A plan must involve everyone in the collective communities, including farmers, fishermen, tourism and recreational operators, and of course landowners. Whether you make your living in the watershed, live in the area and work elsewhere, or are a part-time or full-time resident, you have a part to play in the watershed management planning process.
Covehead-Brackley Watershed Planning
For several years now, residents and visitors in the Covehead-Brackley, and surrounding areas, have noticed increased plant growth in the water and foul smells in the summer when the growth dies off. In addition to these conditions not being aesthetically pleasing for people in the area, it is also very harmful to wildlife.
As the plant growth dies off it consumes oxygen, leaving the water with little or none remaining. This is called “anoxia” or “anoxic conditions”. Without oxygen in the water fish and other wildlife cannot survive. This means less biodiversity, as fish species leave or die off, and less recreational opportunities for fishermen. It is not only the fish, however, that will become absent. Any other mammals or birds that rely on these animals as a food source will leave as well.
In 2000 a study was done on the water quality in Covehead and Brackley Bays, as well as the streams in the watershed. The results were not hopeful. High concentrations of nitrates, low amounts of oxygen, and poor natural tidal flushing are a dangerous combination for the area.
For a summary of the study results click here.
2008 Watershed Planning Meetings & Framework
While the study above describes poor surface water conditions in most of the watershed, there is still time to improve and restore the environment in this area. This is why the Friends of Covehead and Brackley Bay have started to develop a Watershed Management Plan.
The plan will serve as a guide to solving not only the current issues we have with our water, but the land-use practices that cause those problems. The process involves everyone in the watershed communities. As such, meetings were held between January and March 2008, with farmers, fishermen, landowners, and tourism & recreation operators.
To find out what people said at these meetings click on the minutes below.
In addition to these meetings, two public meetings were held and a nitrate testing clinic. At the first public meeting residents were presented with the results of the water quality study conducted in 2000. At the second meeting, a framework for the Watershed Management Plan, based on input from meetings & workshops, was presented for comment.
The nitrate testing clinic was a huge success, with 251 people coming out to get their well water tested for nitrates. This was the third highest attendance out of all 11 clinics held across the province in the fall and winter of 2007/2008.
To see the results of meetings and workshops, please view the Watershed Management Plan below. If you have comments, additions, suggestions, etc. for the plan, please email them to the Watershed Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.