Here’s everything we’ve been up to for the 2022-2023 Season!
The BWC’s water quality monitoring program samples and analyzes surface water collected from 8 sites around Belleisle Bay on a monthly basis between June and October each year. We collect in-situ parameters including water temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, turbidity, and Secchi depth. Surface water samples are collected and sent to RPC for analysis of E.coli, water chemistry and trace metals.
The BWC conducts visual cyanobacteria surveys for blooms and samples water at bloom sites on a bi-weekly basis from mid July through mid November when blooms are prevalent. We conduct sampling at 3 of our established WQM sites in Belleisle Bay where blooms have been previously observed. Collected surface water samples are analyzed for the cyanotoxins microcystin and anatoxin-a respectively. Additionally, at each of the sites in-situ parameters including water temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, and turbidity are collected. Results of this project are shared with the community through social media and our website.
Starting in 2022 the BWC’s conducted an assessment of barriers to fish passage in the Upper Belleisle Watershed. Through this project the BWC identified, assessed, and delineated 46 watercourse crossings (where a manmade structure crosses a watercourse) as potential barriers to fish passage in the upper Belleisle watershed. By identifying barriers to fish passage and creating a database of these barriers we will be able to prioritize future fish habitat restoration projects.
Belleisle Plant Your Bank is the BWC’s riparian restoration initiative. This project is working to improving riparian areas (stream banks and shorelines) by planting native tree and shrub species, assessing carbon sequestration via soil analysis and increasing awareness of the importance of riparian areas through landowner engagement, and reducing erosion and sedimentation in the watershed.
The Belleisle Watershed Adventure Camp is a joint venture of the Saint John Boys and Girls Club and the BWC. The Belleisle Watershed Adventure Camp runs July and August with four 2-week camps. The Belleisle Watershed Adventure Camp engages local youth in the adventure and discovery of science and the environment to children aged 5-12 while building an understanding of environmental sustainability and our effects on the ecosystems and wildlife in the Belleisle Watershed.
The BWC’s environmental education and outreach programming focuses on engaging students in local schools to learn about the local environment, ecosystems and wildlife and how they are connected through in class engagement and infield science classes. We also organize community bird walks and clean-ups, and engaging the public at community events such as the BWC Open House and Life at the Lake’s. These events and our social media platforms provided the BWC the opportunity to engage and educate the community on a multitude of environmental topics including water quality monitoring and management, riparian enhancement and restoration, cyanobacteria blooms, climate change and marsh ecology to name a few.
The overall goal of the Bats Belleisle Education and Conservation project is to ensure the long-term persistence and recovery of bat species and their habitats in the Belleisle watershed. More broadly, this project will engage community members in bat conservation and stewardship activities and conduct educational outreach to raise awareness about bat species in the watershed.