WCF & FCBB Partnering to Save Cass' Pond

Successful Applicant:

Friends of Covehead - Brackley Bay (FCBB)


Award:

$12,220


Project Title:

WCF & FCBB Partnering to Save Cass' Pond


Project Summary:

This project will reduce or completely eliminate multiple factors/conditions (frequent anoxic events in the Bell's Creek estuary, a complete loss of a migratory channels in the estuary, through Cass' Pond, and the reach leading into Bell's Creek system, barriers to fish passage caused by algae and vegetation inundation and by improving a barely functional deteriorated below standard fishway infrastructure, and a loss of habitat and cover caused by a lack of inadequate water depth, and catastrophic warm temperatures (30°+) in the estuary and in Cass' Pond) that have been negatively affecting annual migrations of American eels, salmonids, alewife, and rainbow smelts for decades, and this project will also improve public's awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship.


Goals

  1. Expand on FCBB's current baseline data sets and ecosystem knowledge by purchasing new water quality monitoring equipment. This equipment will consist of 2 dissolved oxygen meters, a tidal gauge flow meter, and cover the costs of having surface water tested for the presence of micro plastics (with the help of a concerned grade four elementary class). This equipment will help FCBB make informed decisions in the future about where our greatest needs for ecosystem enhancements are and monitor the success of current enhancement projects.

  2. Improve water quality by removing the main source of nutrient in the Covehead Bay system that has resulted in increased sea lettuce growth and will therefore reduce the frequency and duration of anoxic events in our estuary. Removing this large amount of nutrient rich sediment from this drainage basin will also greatly reduce water temperatures in this system by increasing water depths and therefore reducing solar loading in this large shallow area.

  3. This project will greatly improve the habitat for aquatic species in this one productive system by providing cover for migrating fish species by dramatically increasing water depth. Currently over fifty percent of this area is less than a foot deep which has resulted in a larger than usual amount of predation by birds of prey and predatory mammals.

  4. This project will greatly improve connectivity to this entire system by addressing issues within the aging fish passage infrastructure that is located at the head of tide of this system. This project will also greatly improve connectivity by removing the significant barrier of algae blooms and pond vegetation that has completely inundated this area. FCBB staff has witnessed this first hand when attempting to paddle through this area and has noted on multiple occasions numerous fish mortalities due to being trapped in the algae and pond weed clusters. This abundance of vegetation and algae coupled with shallow water has basically rendered this once popular angling and recreational portion of the Bell's Creek system unusable.

  5. Increasing public education on the importance of sustainable land use practices and the importance of environmental enhancement by bringing together and informing all stakeholders (landowners, agriculture producers, commercial and recreational fishers, outdoor enthusiasts, Parks Canada, Agriculture Canada, various provincial departments, Environment Canada, and watershed members_ throughout every phase of this first critical step to saving this vital system. Numerous stakeholder meetings have been held over the last year leading up to the initiation of this project with complete support of the project and FCBB is committed to insuring this practice is continued throughout the project. If funding is secured, the public will also be informed through our multiple social media outlets, our website, a live security camera broadcasting each step of the restoration, and all data collected will be made available through the new online provincial data archive system set to launch soon. The public will also be educated through educational interruptive signage located at the multiple look out platforms to be installed around the restored area.

  6. This project will drastically improve the public's access to this system by improving the safety of the only access point on Rte. 6 that is currently located on a steep incline with limited visibility. The common area will also be doubled in size to allow more utilization of the area by the public and physically challenged individuals will also have an accessible platform to use the site.


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