The City of Charlottetown, Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group Inc. and Wright’s Creek Environmental Committee have completed the City of Charlottetown Brook Trout Conservation and Protection Plan. The plan identifies key goals and objectives to improve the health of city streams and support the health of the city’s brook trout population.
City council formally adopted the plan through resolution at its August 10, 2015, public meeting.
Environment Canada provided $26,000 in funding to complete the plan and involved consultation with the city, the watershed groups, and the provincial Department of Communities, Land and Environment. The goals laid out in the plan include reducing sedimentation, minimizing habitat fragmentation, improving water quality, and protecting water quantity. These goals will be achieved in partnership with watershed groups and will involve changes to the city’s planning practises and stormwater management.
“The City has had strong partnerships with local watershed groups for some time,” Mayor Clifford Lee said. “This plan provides a solid framework for the shared goals of the city and the watershed groups and gives us a clear direction moving forward. We see the significant value in protecting and enhancing city waterways as they provide numerous environmental benefits and greatly contribute to the natural beauty of the city.”
Work has already begun on implementing the objectives of the plan including remediation in the stream near the Sherwood Road crossing, monitoring siltation at Andrews Pond, and an upcoming riparian zone enhancement project at West Royalty Community Centre.
“A healthy brook trout population is an excellent indicator of overall watershed and habitat health,” said Darragh Mogan, chair of the Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group Inc. “This plan and the partnership that has been established between the watershed groups, the city and the Province will guide our shared efforts in creating a healthy urban watershed. It represents a major step in the creation of a long term city-wide watershed plan.”
John Andrew with the Wright’s Creek Environmental Committee said they have been working to restore the Wright’s Creek watercourse for the past ten years.
“The restoration process has been needed in part because the absence of required regulations and bylaws governing the control of storm water has led to heavy siltation and severe degradation of aquatic habitat,” said Mr. Andrew. “The Brook Trout Conservation and Protection Plan is a first step to the creation of a watershed management plan for the city, which, if implemented, will protect and restore our remaining watercourses on into the future.”
Members of the city’s management team from the Planning, Public Works and Utility Departments have been involved throughout the development of the Plan and have formed a working group that includes representatives from the watershed associations. The working group will be tasked with the implementation the plan.
The plan is available on the city’s website at www.charlottetown.ca.