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.”



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