The Shellfish Restoration Project was created in 2005-2006 to enhance oyster (Crassostrea virginica) habitat in both the Bays of Cocagne and Shediac as well as to establish quahogs (Mercenary mercenary) reproductive sanctuaries in Shediac Bay.
In the Bays of Cocagne and Shediac, shell material was added to the sea floor (shelling) to create a substrate for oyster spats. Shelling activities were carried out on a 3,710 m2 surface area in Cocagne Bay and on a 3,520 m2 surface area in Shediac Bay. It is hoped that oysters will settle on this substrate and create new reefs.
Recruitment in Cocagne Bay was high and a large number of juvenile oysters are now growing on the restored site. In Shediac Bay, oyster recruitment was not very successful. Therefore, adult oysters were added on the restored bed.
Quahog reproductive sanctuaries were also established in Shediac Bay by planting large quahogs (>50 mm). By increasing density up to 100 large quahogs/m2 in two 40 m2 plots (total of 8,000 quahogs), we were expecting to enhance the reproductive success, thus allowing the naturalized population to grow.
Shellfish play an ecologically important role by filtering the water column. They help reduce water turbidity and the effects of nutrient pollution (for example algae blooms). By restoring shellfish, the SBWA is helping to improve water quality for residents and other users of the Bay.
The Shediac Bay Watershed Association initiated a green boating program in 2005. An educational project was the first step in a long-term program aiming to protect water quality in the Bay of Shediac by increasing awareness among boaters about best boating practices.
The objectives for this project were to conduct an initial survey among boaters to better understand their actual practices, and to perform targeted awareness activities. The awareness program was rolled out by holding a hazardous waste collection for boaters.
A pamphlet and a sign were produced to promote best practices in waste management. An information session was held and the SBWA also participated in the Moncton Boat Show to distribute awareness material and directly reach recreational boaters.
Energy conservation and climate change
From 2009 to 2012 the Shediac Bay Watershed Association conducted an educational program on energy efficiency and climate change.
Different educational activities were offered to the public in collaboration with Efficiency New Brunswick. Presentations were made to students in local schools. The Association organized exchanges of conventional light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. Work was also done with local businesses to evaluate their energy practices and recommend strategies to lessen electricity use.
This project was recognized as an Outstanding Energy Efficiency Achievement for Community in 2013 by the Premier’s Awards for Energy Efficiency.
Septic System improvement
Between 2003 and 2007 the Shediac Bay Watershed Association helped 47 households repair or improve their septic systems. The program provided grants to low income households in areas where improvements were most likely to have a positive impact on water quality.
These grants are no longer available.
A culvert assessment was completed in 2007 to identify culverts preventing fish passage and causing habitat fragmentation. A total of 100 culverts were visited and 75 were assessed using a protocol issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Overall most culverts were in good shape and did not block fish passage. However, some culverts may need attention as they have a significant drop upstream or downstream or cause blockages. The Association has been addressing some of these issues and will continue to work on the most problematic areas.
The details of the surveys can be found in the report located in our archives.
As part of a project to increase biodiversity in the town of Shediac, the SBWA installed 86 bird houses constructed specifically for 4 different species: the tree swallow, the American robin, the black-capped chickadee and the wood duck. Theses bird houses are intended to protect bird populations by providing habitats along the coast.
Construction was the work of students at MFB School during workshops in partnership with Nature NB, in 2014 and 2015. These nesting boxes can be found in multiple public parks, green spaces and school yards in the town of Shediac and the village of Grande-Digue.
This project created bat houses to be installed in various locations in southeastern NB, in order to help bats adopt new hunting and breeding grounds. The class of Industrial Arts at Bernice MacNaughton High School in Moncton was contracted to build 40 bat houses for the project.
An educational seminar was given by a special guest speaker Karen Vanderwolf, an expert on the state of bats in New Brunswick from the NB Museum and Canadian Wildlife Federation. Attendees learned more details on the devastating impacts of White-Nose Syndrome on the population of bats in New Brunswick, and received a bat house to be installed on their property. The remaining bat houses were later given away to local citizens during various events.