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Public Dialogues on Future of Memramcook River Causeway

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper recently held public dialogues/community meetings to talk about the current state of the Memramcook River Causeway as well as a preliminary assessment of options to repair, modify or remove the infrastructure.

The organization has been calling attention to the deterioration of the Memramcook causeway and the causeway’s impact on the Memramcook River for many years and is committed to working with government, community members and other key stakeholders to prevent further damage. 

“The Memramcook River causeway and associated gates and supporting structures were built in 1973 and have been deteriorating from weather conditions and saltwater ever since,” Riverkeeper stated in its report, Preliminary Assessment of Options for the Long-Term Viability of the Memramcook River Causeway.  “Over the years, this has altered the natural ecosystem in the 400 km2 watershed and contributed to the elimination of several kilometres of upstream estuary, affecting the tidal range fish migrations and nutrient exchange in the river system.” 

The organization has worked with community partners to bring historic wins for the Petitcodiac River —  its natural flow is returning, as are fish and habitat. The Memramcook River now faces a similar opportunity to be brought back to life, which will also have a significant impact on the quality of life and economy of its urban and rural communities. 

Approximately 40 people attended the Feb 25th, 2020 event in Dorchester and 50 the March 5th, 2020 event in Memramcook which were intended to bring people from the community together and to hear their feedback regarding three possible options for the Memramcook River Causeway:

  • Option 1: Status Quo – The Memramcook Causeway is repaired to maintain its function and role on the river. It will require major renovations and continual maintenance through the opening and closing of the gates to allow for control of tide and fish passage. With the status quo option, the impacts to the river and surrounding community remain. The causeway has altered the flow of water, which has had significant negative effects on the surrounding ecosystem.
  • Option 2: Partial reconstruction – The Memramcook Causeway is kept and the gates on the Causeway are opened permanently. In this option, the causeway remains but the gates are no longer used to control the flow of water. The free passage of water reduces the large fluctuations in sediment creating a more stable environment for species. With the gates no longer closed, fish are no longer blocked and have free access along the river. The river narrows at the point of the causeway which will continue to affect the flow of water.
  • Option 3: Removal – The Memramcook Causeway is removed entirely and a bridge is built in its place to maintain access to communities on both sides of the river.  The river is allowed to return to its most natural state and with that, habitat recovery begins. This option is most likely to result in the largest benefits to the river and its surrounding ecosystem.

All community members were strongly in favour of advocating for the third option – replacing the causeway with a bridge. Community members also stressed the importance of repairing and reinforcing dykes, levees and aboiteaux along the river to prevent further flooding. Both communities say they are ready to work with Petitcodiac Riverkeeper. government and all stakeholders to push forward on this request and to establish plans to maximize the environmental, cultural and economic benefits the restoration of the Memramcook River can bring to the region.

INFORMATION

  • Interested citizens who would like to offer feedback or be kept in the loop for future community discussions and follow-up on this project should contact Krysta Cowling at info@petitcodiac.org.
  • They can also join a Facebook Group on this topic: Memramcook River Restoration.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT (February 2020)

MEDIA COVERAGE:

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Public Dialogue: the Future of the Memramcook River and Causeway

English Session
Veteran’s Community Hall
4955 Main Street Dorchester, NB
Feb 25, 2020
6:30—8:30p.m.

French Session – PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE DUE TO FEB 27TH WINTER STORM CANCELLATIONS
Le Club d’âge d’or (Berceau)
409, rte La Vallée, Memramcook NB
NEW DATE: MARCH 5TH 2020
6:30-8:30p.m.

We want to hear from you!
The Memramcook causeway is deteriorating and facing major repairs in the near future. The time has come to discuss options surrounding the future of the causeway and the Memramcook River. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper would like to share data collected on the current state of the causeway and present options for moving forward. Join us for a Public Dialogue on this topic—an opportunity to share feedback, ask questions, raise concerns, and brainstorm opportunities and ideas around the potential of the Memramcook River for its surrounding communities. Your voice will help Petitcodiac Riverkeeper act in the best interest of the community.

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Petitcodiac Riverkeeper Hosts Community Engagement Symposium to Discuss new Ecotourism, Recreation and Economic Development Opportunities

Still Work to Do for Petitcodiac River Post-Restoration

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper Hosts Community Engagement Symposium to Discuss New Ecotourism, Recreation and Economic Development Opportunities

On Monday, October 28, 2019, Petitcodiac Riverkeeper hosted a historic symposium bringing together businesses, municipalities, towns and villages, wildlife protection and restoration organizations, universities, artists, economic development organizations, people who live and work along the Petitcodiac River, and others who see potential in the river to build the local economy in an ecologically responsible way.

The symposium’s goal was to help Petitcodiac Riverkeeper develop an environmentally responsible strategy to take advantage of new opportunities offered by the restoration of the Petitcodiac River, such as ecotourism, recreation, environmental and public health, economic development and community resilience.

For the past 20 years, Petitcodiac Riverkeeper and its community partners have worked together to bring attention to the plight of the Petitcodiac River. The results have been historic. The natural flow of the Petitcodiac River is returning, as are fish and habitat. The tidal bore is once again a major tourist attraction. Never in Canadian history has a tidal river been brought back to life and offered such a unique opportunity to make significant contributions to the quality of life and economies of urban and rural communities.

However, these tremendous accomplishments do not mean the Petitcodiac River is safe from the harmful effects of climate change, erosion, flooding, or from human-made issues. Growing ecotourism and recreational use of the river, while a welcome opportunity for economic development, also create potential issues, and must be done in a way that ensures the safety and well-being of both the river and the public.

“Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year,” says the organization’s Chair, Ronald Babin. “We are extremely grateful for the incredible gains we have made in restoring our beloved river. Now that the bridge replacing the causeway is under construction, the river will soon see its natural flow restored. It is time to look forward to a very bright future. The October 28th Petitcodiac River Symposium is our gift to the community: an invitation to our many stakeholders, partners, and friends to come together to develop a shared vision for this future.”

MEDIA COVERAGE FOR THE EVENT: 

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PETITCODIAC RIVERKEEPER AGM: OPPORTUNITY FOR CITIZENS TO GET INVOLVED IN FUTURE RESTORATION EFFORTS FOR THE PETICODIAC RIVER

News Release
For Immediate Distribution

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper AGM: Opportunity for Citizens to Get Involved in Future Restoration Efforts for the Peticodiac River

MONCTON, NB – Monday, April 4, 2016 – Petitcodiac Riverkeeper will be holding a community Meet and Greet as well as an Annual General Meeting in the Port Royal Salon of the Château Moncton (100 Main Street, Moncton, NB) on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, starting at 6:30pm. The event is a great opportunity for current members of the organization as well as members of the general public to meet the new Riverkeeper and Executive Director of the organization, Daniel Bard, and learn more about priorities for the river’s restoration efforts. Members of the media are welcome to attend.

“Much remains to be done for the Petitcodiac River to return to its natural state,” says Bard as the official spokesperson for Petitcodiac Riverkeeper. “The water quality does not meet the safety threshold necessary to practise recreational activities and fish spawning grounds are far from being completely restored. The causeway must be replaced with a partial bridge. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper represents the community’s interest in continued action and lobbying to ensure the full restoration of the Petitcodiac River. We invite everyone in the community who is concerned and wants to have their voice heard in ensuring the future of our river to join us for our Meet and Greet and AGM in order to give us feedback, share their ideas and find out how they can become more involved.”

Since taking over the reigns as the new Riverkeeper and Executive Director, Daniel Bard and the members of the Petitcodiac Riverkeeper Board of Directors’ main goal has been to rejuvenate public interest in the organization and recruit new partners and investors to capitalize on the current federal and provincial governments’ interest in removing the causeway and replacing it with a partial bridge. The group is also planning a major collaborative effort in the monitoring of the Petitcodiac River as a response to the much-publicized case of leaching contaminants produced by the old riverside landfill in Moncton.  Monitoring will be done in two sites, at the riverside landfill site and near the mouth of the Petitcodiac River Watershed, to evaluate if contaminants are being transported into the Bay of Fundy. The project will not only create new jobs within the leading partner organizations, but also develop a database which will be made available to all decision makers and the public, with data pertaining to the water, soil, plant and shellfish samples collected.

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.  Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is part investigator, scientist, educator, and advocate.  Petitcodiac Riverkeeper acts as a public voice for our waterways, protecting our right to clean water and a healthy watershed.

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Media Contacts:
Daniel Bard
Riverkeeper and Executive Director – Petitcodiac Riverkeeper
Email: daniel.bard@petitcodiac.org or info@petitcodiac.org
Phone: 506-388-5337

Paul N. Belliveau
President – Petitcodiac Riverkeeper Email: paul.n.belliveau@hotmail.com Phone: 506-855-2637Cell: 506-866-2637

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Invitation- Petitcodiac Riverkeeper meet & greet and annual general meeting

Interested in the health and restoration of the Petitcodiac River? Come meet our Riverkeeper, give us feedback and find out how to get involved.

Much remains to be done for the Petitcodiac River to return to its natural state. The water quality does not meet the safety threshold necessary to practice recreational activities and fish spawning grounds are far from being completely restored. The causeway must be replaced with a partial bridge. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper represents the community’s interest in continued action and lobbying to ensure the complete restoration of the Petitcodiac River.

Members of the general public as well as current Petitcodiac Riverkeeper members are invited to learn more about priorities for the river’s restoration efforts and meet the new Riverkeeper and Executive Director of the organization, Daniel Bard.

Please join us for our Meet & Greet and Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, in the Port Royal Salon of the Château Moncton (100 Main Street, Moncton, NB).

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper Meet & Greet and Annual General Meeting
April 6, 2016, at the Château Moncton (100 Main Street, Moncton NB)
Port Royal Salon
Meet & Greet + Registration at 6:30 PM
Annual General Meeting at 7 PM
Everyone is welcome. Free event.

Download and print invitation

Download and print AGM Agenda

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is a registered non-profit organization based in Moncton, New Brunswick. Our mission is to lead the restoration, protection and promotion of the ecological integrity of the Petitcodiac and Memramcook watersheds and the Shepody Bay estuary, situated in southeastern New Brunswick and the Bay of Fundy. Our mission is accomplished through public education, monitoring water quality, ensuring that environmental laws are respected and initiating rehabilitation projects.

Some of our accomplishments over the past 10 years include:

  • Petitcodiac River Restoration – We have raised public awareness and convinced government to act on the opening of the Petitcodiac River causeway’s gates and restoration of fish passage in the river.
  • Citizen and Youth Education: We have raised awareness about clean water and watershed issues among citizens and youth.
  • Addressing Pollution Sources – We have held polluters accountable, filed complaints and followed through on possible infractions to environmental legislation.
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WORLD RIVERS DAY: PETITCODIAC RIVERKEEPER TAKES STOCK OF PROGRESS WITH PETITCODIAC RIVER

MONCTON, NB – Thursday, September 24, 2015 – Petitcodiac Riverkeeper invites all Greater Moncton residents to take a moment to enjoy the scenery and fresh air on the Riverfront Trail by the Petitcodiac River on this upcoming World Rivers Day (Sunday, September 27) and admire just how far the Petitcodiac River has come since the opening of the causeway gates.

World Rivers Day, launched by the United Nations, is annually celebrated on the last Sunday of every September. Last year, several million people across more than 60 countries celebrated the many values of the world’s waterways. More information is available on http://worldriversday.com.

“On this World Rivers Day, we’re reflecting on the progress that has been made with our beloved Petitcodiac River,” says Petitcodiac Riverkeeper President Paul N. Belliveau. “We also want to take this opportunity to reaffirm that Riverkeepers are committed and will continue to work towards the complete restoration of the Petitcodiac River. I’m very proud of the work our organization has achieved over the last decade. I invite residents to go outside on Sunday and take a moment to reflect and connect with the river on their own, to truly appreciate its beauty.”

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper says Greater Moncton residents have lots to take stock and appreciate on this World Rivers Days. This year, 2015, marked the five-year anniversary since the opening of the causeway gates. Residents can notice that the river is wider than before and that the tidal bore is bigger and stronger. Results from fish monitoring this past spring indicated an increase in populations of several species of native fish. It seems the ecosystem has gotten much healthier.

“I’m proud not only of all the work that led to the opening of the causeway gates in 2010, but also of our tireless efforts ever since to monitor the river’s health and help its ecosystem recover,” adds Belliveau. “There have been many recent successes, like the Humphreys Brook restoration project and our continued involvement with the Petitcodiac Fish Recovery Coalition’s work to monitor and restore native fish populations. Since its beginning, our organization has been the Petitcodiac River’s watchdog, patrolling and monitoring the watershed and undertaking actions to promote compliance with environmental laws.”

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper hopes citizen will take a moment this Sunday to enjoy the Riverfront Trail with their friends and families and renew their commitment towards ensuring that the Petitcodiac River be protected and allowed to reclaim its former glory. “With elections coming up, citizens can demand candidates take a stand on our goal to see the causeway replaced by a bridge so that the river can flow completely free and natural once again,” suggests Belliveau. “They can volunteer to help us patrol the river and report polluters. They can let their voices be heard at the city council level to demand that plans for upcoming riverfront developments be maximized to ensure more healthy and environmentally friendly green spaces. We’re always looking for more volunteers, so I invite people who are inspired by World Rivers Day to contact us by email at info@petitcodiac.org.”

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. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is part investigator, scientist, educator, and advocate. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper acts as a public voice for our waterways, protecting our right to clean water and a healthy watershed.

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Media Contact:
Paul N. Belliveau
President – Petitcodiac RiverkeeperEmail: paul.n.belliveau@hotmail.com
Phone: 506-855-2637Cell: 506-866-2637

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PETITCODIAC RIVERKEEPER APPLAUDS NEW BRUNSWICK GOVERNMENT’S DESIRE TO GO FORWARD WITH PETITCODIAC RIVER PROJECT

MONCTON, NB – September 3, 2015 – Petitcodiac Riverkeeper welcomes the commitment demonstrated by the Government of New Brunswick in going forward with the Petitcodiac River project.

Recently, New Brunswick Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Roger Melanson called upon national party leaders to commit to helping the provincial government build a bridge to replace the causeway linking the cities of Moncton and Riverview, as part of their platforms. The provincial government is seeking $52.8 million from the federal government for this bridge, half of the total project cost. The bridge will be 240 meters long.

“Minister Melanson’s request is very encouraging. The provincial government seems ready to commit to this project, which will enable our river to regain its natural state, such as it was, several decades ago,” says Petitcodiac Riverkeeper President Paul N. Belliveau. “With collaboration between governments and partners, and a strong belief in this project, will be able to achieve our goal: having a healthy river once again.”

Since the opening of causeway gates in 2010, the Petitcodiac River has gotten healthier. The tidal bore is bigger and stronger, and there are many signs the river’s ecosystem is improving, such as an increase in populations of several species of native fish recently documented in a report by the Petitcodiac Fish Recovery Coalition. Although they are proud to have won this first battle, Riverkeepers have always advocated that the best option for the Petitcodiac River is to replace the causeway with a bridge and never stopped promoting such a project. “We will continue to work hard until our dream comes true,” says Belliveau. “The support of the provincial government, which Mr. Melanson has publicly made known, takes us one step closer to this goal. I applaud this willingness demonstrated by the provincial government, and I echo the challenge Mr. Melanson has issued to the four national political parties during this election period. I want to see their leaders promise to support the Petitcodiac River project.”

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.

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Media Contact:
Paul N. Belliveau
President – Petitcodiac RiverkeeperEmail: paul.n.belliveau@hotmail.comPhone: 506-855-2637Cell: 506- 866-2637

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FIVE YEARS OF STUDY ON FISH POPULATIONS SINCE OPENING OF THE CAUSEWAY GATES SHOW SIGNS PETITCODIAC RIVER ECOSYSTEM HEALTH IMPROVING

MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK – MONDAY JUNE 15, 2015 – With spring well underway, many sea-run fish species are entering the Petitcodiac River for spawning or rearing purposes.ThePetitcodiac Fish Recovery Coalition has set up its live fish trap and is ready to collect another season of data in order to monitor how well different fish species are faring. The coalition says it is pleased with the data its trapping efforts have generated for the past 5 years since the opening of the causeway gates in 2010. The data indicate that the health of the river’s ecosystem is improving.

“Many fish populations continue to be headed in desired directions following the opening of the causeway gates,” explains Edmund Redfield, who oversees the coalition’s fish trap operations and research. “Many native species populations that we hoped would increase are indeed doing so, some far more than expected, while the numbers of non-native invasive species are declining.”

Click here to read the news release.

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Petitcodiac Riverkeeper worried about transaqua’s (Greater Moncton wastewater commision) P3 projet

MONCTON, NB – May 7, 2015 – Petitcodiac Riverkeeper says it is worried about the Greater Moncton Wastewater Commission’s (now known as TransAqua) plan to seek a P3 (public-private partnership) as a funding model. The P3 project means to invest in a facilities upgrade to secondary treatment in order to meet new federal regulations that will come into effect in 2020.

According to Petitcodiac Riverkeeper’s Chair, Paul N. Belliveau, one must be careful with the P3 concept when it comes to funding and managing public services. “I believe that a public utility, such as a wastewater treatment plant, should remain within the public sector. There are several examples of similar projects for managing and treating wastewater that have not worked well and have had a negative impact on the environment.”

The Riverkeepers say they are worried that pursuing profit could now become the main focus for TransAqua if it is managed as a private company. This could lead to decisions that would compromise the quality of its services and operations. “We believe that the P3 concept simply poses unacceptable risks,” says Mr. Belliveau.

If the P3 project is accepted, users might be forced to see and accept an increase in rates without knowing the reasons behind this increase or having the right to demand access to information. “Wherever there are P3 projects in place to manage the collection and treatment of wastewater, we see this phenomenon, less operational control and lack of access to information by the public,” says Mr. Belliveau. “We know that TransAqua has a financial reserve in place that is quite attractive to private companies who do wastewater treatment. Having this reserve go to the hands of the private sector is very risky. We could lose control of a very vital public service.”

Having seen the dangers of P3 projects elsewhere which manage the collection and treatment of wastewater and given the risks (loss of control and the right of access to information by citizens, eventual compromises on quality of operations and services when profit becomes the number one priority and potential negative environmental impacts), Petitcodiac Riverkeeper believes TransAqua’s management should be fully in the hands of the public sector instead of a public-private partnership.

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.

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PETITCODIAC RIVERKEEPER REVEALS NEW STRATEGIC PLAN. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TOWARDS REVITALIZING THE PETITCODIAC, MEMRAMCOOK AND SHEPODY RIVERS TOP PRIORITY.

NEWS RELEASE

MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK – March 19th, 2015 – Petitcodiac Riverkeeper held its Annual General Meeting last night at the Chateau Moncton Hotel. The organisation, now in it’s 16th year, proudly presented new strategic priorities that will guide its members and volunteers.

While our region’s beloved “Chocolate River” is doing much better since the opening of the causeway gates in 2010, the organization warns that work is not yet over in order to completely restore the Petitcodiac River. Riding the wave of community support and public interest that was sparked with the recent surfing phenomena, a renewed mission and vision as well as new strategic goals had to be put in place to ensure Riverkeepers achieve new projects that not only benefit the Petitcodiac, Memramcook and Shepody rivers, but also tap into public support to foster more active community engagement. For the past six months, the organization’s Board of Directors has thus concentrated on elaborating the organization’s new strategic plan, which will guide activities and priority projects during the next three years.

“We met with members and key partners in the community in order to understand what is the role we now need to play and how we can better work together,” explains Petitcodiac RIverkeeper President Paul. N. Belliveau. “Like so many other non profit organizations, funding remains one of our biggest challenges, but I am confident that our work will lead us to some impressive results in the coming year.

Priority projects for the organization include replacing the Petitcodiac River causeway with a partial bridge, completing the Memramcook River causeway project, removing the Mills Creek Dam in Riverview (project of similar nature to the work that was recently completed with the Humphreys Brook Restoration project), and working with the City of Moncton, the City of Dieppe and the Town of Riverview to look into the development and launch of an Interpretation Centre on the Petitcodiac Riverfront Trail. The organization is also closely monitoring developments at TransAqua – the Greater Moncton Wastewater Commission – in order to ensure the Commission respects environmental priorities outlined in its strategic plan.

Board of Directors members were also elected for the coming year during the March 18th Annual General Meeting.

Paul N. Belliveau – Chair
Georges Brun – Vice-Chair
Monique Arseneault – Secretary-Treasurer
Roger Dubois – Director
Jean-Marc Dugas – Director
Alfred Ehrenclou  – Director
Bryant Freeman  – Director
Conrad LeBlanc – Director
Edmund Redfield – Director
Sarah Short – Director
Jimmy Therrien – Director