2020 Annual General Meeting

Due to the pandemic, we delayed our Annual General Meeting and annual newsletter from spring to fall. Our AGM will be different this year, as many things are different now. We will be holding the meeting via Zoom on Wednesday September 16, from 7-9pm. If you would like to participate, please email info@WinterTracadie.ca or call 902-314-9293. Those who register will receive a link to join the meeting.

If you haven’t used Zoom before, we have a document with instructions we can share. Upon request, we could also hold a test meeting to help anyone practice using the system. On the day of AGM there won’t be much opportunity to help those who might have beginner’s challenges.

Hope some of you can join us virtually for the meeting.

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WRTBWA 2020 AGM UPDATE

In March of this year restrictions of the movement and gathering of people due to COVID-19 were put in place on PEI.  These restrictions resulted in the Board of Directors for the Winter River – Tracadie Bay Watershed Association deciding that the annual general meeting (AGM) would be postponed until the fall when hopefully COVID-19 restrictions will allow a face-to-face meeting. As they become available, preliminary annual reports as would normally be shared at the AGM will be posted to the WRTBWA’s website with the full reports presented at the AGM in the fall.

Preliminary 2020 AGM Chair Report submitted by Clare Martin

Board of Directors

At the May 2019 AGM a Board of 11 Directors was formed comprising of three new Directors and eight returning Directors. As per the By-Laws, there shall be not less than six and not more than 12 Directors. At the Executive Meeting held May 29, 2019 it was unanimously decided that the executive for 2019 would consist of Chair – Clare Martin, Vice Chair – George Coade, Secretary – Ryan Winters, and Treasurer – Lowell Vessey.

Funding

As a non-profit organization we rely on funding from government (federal, provincial, and municipal), non-government organizations, and donations. Each funder grants money to the Association with conditions of how their grant is to be used. For examples, some funders provide money for salaries, some provide funds to support a specific project, while a few funds are more flexible and can be used for overhead such as office expenses. Well into the 2019 summer season, the Association learned that some funders’ grants would be significantly reduced compared to previous years. This resulted in using some of the Association’s reserve fund to complete the projects in progress and commitments to staff salaries. Inconsistent funding makes budgeting for staff and projects a constant challenge for the Association. This is one reason we maintain a reserve fund.

Environmental Educational Opportunities Provided by the Watershed

During 2019, high school and post-secondary students were employed to complete the Association’s projects under the direction of the Watershed Coordinator. The Association emphasizes providing interested students with environmental work experience. The PEI Watershed Alliance also supports the learning of the Association’s staff by providing workshops on specific topics such as fish passage. The Alliance either conducts the workshop itself or arranges for various experts to deliver a workshop to staff from interested watershed groups around PEI.

The Association also provided our own environmental learning opportunities to school groups ranging from elementary to the post- secondary level. As well, in September a corporate group was hosted by the Association for their annual community volunteering event.  

Learning opportunities for the general public included organizing a snowshoe hike and later a Lady Slipper hike using the Winter River Trail. Additionally, a booth staffed by the Association was set up at the Canada Day Celebration held at the North Shore Community Centre. Presently, a trail is being constructed through the Association’s Suffolk property. The trail will allow for self-guiding educational opportunities for the general public through what will become a demonstration area for our group.

This past year the Association hosted a series of meetings with farmers in the area. The meetings highlighted the work of the Watershed Association and helped us gain a better understanding of how the Watershed Association can work with the farmers to maintain or improve the quality of the land and water resources within our watershed. The Association felt that these meetings were very productive due to the exchange of information and concerns.

Water Extraction

During 2019, the City of Charlottetown’s Miltonvale Park wellfield (located outside our watershed) became operational. The Miltonvale Park wellfield now supplies 25% of Charlottetown’s water supply, to be used by residents, visitors, industry, and businesses. Therefore, less water is needed from the City’s wells located in Brackley and Union Road. The Association continues to meet with officials from the City of Charlottetown and the Provincial government to share information on watershed management and concerns related to water extraction from our watershed for use by the City of Charlottetown.

In the fall of 2019, the Association responded to the Province’s invitation to provide feedback to the proposed Water Extraction Regulations. Five Board members attended the October 30th public meeting in Charlottetown. The Board also met privately with Deputy Minister of Environment and provincial staff on November 7th to present the Association’s particular concerns with the proposed water extraction regulations.

In September, MLAs from all parties were invited to meet with the Association to highlight concerns over land use and water extraction within the watershed. The Mayor from the City of Charlottetown also joined this meeting. The Association considered the meeting to be quite successful as there was a high level of engagement and interest from the attending politicians and government officials.

As always, the Board of Directors for the Winter River – Tracadie Bay Watershed Association encourages the residents of our watershed to bring to the attention of the Board any concerns or questions they have about what is happening in the watershed.

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Thanks for our funding partners in 2019.

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Fall 2019 Update

We have created a special electronic newsletter to update our supporters on some important issues that we have been working on this year.

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Thanks to our funders

We couldn’t do all the work we do without our funding partners.

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More social media

We have expanded our social media presence with accounts on Twitter and Instagram. If you use these programs, consider following us.

https://www.instagram.com/wrtbwa/

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Land use in the watershed

An article we recently wrote to outline some changes in land use within our watershed.

Changes in land use

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Contest Alert!!

For December, the Winter River – Tracadie Bay Watershed Association is running a contest for the good of all!

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One lucky family will win coaching and support for adopting selected water-saving devices like low-flow toilets and showerheads, faucet aerators, rain barrels, water jugs, or flowering shrubs that are native to the Island.

This contest launches our Water Use Makeover Program to encourage conservation and reduce the amount of water drawn from Winter River. During this program, we will welcome nearly 50 households and 10 businesses to take part in helping reduce water use. To be eligible, participants must already have a water meter installed, be within Charlottetown’s city limits, and complete a brief survey.

SIGN UP HERE

Accepted participants will complete a more detailed survey, gain a water-use assessment, and receive easy-to-adopt recommendations for conserving water, all for free. Water saving devices will be available to eligible participants for a nominal fee, thanks to project funding provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

We know this is a busy and expensive time of year, so any eligible families that apply early (by December 31) will be entered in our contest—a draw for one household to have participation fees completely waived. Apply today if you qualify.

Please share this program with your friends, family, and community groups, or post the attached flyer on a bulletin board.

Together, with your participation in our Water Use Makeover Program, we can all make a positive difference.

Every drop of water saved helps brook trout and all aquatic species that live in Winter River. Water conservation also benefits us all. In Charlottetown, everyone counts on safe, reliable access to water. Whether at home or at work, that water is drawn from the Winter River watershed.

Conservation helps us normalize water levels and water temperature in Winter River. It also prevents the nearby springs and streams from drying up as quickly, and can delay or limit any water restrictions that affect irrigation on local farms.

Ready to apply? Complete our online survey, or contact us directly (info@wintertracadie.ca or 902-314-293). Even if you miss our December 31 deadline for the contest, we encourage you to apply for one of the spots in our program.

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Water Use Makeover Program

The Winter River – Tracadie Bay Watershed Association is proud to be launching the “Water Use Makeover Program” in an effort to provide the education and materials necessary for participants to make a lasting reduction in their water use, and thus reduction in water extracted from the Winter River watershed. The program is open to ~ 50 households and ~ 10 local businesses in the City of Charlottetown who pay for water based on measurements from a water meter.

Please invite your family and friends to like and share the Water Use Makeover Program so together, Charlottetown can make a measurable difference in water conservation! #savewinterriver

For more information visit our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/watermakeover

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Trout spawning season

We had a visit from Sean Landsman this week to a location in the Winter River where we saw lots of trout spawning. He caught some great underwater photos of the fish.

spawning pair on redd

Spawning pair on redd

spawning pair on redd 2

Spawning pair on redd

posturing males

Posturing males

female redd male

Female on redd, with male nearby

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