Moncton, New Brunswick — Making our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier for all Canadians and future generations is a top priority for the Government of Canada.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced today that the Maliseet Nation Conservation Council (MNCC) will receive more than $400,000 over four years for a Coastal Restoration Fund project to help restore Atlantic salmon fish habitat in Wolastoq, tributaries and coastal habitats in Saint John, New Brunswick.
The MNCC will identify and restore deteriorated fish habitat in the Wolastoq (Saint John River) watershed and associated coastal areas and also build the capacity of Maliseet people to undertake restoration work. A Wolastoq watershed-wide fish passage study will be conducted with the help of an external expert. The MNCC will then develop a plan to restore fish passage at sites throughout the watershed, which will include the restoration of deteriorated fish habitat at several sites. The restoration work will focus on the habitat of fish species that are of social, cultural and economic significance to Maliseet First Nations such as Atlantic salmon and American eel.
This project is funded through the Ocean Protection Plan’s Coastal Restoration Fund, which supports projects that contribute to healthier habitats for fish on all of Canada’s coasts with preference given to projects that are multiyear and involve a broad number of partners, including Indigenous groups.
Over the past two years, the Government of Canada has invested in three Coastal Restoration Fund projects in New Brunswick, which are making our marine safety system stronger and protecting our coastal environments and marine species more than ever before. Based on the latest science and technology, Indigenous partnerships and collaboration, these projects bring us closer to healthier, cleaner and safer oceans.
Minister Wilkinson also announced that the MNCC will receive $404,686 in Coastal Environmental Baseline Program investments over four years to investigate the basic ecology of the Atlantic Wolffish, the first known directed study of the species in the Bay of Fundy. The study will focus on behaviour, movements and habitat preferences of the Atlantic Wolffish as well as the potential effects of aquatic invasive species on prey availability. Satellite monitoring will provide additional information on the behaviour and movement patterns of wolffish.
Funding for this project comes from the Coastal Environmental Baseline Program, also part of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan. The program supports the advancement of data collection projects at six coastal pilot sites across Canada and involves close collaboration between Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists, Indigenous and coastal communities, and other local partners.
This baseline data is critically important to our understanding of marine ecosystems and is essential to our ability to protect marine species and habitats into the future. The comprehensive data collected through this project will help detect changes over time and will also be used to inform decisions that could mitigate impacts on sensitive marine environments.Source : Government of Canada