News Release
For immediate distribution

MONCTON, NB – October 27, 2014 – Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is concerned by the demand made ​​by Atlantic Industrial Services (AIS) to dispose of 30 million litres of treated water in Dieppe’s municipal sewer system originating from its facility in Debert, Nova Scotia. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is adamant that New Brunswick’s Department of Environment and Local Government should reject this proposal.
(See backgrounder issued by the City of Dieppe: Project to dispose of treated water in municipal sewer system.)

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper says it does not have sufficient information regarding the components of the treated water. The organization is concerned about the possibility that the water might harm local citizen’s health as well as the environment.

The lack of information from independent sources regarding the request made ​​by AIS is a major concern for Petitcodiac Riverkeeper. The organization demands that further information be provided and, until this happens, strongly opposes disposal of water in New Brunswick originating from outside sources.

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is a non-profit organization. Its main objective is to restore the ecological health of the Petitcodiac and Memramcook River watersheds, including the Shepody Bay estuary, located in southeastern New Brunswick. The Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is part investigator, scientist, educator and advocate.  The Petitcodiac Riverkeeper acts as a public voice for our waterways, protecting our right to clean water and a healthy watershed.



Text: Mario Cyr
Photos: Edmund Redfield and Mario Cyr
Graphics: Edmund Redfield

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper continues to work on the second phase of the Humphreys Brook restoration project this fall (2014) by removing large debris, planting native trees and constructing biotechnical slope stabilization structures. (To learn more about our Humphreys Brook restoration project, please read this blog post: Our vision for Humphreys Brook –a healthy habitat for all fish animals, and people to enjoy in the urban center of Moncton.)

Photo 1: Removing large metal debris from the banks of Humphreys Brook with heavy equipment provided by Tri-Province Enterprises.

The site selected for restoration work in this third year of the project follows the brook for 200 meters. The site is located where the brook enters an affected industrial area further upstream from the old dam which was dismantled. (See section in red in Figure 1, below.)

Figure 1: Location of the restoration site along Humphreys Brook (Fall 2014).

Approximately 700 trees (native species) will be planted in an area that covers 7,000 square meters. (See Figure 2: Plantation map.)

Figure 2: Plantation map.

Once Phase II is completed, Tri-Province Enterprises will have contributed $25,000 towards cleaning and reforestation work for the Humphreys Brook restoration project.

Photo 2: Petitcodiac Riverkeeper President Paul N. Belliveau receives the fourth $5,000 cheque from Tri-Province Enterprise owners Mark Nowlan and Bruce Nowlan. A fifth cheque will be given to Petitcodiac Riverkeeper once all work is completed.

Petitcodiac Rivekeeper would like to thank the financial partners that have continue to support us in Phase II of our Humphreys Brook restoration project: Fisheries and Oceans Canada as well as Tri-Province Enterprises.



MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK – October 1, 2014 – With the arrival of the fall and a recent participation in an international competition that has shone a spotlight on its successes as well as the potential to come for the Petitcodiac River’s restauration efforts, Petitcodiac Riverkeeper’s new Board of Directors (elected this past summer at the organization’s 15th AGM) is ready to tackle this coming year’s challenges.

Mr. Paul N. Belliveau will guide the organization as its new president. Mr. Belliveau has served on the organization’s Board of Directors since 2013. This is the first time that the organization sees a municipal councilor take the lead as president, which it sees as a valuable asset. Indeed, Mr. Belliveau, Ward Councillor for the City of Dieppe, is a known environmental steward. He acted as Chairman of the steering committee responsible for drafting the city’s green plan and has been chairing the city’s advisory committee on the environment for 2 ½ years.

“Throughout the past 15 years, I have observed the tremendous work done by Petitcodiac Riverkeeper,” explains Mr. Belliveau. “Petitcodiac Riverkeeper’s work and community involvement continues to receive local, national and international praise. Of course, the pivotal moment was the opening of the causeway gates in 2010 and the positive effects that we continue to see ever since in our river. But our work is far from over.”

Mr. Belliveau will lead the organization in its efforts to replace the causeway with a partial bridge in order help the Petitcodiac River to return to its pre-1968 glory. But he warns that this project will only be possible with cooperation from all levels of government and the local population.

In addition, the organization recently participated in an international conference where it was nominated for the prestigious International Riverprize, thanks to work led by Riverkeeper Daniel LeBlanc. “We recognize the work done by Mr. LeBlanc in regards to this nomination. The international attention we received as one of the three finalists is very positive. We must not lose this momentum. We have learned from other rivers and their communities’ stories, and we now have more ideas about the work and type of partnerships we need to go after for our own river.”

In addition to Mr. Belliveau, Petitcodiac Riverkeeper members elected Mr. George Brown as Vice-President and Mr. Jean-Marc Dugas as Secretary-Treasurer. The former president, Pierre Landry will continue his involvement with the organization as Past-President. Furthermore, Mr. Jimmy Therrien, Mme Melissa MacMullin, Mme Monique Arsenault, Mr. Alfred Ehrenclou, Mr. Conrad LeBlanc and Mr. Roger Dubois will serve as directors.

“I feel lucky and honoured to have been chosen as the President of Petitcodiac Riverkeeper’s Board of Directors,” says Mr. Belliveau. “Our diverse membership provides us with lots of different perspectives, and I am eager to begin our work. I thank the members of the Board, our staff and our volunteers for their support.”

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is a non-profit organization. Its main objective is to restore the ecological health of the Petitcodiac and Memramcook River watersheds, including the Shepody Bay estuary, located in southeastern New Brunswick. The Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is part investigator, scientist, educator and advocate.  The Petitcodiac Riverkeeper acts as a public voice for our waterways, protecting our right to clean water and a healthy watershed.



On September 20, 2014, two sites were selected and 210 native trees and shrubs, in addition to three red maple trees in honour of the three RCMP officers who lost their lives last summer, were planted along the Petitcodiac waterfront trail in downtown Moncton. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper was involved in the organization of this activity, which promotes habitat restoration and biodiversity enhancement.

Launched in 2010, TD Tree Days provide TD Bank employees, family members, friends and the community the opportunity to volunteer and demonstrate their commitment to being environmental stewards.

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper’s new president, Mr. Paul N. Belliveau, and past president Mr. Pierre Landry, participated in this event. Mr. Mario Cyr took on the role of “TD Tree Advisor” on behalf of Petitcodiac Riverkeeper, with support from Mr. Dan Hicks and the City of Moncton’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Mr. Alain Curling from TD Bank was designated as “TD Site Leader” for this activity. Over forty volunteers, TD Bank employees and their families were in attendance.

One of the many tree shrubs planted by Mr. Pierre Landry.

Mr. Alain Bordage motivates a group of volunteers.

Mr. Paul N. Belliveau et Mr. Alain Bordage get ready to plant one of the three red maples to honour the RCMP officers who recently died while on duty.

Mr. Pierre Landry planted many trees and shrubs!



On June 16, 2014, scientists came from Maine to visit the Humphreys Brook restoration project lead by Petitcodiac Riverkeeper and also to familiarize themselves with the Petitcodiac River causeway issue.


– Denis Haché, Retired engineer, former dam removal specialist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and advisor to Petitcodiac Riverkeeper.

– Slade Moore, Contracting Habitat Restoration Coordinator, Maine Coastal Program, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry | Bureau of Geology, Natural Resources and Coastal Areas.

– Claire L. Enterline, Diadromous Fisheries Scientist, Maine Department of Marine Resources.



ext: Nathalie Landry
Editing: Monique Arsenault
Photos and video: Georges Brun, Marco Morency
Music: Phil Flowers

Most people seem unaware that the murky waters of the Petitcodiac River are teeming with fish and aquatic life. Ever since the opening of the causeway gates, fish stocks are gradually improving thanks to restored fish passage and restoration efforts led by the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, Petitcodiac Riverkeeper, and Fort Folly First Nation.

Edmund Redfield may be more familiar of the current status the river’s various fish species than almost anyone else. After obtaining his Masters in Restoration Ecology from the University of Alberta, he chose to make Moncton, New Brunswick his home. He soon became involved with Fort Folly First Nation’s Habitat Recovery program. He also started contributing to many Petitcodiac Riverkeeper initiatives, such as the Humphreys Brook Restoration project.

“Lots of people were leaving New Brunswick to go to Alberta and here I was, going in the other direction”, he recalls with a good laugh. “But there are many opportunities here people don’t often realize.”

Edmund is now in his 4th year managing the Petitcodiac Fish Recovery
Coalition’s fish trap in its 5th season documenting the presence/absence and counts of individual fish species. The trap is located in the main channel of the Petitcodiac River just upstream of the “Old Train Bridge” in Salisbury.  He also helps operate Fort Folly’s smolt wheel, designed to catch a portion of the springtime juvenile salmon migrating out to the sea, to document and study them. Smolts are also collected in order to breed and reintroduce the species and are tagged so that they can be tracked to help monitor their population. Edmund has thus seen first hand how the river’s evolution since the opening of the causeway gates has affected its fish species.

“We monitor the arrival and movement of fish into the upper reaches of the river. Many species are increasing in numbers. For example, in 2010- the year the causeway gates were first opened, we did not catch a single Striped Bass. In 2011, we caught 158 and in 2012, 706. Tomcod is another example. We only caught only one in 2010. The next year, we counted 1,316, and by 2013 we had 3,155. This is a species, which, for many years before the opening of the gates, had completely disappeared from the upper reaches of the river.”

Striped Bass


Perhaps the most abundant fish species is the Gaspereau. Hard to imagine, but Redfield says the fish trap once caught over 40,000 Gaspereau in one singleday during the height of spawning season.

We’re also seeing populations of invasive species diminish. Anglers had introduced Smallmouth Bass back in what used to be the Petitcodiac Lake. Since the opening of the causeway gates in 2010, their numbers have declined yearly, to the point that by 2013, we did not catch a single one.  So while it might be premature to say that smallmouth bass are gone, we are able to say that they look like they are on their way out. With the return of free tidal flow, the river is no longer a favorable environment for them, and as competitors with (and in some cases predators of) native species, they won’t be missed.

The most prized species people would like to see in the river is of course the famous Atlantic Salmon, which use to abound in the river. “I’ve heard lots of stories of people fishing Atlantic Salmon in the Petitcodiac River. Unfortunately, they were already on the decline due to overfishing and other factors even before the causeway got constructed. Working together with DFO we’ve been stocking the river with Salmon and hopefully one day, we’ll have a healthy self-perpetuating population again. In addition to fry from the hatchery we’ve released adults during spawning season, and found redds (egg nests) in the riverbed that indicate that they spawned successfully, and we have followed up by monitoring their offspring through electrofishing. Unfortunately, so far the only salmon we see are ones that we’ve put in the river, either as young fry or as adults ready to spawn (and their offspring). It will be a very big deal if we ever catch an adult at the fish trap on its way upstream to spawn in the fall, because that would be an example of a salmon which had entered the river all by itself, rather than with our help. That would be a major sign of recovery.

Atlantic Salmon

Other than his fascination with aquatic life, Redfield is quite the naturalist and is currently awaiting publication of his first book – a field guide to native and non-native plants in Atlantic Canada. Profiling over 150 species of plants, he hopes to help people learn about the flora around them. “People care more about things they recognize. Only when you know more about something in nature, are you likely to care enough to want to protect it.”

Why is the river so important to him?

“I guess I’ve always had a fascination with water, especially moving water. I live in Pré-d’en-Haut and have a lovely view of the river. I’ve seen the tidal bore become bigger, the river becoming wider; I see signs of the river becoming healthier. My father-in-law used to fish Salmon in the Petitcodiac and one day, I’d like it to have healthy enough populations so that my son can fish them here like his grandfather used to.”




You are cordially invited to attend the Petitcodiac Riverkeeper’s 2014 Annual General Meeting, Tuesday June 10, at 7:00 pm at the Chateau Moncton Hotel.

RSVP by calling 506.388.5337 or by emailing

Meeting Agenda
Attendees can download the Meeting Agenda here: 2014 AGM Petitcodiac Riverkeeper.

We’re always looking for passionate individuals to guide the organization in its mission. If you are interested in participating on our board of directors or in our committees, please contact us at the above coordinates. 



Petitcodiac Riverkeeper now has roots on Vaughan Harvey Boulevard. To celebrate Moncton’s 125th anniversary, 35 organizations planted a tree that bears their name during the Arbor Day event, which took place on May 15, 2014 on Vaughan Harvey Boulevard in Moncton. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper also took advantage of the event to highlight and celebrate its 15th anniversary.

Members of the Petitcodiac Riverkeeper team who came out to help plant the tree included Roger Leblanc, Mario Cyr, Daniel Chiasson, Georges Brun, Ronald Babin and Denis Haché. Our tree is number 25. It is an Armstrong Maple, already about 4 meters high. Congratulations to the City of Moncton for this beautiful project, bringing organizations together and symbolizing hope for the future.



These ladies from Taiwan made certain to come to Moncton during their Atlantic Canada trip, because they had heard about the Tidal Bore and wanted to see it for themselves. They ran into Petitcodiac Riverwatcher Georges Brun, who stopped by to chat with them and find out more about their travels. They had flown into Halifax and had Moncton’s Tidal Bore on their New Brunswick itinerary, along with Fundy National Park. Next stops for this group would be Prince Edward Island and seeing the icebergs in Newfoundland and Labrador. Seems our Petitcodiac River is gaining momentum as a world-class tourist attraction all the way in Asia!



Text: Nathalie Landry
Editing: Monique Arsenault
Photos and video: Georges Brun
Music: Mario LeBreton

“There is nothing like being in the marshes along the Petitcodiac River in the morning, with the mist rising and the sun’s rays starting to slowly heat the air. You can hear the birds singing… It’s good for the soul.”

It was his love of ornithology that brought Roger Leblanc to become involved in the protection and restoration of the Petitcodiac River. He is a member of the Petitcodiac Riverkeepers and has taken part over several years in the Christmas Bird Count, an annual census of birds by thousands of volunteer and professional birders all over North America as well as in South America. Leblanc leads the count in Moncton, trying to identify and track as many species and individuals as possible over an area that covers 24 km in diameter from the city’s centre and includes the marshes surrounding the Petitcodiac River.

“I remember that before we opened the tidal control structure gates, I use to go to Bell Marsh in Salisbury,” he recalls. “I would observe the marshes around the artificial lake. It was a dead lake – there was almost no animal life. But since the opening of the locks, I see lots of animal life coming back to this marsh. It’s really amazing how quickly nature reclaims her territory when she is left to her own devices.”

Leblanc hails from Campbellton and has always been an outdoor enthusiast. He studied at the Université de Moncton, and then settled in our region. He has worked in television production for many years. He’s made some ​nature documentaries, and developed a passion for wildlife and flora in the process, resulting in his favorite hobby: bird watching.

“I especially love bird watching this time of the year, in the spring. I try to go out at least 2 or 3 times a week to the marshes along the banks of the river. Nature changes so quickly, it’s this incredible theatrical performance that I feel privileged to attend. Spring sees the return of the Red-winged Blackbird, swallows and duck species. There’s the Nelson’s Sparrow, one of my very favorite species, very unique to our region. If we ever want to give Greater Moncton an official bird, I would recommend the Nelson’s Sparrow.”

Leblanc says that for him, the tidal bore gaining momentum since the opening of the gates in 2010 is only the icing on the cake when it comes to all the positive changes that he’s been noticing in regards to the health of the Petitcodiac River.

“The river and its wildlife are always evolving. For example, I see a lot more species of ducks along the riverbanks as well as other birds for which the river is a natural habitat. Some other species, such as seagulls, are less present. We used to have a big problem with seagulls, there were too many – it was too easy for them as they simply could feed on the fish that were getting stuck trying to go through the gates. Now that the fish are able to pass through the opened gates, there are fewer gulls near the causeway. Also, as the river’s mud banks gradually erode, shorebirds like sandpipers that use to live on the banks are now migrating upstream – making their nests in places that are a more natural habitat for them. This is normal, a sign that the river is returning to its natural state and that the wildlife is adapting.”

Leblanc says it’s a shame more people are not aware of the richness and diversity of our region’s flora and fauna. “We are very fortunate to live in a city where, within a few minutes, you can be in a salt marsh observing the wildlife. For bird lovers, there are several species in our region that cannot be found anywhere else. People come from all over the world to see species like my friend, the Nelson’s Sparrow which has a very distinctive song.”

“When you start learning about birds and know more about their stories, the great migrations they undertake and what makes each species unique, you start to appreciate nature a lot more and you want to protect it.”

His vision for the future of the Petitcodiac River?

“We must give the river – and nature – the chance to reclaim their rights. I hope someday we will remove the tidal control structure and the causeway and replace them with a bridge. The area where the artificial lake used to be has great potential – it could become a much more interesting place if we gave the river a chance to regain its natural width. I envision a beautiful marsh, with boardwalks for people to be able to walk around and watch the birds.”