Petitcodiac River Restoration

We have raised public awareness about our main challenge— the 40-year old environmental battle for the removal of the Petitcodiac causeway and the restoration of fish passage and full tidal flow of the river. Since our inception, we have educated citizens on the issue and convinced governments to act on causeway removal.  This campaign resulted in the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment for causeway removal in 2005, one of the most comprehensive studies in New Brunswick history.

Public opinion is clearly on the side of restoration as are 9 of the 10 municipalities in our watershed. In 2007, the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce came on board by acknowledging the economic benefits associated with the river restoration. Furthermore, in an unprecedented display of solidarity, student councils from all six high schools in the region banded together in 2007 in support of restoring the river.

Furthermore, an historic milestone was achieved in 2008. On July 7, 2008, the Province of New Brunswick announced that they will be moving ahead with the Petitcodiac River Restoration Project. While the project is to be implemented in three phases, Premier Shawn Graham committed the government to the first phase which includes a $20 million investment in initial construction work and opening of the causeway gates in 2010. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper was instrumental in this important victory, both through our legal actions and public awareness campaigns.

Despite this important action taken by the Province, the federal government has refused to help finance the balance of the project’s $68 million budget. Petitcodiac Riverkeeper will continue to work relentlessly to ensure that the Province lives up to its word and that the federal government fulfills its obligations. There is still important work to be done.