredericton on Monday, June 26 that many details surrounding the project — such as the specific design of the tailings dam needed to protect the Nashwaak watershed and surrounding communities from toxic mine waste, or who would pay for the costs of replacing drinking water and repairing stream habitat in the event of a leak or breach like we saw at Mt. Polley, B.C. — have yet to be made public.

Northcliff Resources, the company behind the Sisson project, was given 40 conditions to meet during the provincial environmental assessment process last year. Corbett said there was talk at Friday’s announcement that the company had met all the conditions, but “I’ve yet to see any evidence of that. There’s not a spot on the website where you can go and download a detailed tailings dam design, for example.

“Perhaps the company has provided some material, so someone could check a box on a long list of conditions. I haven’t seen any evidence of that, and I would hope the government would let us all see soon, sooner as opposed to later,” she said.

Listen to the full interview with host Terry Seguin here.

For more coverage of CCNB on the Sisson Mine project, check out:

  • Corbett called for greater transparency from the provincial government in this CBC article published Friday, 23, saying “this project is a long way from being complete — a piece of paper from a federal minister saying approval is granted, with no details, doesn’t give me much confidence.”
  • The New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal reported on concerns raised by Corbett and Taymouth Environmental Action’s Jim Emberger about the risks to drinking water, river habitat, and nearby communities.
  • Corbett questioned the logic behind risking drinking water for a limited number of unsustainable jobs in this Canadian Press story, saying “I remain to be convinced that those jobs created over the life of the project are equal in weight to the risk to the water.” The story was shared by Global News, CTV, the Globe & Mail, The Financial Post, Metro News, Nanaimo News, the Red Deer Advocate,105.3 the Fox, 104.9 and K93.
  • Corbett commented on the environmental risks of the project in stories by L’Acadie Nouvelle and L’actualite.
For more information on the Conservation Council’s concerns about the Sisson Mine, see:

(Maugerville, NB) The Nature Trust of New Brunswick has expanded the amount of conserved land in the Grand Lake Meadows region with the acquisition of 70 hectares (172 acres) on Middle Island in the Maugerville area of the lower St. John River. The new nature preserve will be named after the traditional Wolastoqiyik/Wəlastəkwiyik name for the island, Noloqonokek/Nələkwənəkek Nature Preserve. 

Long before the river was named the St. John River, it was known by Wolastoqiyik/Wəlastəkwiyik (Maliseet People) as ‘Wolastoq’/Wəlastəkw, meaning ‘Beautiful and Bountiful river’, a name that the nation is currently working to reclaim. ‘Noloqonokek/Nələkwənəkek’ is the traditional Wolastoqiyik/Wəlastəkwiyik name for what is now known as ‘Middle Island’. Nolomiw refers to upriver and ‘qono’ refers to a ‘long period of time’ therefore, ‘Noloqonokek/Nələkwənəkek’ is relating to upriver and a long period of time. The Maliseet language was an oral language and two linguistic spelling variations of the language have been developed and are both recognized today.

“Wolastoq ancestors wisely named each and every landscape and waterway according to a detailed description of each unique area.” Says Wolastoq Grand Chief, Ron Tremblay. “For instance, Wolastoq means “Beautiful and Bountiful River” for it once was Beautiful as well as provided everything our people needed to survive.”

For many generations, Middle Island has served the farming families of the Maugerville area as summer pasture ground. The Nature Trust acquired the new nature preserve to conserve in perpetuity the floodplain forest and Provincially Significant Wetlands that supports a diversity of plant life, birds, amphibians, and rare insects. The preserve is part of the Grand Lake Meadows, Atlantic Canada’s largest freshwater wetland complex.

“The Nature Trust is excited to work with landowners on protecting new pieces of the Grand Lake Meadows.” Says Nature Trust President, Vince Zelazny. “As the largest wetland in the Maritimes, the Grand Lake Meadows is a hotspot for a diversity of rare and endangered species. This acquisition is important to protecting the habitats that these species rely on for survival.”

On the afternoon of June 24th from 1 – 5 PM, the Nature Trust, along with Wolastoqiyik elders, and Canoe Kayak New Brunswick, will be hosting a grand opening event. Members of the public are invited to join a paddle in the big canoes, starting at Douglas Hazen Park, going past the Welamukotuk Cinerea Nature Preserve on Oromocto Island, with a stop at the shoreline of Noloqonokek. For more information and to join the grand opening event, please contact Bethany at bethany.young@ntnb.org or at (506) 457-2398.

A special thank you to those who contributed to the protection of Noloqonokek/ Nələkwənəkek Nature Preserve including major funders: The Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, the NB Wildlife Trust Fund, the Davis Conservation Foundation, The William P. Wharton Trust, the Sitka Foundation, and the ECHO Foundation.

About the Nature Trust of New Brunswick

Established in 1987, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick is a registered charitable conservation organization dedicated to preserving the province’s ecologically significant landscapes. To date, the Nature Trust has conserved over 2,800 hectares (7,000 acres) in 50 beautiful and diverse nature preserves in New Brunswick.

About the Natural Areas Conservation Program

The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique public-private partnership managed and directed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). To date, $345 million has been invested in the NACP by the Government of Canada to secure our natural heritage. Additionally, more than $500 million in matching contributions has been raised by NCC and its partners. 
Tuesday, 20 June, 2017

Conservation Council reacts to Auditor General’s report on climate action in N.B.

The Auditor General of New Brunswick, Kim MacPherson, has delivered a substantive review of the province’s climate change plan and what is needed to turn policy intentions into on-the-ground work to protect homes and communities from what she says “may be one of the greatest challenges for communities, governments and corporations in the coming decades.”

“New Brunswick’s Auditor General’s report should put wind in the sails of the government’s plans to reduce carbon pollution and make our communities healthy and strong in the face of climate change,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

“She points out, and rightly so, that while the 2016 Climate Change Action Plan lays out a series of 118 actions, we lack an aggressive time table or details on implementation.

She recommends that the government introduce legislation to set its pollution targets into law, similar to that found in British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.

We couldn't agree more and might go even a bit further — let’s see the legislation introduced the next time the Legislative Assembly meets, and let’s hope all parties vote for its speedy adoption.

“If we want to catch this boat, the time for the government and NB Power to move is now. Not in 2018. Not ten years from now," says Corbett.
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The Conservation Council of New Brunswick
Established in 1969, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick has remained the province’s leading public advocate for environmental protection. A member of the UN’s Global 500 Roll of Honour, we work to find practical solutions to help families and citizens, educators, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forest, that support us.

Recommended links

To arrange an interview, contact:
Jon MacNeill, Communications Director | 458-8747 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                           June 15, 2017

Maliseet Grand Council wins an adjournment

The Maliseet Grand Council obtained an adjournment (postponement of proceedings) in Court earlier this week in its efforts to stop the Province from developing a snowmobile grooming hub at Mount Carleton Provincial Park, an area sacred to the Maliseet. 

“The first matter presented by our lawyer Gordon Allen was to adjourn the proceedings scheduled for the morning to give us for more time for a full hearing of the matter. We also needed an adjournment to amend our original application,” said Grand Chief Ron Tremblay, who was at the Woodstock courthouse on Tuesday. 

“The amendments will define how the proposed snowmobile grooming hub would affect the spiritual connection our People have with this place and how that relates to the Promises that were made to us in the Treaty of 1725/26,” adds Tremblay.

The Province’s counsel opposed the proposed adjournment, but after hearing Allen, Judge Richard Petrie considered the submissions and agreed to the request. He also issued timelines for both parties to complete certain tasks so that the matter may proceed before the Court in a more efficient fashion.

Within the next 60 days, the parties will finalize amendments and deal with issues regarding evidence before the Court. A pre-hearing conference will also be scheduled to set a new date for the full hearing and all the important issues it raises.

A gofundme campaign has so far raised over $20,000 from 145 people in support of this judicial review.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                  June 12, 2017

Mount Carleton court case to resume this week

Right to information request from ACOA discredits government statements

In dealing with Aboriginal Peoples, the government must act with “honour and integrity, avoiding even the appearance of sharp dealing,” says the Supreme Court of Canada.  

But, that is not how the New Brunswick government is acting, says Grand Chief Ron Tremblay, one of the applicants seeking a judicial review of a decision made by the New Brunswick government to develop a snowmobile grooming hub at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. 

“We’re being told one thing, only to find out through Right to
Information that the opposite is true. The government
is clearly not acting with honour and integrity.” 

- Wolastoq Grand Chief Tremblay


When first announced, the project consisted of groomers, a designated trail up the side of Mount Carleton, and two new snowmobile bridges.

“The two new snowmobile bridges are the most essential elements of this project as they tie everything else together,” says Jean Louis Deveau, the other applicant in the judicial review.

The project was registered for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in September 2016. At the time government argued the bridges weren’t being considered part of the project.

Yet information recently obtained from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency through the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act indicates that the proposal submitted by the applicants for funding from to ACOA included a request for money to build the two bridges at the centre of this controversy. And in the contract made between the applicants and ACOA, bridge funding is included. 

“We’re being told one thing, only to find out through Right to Information that the opposite is true. The government is clearly not acting with honour and integrity,” says Grand Chief Tremblay.

The court is scheduled to continue hearing this matter on June 13th in Woodstock. A crowdfunding campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/27ru624) was started in June 2016 to help pay legal fees.

The Parks Act (2014) stipulates a management plan based on a zoning system must be completed prior to any development in Provincial Parks. Mt. Carleton has been zoned but doesn’t have a management plan.

We’re  excited to announce the #MyNatureNB contest in partnership with Canada 150! Celebrate New Brunswick nature and have the chance to win awesome prizes! Grand prize is Whale Watching for two in beautiful, scenic St. Andrews, NB. Top 5 winners will receive outdoor adventure prize packs and weekly winners will receive our Canada 150 seed pods!  Between June 1st and June 30th, 2017, you have the opportunity to share your special place or activity that connects you with nature. Whether it’s exploring your family’s wood lot or walking your dog in Cape Tormentine, we want to hear your story. It’s that easy! Make sure you hashtag #MyNatureNB to be entered!

Visit mynaturenb.ca for full contest details

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Nous sommes excités d’annoncer le concours #MaNatureNB en partenariat avec Canada 150! Célébrez la nature du Nouveau-Brunswick et courrez la chance de gagner des prix superbes! Le grand prix est une sortie d’observation de baleines pour deux dans la région magnifique et pittoresque de St Andrews, N.-B. Les premiers 5 gagnants recevront des ensembles de prix pour les aventures en plein air et les gagnants hebdomadaires recevront nos capsules de graines Canada 150! Entre le 1er juin et le 30 juin 2017, vous aurez la chance de partager votre endroit spécial ou l’activité qui vous relie à la nature. Que ce soit explorer le terrain de votre famille ou promener votre chien à Cap Tormentine, nous voulons entendre votre histoire. C’est si simple! Assurez-vous d’utiliser le hashtag #MaNatureNB afin d’être entré au concours!

Visite manaturenb.ca pour les détailes de concours complets.


Media Advisory: Fundy Baykeeper honoured tonight by Atlantic Salmon Federation


Wednesday, May 17, 2017 — Fredericton

Attention news editors: The Fundy Baykeeper, a program of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, receives the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s top national honour, the T.B. “Happy” Fraser Award, during a gala ceremony at the Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews tonight. Matt Abbott, the Fundy Baykeeper since 2011, accepts the award.

The Fundy Baykeeper, the flagship program of the Conservation Council’s Marine Conservation Program, was selected for its longstanding commitment to the ecosystems of the Bay of Fundy, where wild Atlantic Salmon are on life support, and its decades-long work to protect New Brunswick’s coastal environments from pollution.

“Our coastlines in New Brunswick are true treasures,” says Abbott. “From the sprawling tides of the Bay of Fundy, to the warm ocean waters at Parlee Beach, our work to protect these spaces is all about consistency, dedication, and the commitment of our team to achieve results over time.”

Matt Abbott is available for media interviews upon request.

To arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill
Communications Director
506-458-8747 (w) | 506-238-3539 (m)
jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

MEDIA RELEASE

Conservation Council welcomes investments to protect
health of people and ecosystem at Parlee Beach

Fredericton, May 5, 2017 — Today, the provincial government announced infrastructure investments and restrictions on new development specific to the Parlee Beach area. Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued the following statement.

“Today’s announcement is an important step to protect the health of our treasured Parlee Beach ecosystem and the families who swim and play there.

These investments, coupled with better impact assessment for new developments, including campgrounds, should speed up the repair of this valued beach ecosystem. Better sewage treatment, combined with smart education programs, will reduce harmful bacteria that can pollute our coast and jeopardize human health. Keeping our bays and beaches clean always pays off for our coastal economies.

Pollution from near shore developments on the Northumberland Strait, like campgrounds and roads,  won’t be solved by today’s announcement. The Conservation Council encourages the Minister of Environment to move the coastal zone protection policy from being a paper document to a regulation under the Clean Water Act, and to classify important bay areas to protect their health, like they currently do in Maine. Putting in place a comprehensive land use policy and much wider wetland and salt marsh buffer zones for the entire Northumberland Strait region would further safeguard public and environmental health.

Projects we will monitor closely with respect to Parlee Beach water quality include the cumulative effects assessment and protocols development (which will study the impact of the total pollution going into Shediac Bay, not just pollution from individual projects), and an independent ground survey of local wetlands to improve our understanding of their size and the ecological services these critical spaces provide.”

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Background

In April, the Conservation Council welcomed the provincial government’s decision to use Health Canada’s technical and science-based guidelines for beach water safety at Parlee Beach. The protocol includes daily water quality testing, seven days a week, with all monitoring results and public health advisories posted online for easy public access.

The province announced rules for notifying the public about water quality test results after it was revealed that high levels of fecal contamination in the water at Parlee Beach, including E. coli, went unreported for the past three summers.

Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) is bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick and can cause kidney failure, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia. When we discover E. coli in water, it usually has come from sewage runoffs, and animal faecal matter. That’s why health officials all over the world carefully monitor E. Coli and its different strains.

Health Canada has set safe limits for E. Coli in drinking water and E. coli in recreational waters. The number of faecal bacteria considered unsafe for recreational swimming varies depending on whether the bacteria is found in freshwater or saltwater. If tests find more than an average of 35 for every 100 millilitres (just a wee bit less than 1/2 cup), it is declared unsafe for all and the beach is closed.

To arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill
Communications Director
Conservation Council of New Brunswick
506-458-8747 | 506-238-3539
jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

April 5, 2017

FREDERICTON – The Conservation Council of New Brunswick’s Executive Director, Lois Corbett, made the following comments in response to the provincial government’s announcement today about new rules and procedures for reporting water quality at Parlee Beach:

“It’s a smart protocol, one that will increase health protection. Deciding to use Health Canada’s technical and science-based guidelines for beach water safety is the right decision.”

“Testing the health of the water every day, seven days a week, when the beach is open, will provide our citizens, our local businesses, and our visitors with clear information — Minister Rousselle gave us exactly what we needed. ”

“And now that the testing, reporting and public communications issues have been resolved, we can next move more quickly to stop the pollution that contaminates the water.”

“That step is very important and will require both stopping harmful practices like filling in wetlands and salt marshes, and reducing human and animal waste — the main source of the health threats to swimmers. We need to attack all sources — whether it is business or farm runoff, the local sewage system, or private septic tanks and recreational boaters.”

“Reducing the sources of water pollution is something we all care about but, as individuals, and we sometimes feel we have little to contribute. Well, not this time. It’s all hands on deck to fix the problem and continue to make this beach, and others, a destination of choice.”

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  • You can read the government announcement here.
  • You can learn more about the new rules here.
  • You can read more about Parlee Beach here.
Falls Brook Centre as you know is a registered charity and demonstration centre, committed to finding and promoting practical solutions to today's sustainability challenges. We are dedicated to the goals of inspiring people to work together using environmentally sound practices to create thriving local communities. What does this look like? Highlighting local economies, renewable energy options, and economically and ecologically sound land management techniques that work on the quarter-acre to 5,000 acre scales. On the ground, this is all about education aimed at all ages and addresses. If this sounds like something you could be a part of, I encourage you to visit our website and social media pages and consider becoming a Board member to make a real difference in the lives of New Brunswickers.

http://fallsbrookcentre.ca/wp/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/

From what I'm hearing most folks don't know what's been happening regarding a second nuclear reactor for New Brunswick and a large proposed underwater power line under the Bay of Fundy from Saint John to Boston.  Although there's lots of talk about good clean green energy it seems likely the plan is to carry electricity from tidal turbines strung across the head of the Bay of Fundy and possibly a second nuclear reactor in New Brunswick.  There seems to be a lot going on here under the bed covers unknown to most of the public and most in the environmental community.  People need to know what's happening and now.  Could you post the attached items up where they will attract people's attention and people will view them.

Reference: Second Nuclear Reactor Could Happen, Telegraph Journal, January 27, 2017

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PRESS RELEASE

CCNB’s Fundy Baykeeper applauds restart of Energy East Pipeline Review and calls for a reform of the NEB before the review moves forward

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick’s Fundy Baykeeper applauds the National Energy Board’s decision on Friday to restart the Energy East review process.

“This is an important decision, but not an unexpected one,” said Fundy Baykeeper Matt Abbott. “Given the questions of bias hanging over all decisions made by the last National Energy Board panel, the only way to move forward was to void all the past panel members’ decisions.”

The ruling was made following  the filing of a Notice of Motion with the NEB on Jan 10 by Ecojustice lawyers representing Transition Initiative Kenora (TIK) calling for the Energy East proceedings to be declared void as a consequence of reasonable apprehension of bias.  Read the Motion here.

The project’s 2016 hearings were suspended late last August, after complaints were filed against two NEB board members – Jacques Gauthier and Lyne Mercier– who met privately with former Quebec premier Jean Charest while he was being paid as a consultant to TransCanada Corp. The review panel recused itself shortly afterwards, prompting demands that the review process be restarted.

All decisions made by the previous panel members are void and will be removed from the official hearing record. Those who’ve already applied to participate need not reapply, but essentially everything re-starts.

Abbott says that this decision won’t fix the NEB process regarding Energy East. The current process was put in place by the Harper Government and has been roundly criticized by many.

“The Energy East review should be delayed until a modernized review process is in place. Given the problems with NEB that the Energy East review has brought into focus, it is clear that we cannot have confidence in the NEB as it is currently constituted,” said Abbott.

“In uncertain, stressful times, it is good to know that a massive, dangerous, project like Energy East does not loom as close as it appeared to a few short months ago.”

According the NEB media release issued this morning, previous decisions that have been voided include:

  • Determination that the Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications are complete;
  • Decision to review the Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications via a single hearing;
  • List of Participants and any subsequent individual rulings on participation;
  • Lists of Issues and factors to be included in the environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012; and Hearing Order.
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To arrange an interview contact: Matt Abbott at 506-321-0429

The Fundy Baykeeper works for the Conservation Council to defend the public’s right to a healthy Bay of Fundy. Matt uses a  well-marked boat to patrol the Fundy coastline from Alma to St. Stephen. The Fundy Baykeeper is also part of the international Waterkeeper Alliance.

For more information on how the proposed Energy East pipeline would affect the Bay of Fundy, read the National Resource Defense Council’s report on tanker traffic in the Bay of Fundy: Sensitive Marine Ecosystems Threatened by Energy East’s ‘Aquatic Pipeline.’

For a full list of New Brunswick waterways at risk from Energy East, check out our interactive map.

For more information on the risks of Energy East to the communities of the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine, read the Conservation Council’s report: Tanker Traffic and Tar Balls: What TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline Means for the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine.

For more on the Energy East pipeline, check out:

News from Groups Archives

Upcoming Events


Old Hemlock Forest Walk with Jim Goltz @ Odell Park
Mon, Sep 25th, 2017


5 Days for the Forest 2017
Mon, Sep 25th, 2017


Green Rights Tour Film Screening: Sackville
Mon, Sep 25th, 2017
Sackville

Action Alerts

Call for nominations for the NBEN Awards - 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017
by Annika Chiasson
Every day people and environmental groups take action to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment.  

Over this past year, who stands out in your mind? 

We invite you to nominate a group or individual deserving of one of the NBEN awards which will be presented in style at Eco-Confluence 2017.  Send an e-mail to nben@nben.ca describing your nominee’s work.  Nominees must be members or associates of the NBEN*.

Nomination deadline is September 13, 2017.

*Current NBEN Steering Committee members are not eligible for awards.

Resquest for letters of support: Proposed name restoration for the Wolastoq

Sunday, 30 April 2017
by Alma
 The Wolastoq Grand Council supports our YOUTH GROUPS on their proposal for changing the name of the Saint John River, back to it’s original and proper name; Wolastoq (the beautiful & bountiful river ). We see this as a good place to begin the process of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; which was strongly recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  

Proposed Name Restoration: 
  • The name Saint John River back to it’s original indigenous name -  Wolastoq
Purpose: 
  • Wolastoq; (the beautiful river) is the original Indigenous name of the River.
  • Wolastoq is the name sake for the real identity and unique nationality of our People; the Wolastoqiyik.  Respecting the rights of Wolastoqiyik.
  • Scientific studies have now confirmed, what our people have always known; “that water has memory”.    This river will remember its original name.   
  • This deed would begin a process for reconciliation with a show of goodwill on the part of the Government of New Brunswick, and would;
  • Create opportunities for discussions and engagement around indigenous issues.
  • Wolastoqiyik have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons. 

The Wolastoq Grand Council is requesting support letters from our Allies; as individuals, organizations, and/or Groups.  For more information, contact Alma Brooks, 506-478-1256, almabrooks.26@outlook.com

Please send support letters to the following addresses:

The Wolastoq Grand Council,
Grand Chief; Ron Tremblay
50 Maliseet Drive
Fredericton, NB, E3A 2V9


David Coon
Office of the Green Party Leader
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1

Additional Information

  1. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Carolyn Bennett; Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; has assured the Wolastoq Grand Council in writing that; - “Canada is committed to a renewed nation to nation relationship with indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.”   Carolyn Bennett also stated that ; - “Achieving full reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada is at the heart of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s mandate, and that the government of “Canada will engage with Indigenous peoples, provinces, territories, and Canadians on how to implement the Declaration in accordance with Canada’s Constitution”.

  1. Andrea Bear-Nicholas
As described in a 2011 article by Andrea Bear-Nicholas, Maliseet historian:  
  1. The first step in the dispossession for the indigenous peoples in the Maritimes began in earnest immediately after the British capture of the French fort at Louisbourg in 1758.   Where place names and names of First Nations in the entire region had been inscribed on earlier maps; both would soon be erased by colonial cartographers in a process described by J. B. Harley as cartographic colonialism.  The justifications for these erasures was found in the doctrine of discovery.   
  2. The second step in the dispossession of indigenous peoples in Nova Scotia began immediately after signing of the Treaty of 1760 by Passamaquoddy and Maliseet Leaders, and later the signing of the Mascarene Treaty.   Although there was no surrender of any lands in either of these Treaties; 1.5 million acres of Maliseet land which outlawed the surveying and expropriation of lands not yet ceded by the indigenous inhabitants or purchased by the Crown.    


  3. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:   Articles 1, 2, 6, & 13   support and provide a guide for the implementation leading to reconciliation.

As a distinct ‘people,’ we have a right to our accurate identity and nationality.
  • Indigenous Peoples have the right to the full enjoyment as a collective or as individuals of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international human rights law. 
  • Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin and identity. 
  • Every indigenous individual has the right to their own nationality. 
  • Indigenous people have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons.  “States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected”.
Nouvelles des groupes