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.