Summary:This Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) Prevention Stream project, will address the impact of urban landowner activity within the riparian zone (the green ribbon of trees, shrubs, and grasses growing along water-courses) on brook trout. The project focuses on Ellen's Creek, an urban stream within the City of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Through an on-site consultation process, property owners will learn what they can do to improve fish habitat by making changes in their on-land activities and planting trees and shrubs in the riparian zone bordering their property. By creating awareness of riparian zone best management practices, the project hopes to change the way people in Charlottetown look at and maintain this sensitive ecosystem that is so important to the brook trout and smelt population in Ellen's Creek. Objective:Urban Encroachment in to the riparian zones is a major challenge to the future health of the brook trout in Ellen’s Creek. Riparian zones serve many important functions in any watershed. Riparian vegetation provides protective cover for fishes, cools water temperatures by shading the stream, slows surface runoff thereby protecting the stream from erosion and flood damage, collects some of the sediment and nutrient loads before they enter the stream, and provides an important terrestrial energy input to freshwater food webs. In urban environments, these riparian margins may be a thin buffer between the stream and heavily developed land. In PEI, the legislated buffer zone is 15 meters to either side of sediment bank of a wetland or watercourse. There is evidence that this width is inadequate to protect many of the ecological services identified above. Nonetheless, in urban environments it can be difficult to maintain even that meagre width free from human interference. Addressing urban encroachment was identified as a key brook trout management goal in the City of Charlottetown Brook Trout Conservation and Protection Plan. This plan identifies key goals and objectives to improve the health of City streams and support the health of the City's brook trout population. Charlottetown City Council formally accepted the Plan through resolution during its public meeting on August 10, 2015Funding Partners:For more information, contact:Norman Dewar ECWG Watershed Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-569-9115 (H) or 902-393-6461 (M)or follow us on Facebook for updates.
Heavy rains caused considerable soil erosion at the Plaza Corp construction site in August, 2011, resulting in further siltation of the Ellen's Creek Watershed. This is just an example of how inadequate control of soil erosion impacts our watershed.See the news story on CBC Compass.