Our canoe raffle was so successful last year, we are happy to be running it again this year. We will have an online raffle with the prize of a handmade wooden canoe. The raffle will run from April 15 to May 21 with a draw on May 28! Buy lots of tickets and share the raffle with your friends and families!
Proceeds from this raffle are so important to our work. Our summer programs hire young people starting their careers as environmental researchers- the funding supports staff who can complete surveys, assessments, water sampling, property owner engagement and much more! The funding also supports equipment that we need for our field work- probes, containers, boots, and more!
We thank every one of you in advance, for buying tickets and helping us continue our work on the river!
More about this beautiful canoe:
Built in Ontario at Wards Canoe around 1990, and lovingly cared for by a single owner.
The canoe weighs a mere 65 pounds!
Hull is classic shape with up turned bow and stern and slight tumblehome, a beauty
All structure is wood, hand fitted and fastened in place with through bolts or screws
Oak or hard maple used throughout and finished with teak oil. Maintenance through the years also teak oil as it penetrates and builds a n extra smooth protective finish
Material is polyester resin reinforced with glass fiber with shape strips and keel strip cast in place. Colour is gelcoat applied in mould first.
Self material bow and stern buoyancy tanks cast in place
Paddles also handmade at Wards are hardwood, with “tee” handles, teak oil finished like new. We kept the set we used which are quite beat up: rocks and tent pole duty
All wood structure has stood the ravages of use and shows NO stress or cracking or damage whatsoever
Hull bottom has a multitude of scratches in the gelcoat from rocks and only a keen eye can find one that is deep enough to expose a glass fiber
We are so excited to post about FOUR positions for our amazing summer field program! This year we are looking for two Program Leaders to take on a bit more of the organizing and planning in addition to the field work. We are also looking for two Program Interns who are ready to learn from the Program Leaders and also our passionate and experienced team of board members who are ecologists, biologists, teachers, researchers and scientists!
Summer students focus on water sampling, species at risk habitat assessment, and public engagement events, from Berwick to Wolfville, and also on stream restoration. This summer, we are looking for four interns who are interested in
Rare and threatened species
If you are interested in applying for a position, please check out the full job description below, and send us a letter and your resume today!
Once again the Watershed Alliance was given the opportunity to monitor, research and better understand the Jijuktu’kwejk River. Our summer team of Jonas Gow and Briana Hennigar worked from May through to October- you can see their final report here! This year, they continued their work on riparian health and on beaver dams, but they also worked into the fall on a culvert assessment with the Clean Annapolis River Project! This was a new collaboration through a joint grant with Habitat Stewardship Project. This was the first summer that we were able to get in there and make some changes to some streams – namely Sharpe Brook and Rochford Brook! At Rochford Brook, we reinforced the rock weir with larger rocks, with remaining rocks we stabilized the banks nearest to the outflow and added a couple of large boulders to the centre of the pool to create habitat. It looks incredible.
At Sharpe Brooke, we added a double stack of 4″x4″ to one (right) side of an overbuilt wooden box culvert to create an 8″ low-flow barrier. In theory this restricts the flow of water when water is low to create a deeper channel in the un-blocked side. We also improved the profile of a historic digger log which was looking a little worse for wear, and repaired the rock ramp. While it’s a little tough to see from the photo, the water in the right side of the culvert is much deeper than the left, which should improve passability during low-flow conditions.
This is a pretty big deal and just shows that working slow and steady like the mighty turtle will get you where you need to be.
Stay tuned- in 2023 we plan to have a different kind of canoe raffle, there will be more talk about a beautiful marsh trail in the Town of Berwick, and as always we will have a keen team of students on the river- gaining experience, gaining understanding and taking steps toward restoration!
Our canoe raffle was so successful last year, we are happy to be running it again this year. We will have an online raffle with the prize of a Novacraft Canoe from Old Creel Canoe and Kayak in Fall River Nova Scotia. The raffle launched in April and will end on May 23 with a draw on May 29! Buy lots of tickets and share the raffle with your friends and families!
Our raffle this year will be supporting the developing of a Berwick Marsh Trail Project. In partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the Town of Berwick and several landowners, the Watershed Alliance is considering a constructed wetland on the Cornwallis (Jijuktu’kwejk) River near the Berwick and District Fire Department, similar to Miners Marsh in Kentville and French Basin Marsh Trail in Annapolis Royal. This wetland would help clean the water, directing water in the river through wetland ponds and also reducing the impact of flooding.
The proceeds from the 2022 Fundraiser Raffle will pay for a design and engineering plan for this project to learn about the best steps forward!
This summer our interns began working on a Beaver monitoring project in the Jijuktu’kwejk watershed. The purpose of this project was to see if beaver dam areas correlated with greater biodiversity, better water quality, and better riparian health as apposed to areas without beaver activity. This was all done with the end goal being the identification of potential Beaver Dam Analog sites.
What are Beaver Dam Analogs?
Beaver Dam Analogs are devices made from wood and natural materials that are meant to mimic beaver dams and encourage dam building. They are placed in areas facing problems with erosion, water quality, embedded sediment, or general low biodiversity. Our interns compared six sites in this project, three with dams and three without. These areas were surveyed and monitored by bird surveys, aquatic invertebrate surveys, fish surveys, riparian health assessments, water quality testing, and temperature monitoring.
How did it go?
We found that areas with beaver dams had greater health and biodiversity on average across the board! There are many areas on the Jijuktu’kwejk River that suffer from poor water quality, erosion, and lack of connectivity to the flood plain. There were two areas identified in this study that are now candidate sites for Beaver Dam Analog structures. We hope that if this means of restoration provides better fish habitat and water quality in our test candidate sites that these could be implemented in the future across the tributaries of the river suffering from habitat degradation. Our interns had a great time identifying and surveying these sites and found that many of the beaver dam areas provided suitable spawning conditions for native fish species including Atlantic Salmon. The river needs more suitable spawning habitat for fish as the sandy materials that fall from the banks due to erosion cover the gravel beds they require as an important part of their spawning process. Stay tuned to hear about our upcoming beaver projects!
Our 2021 Summer Report is ready for you! Our three interns worked hard to learn more about the watershed, and made the most comprehensive report yet.
This year our summer students Jonas Gow and Keeler Colton and Arianne Janes focused on two projects: a beaver monitoring project and a cold water refugia project, with some other smaller projects on the side such as water quality, and looking for endangered Bank Swallows, Atlantic Salmon, and Wood Turtles. Each week they would meet on the river from Monday to Wednesday to carry out these projects and explore the watershed looking for species of interest. Between Thursday and Friday the they would summarize the data and work on community engagement through social media. All field work done this summer was either on the freshwater portion of the river between Berwick and Kentville, or its many tributary systems such as Sharpe Brook, Lawrence Brook, and Mill Brook. This year our summer students Jonas Gow and Keeler Colton and Arianne Janes focused on two projects: a beaver monitoring project and a cold water refugia project, with some other smaller projects on the side such as water quality, and looking for endangered Bank Swallows, Atlantic Salmon, and Wood Turtles. Each week they would meet on the river from Monday to Wednesday to carry out these projects and explore the watershed looking for species of interest. Between Thursday and Friday the they would summarize the data and work on community engagement through social media. All field work done this summer was either on the freshwater portion of the river between Berwick and Kentville, or its many tributary systems such as Sharpe Brook, Lawrence Brook, and Mill Brook.
Keeler, Jonas and Arianne spent a lot of time on the watershed this year while walking its tributaries looking for Beaver activity and Wood Turtles. Many of these areas were new to our summer students and many important areas were found with high biodiversity. Interns canoed the entire freshwater portion of the river from Berwick to Kentville while looking for stream outflows for cold water refugia, Wood Turtles, and Bank Swallow nesting sites. This two day trip gave interns great appreciation for the river and understanding of the degradation it faces.
We couldn’t have done it without them! Thank you Keeler, Jonas and Arianne!
Field work has just begun in the watershed and is being carried out by our summer interns Keeler Colton, Jonas Gow and Arianne Janes. Keeler worked last summer on the Jijuktu’kwejk watershed as our summer ecology intern and is currently in his final year of the Acadia Biology program. Arianne Janes, a recent graduate of the NSCC Natural Resource Environmental Technology program, will be assisting with their summer research. Keeler and Jonas are budding naturalists with a passion for freshwater ecosystems, wildlife conservation, river snorkelling, and fish behaviour.
This summer our interns will be identifying beaver activity throughout the Jijuktu’kwejk watershed. Once certain areas are identified they will be comparing overall biodiversity of areas with beaver dams and areas without. They will be assessing the health of the ecosystems by overall biodiversity, water quality, riparian health, and habitat suitability. Methods such as aquatic invertebrate surveys, fish and bird surveys, and riparian assessments will be used this summer to get a better understating of what areas are in need of support. One of the goals this summer is to encourage dam building in areas without beavers to improve habitat for native wetland species. This summer Jonas and Keeler will also be looking for endangered species such as wood turtles and bank swallows, identifying cold water refugia areas for native fish species, monitoring turtle egg laying sites, and tracking water quality.
Keep an eye out this summer for future updates and events as our team works to restore our watershed!
The Jijuktuk’wejk Watershed Alliance is selling raffle tickets on a canoe! All proceeds from the raffle will directly support local river restoration and water-quality sampling to help our group meet our goal of a swimmable, drinkable and fishable Jijuktu’kwejk River.
Our amazing summer students and team of volunteers have developed a virtual tour of the Jijuktu’kwejk watershed and river using a Story Map! “Saving the Jijuktu’kwejk River” is all the information and beauty of being on the river, without getting wet or getting mosquito bites!
Using maps, land photos and aerial photography, our team has created an immersive learning experience for you!
The themes in the story map are:
Introducing the Jijuktu’kwejk watershed
The importance of the watershed
Problems within the watershed
Restoring the watershed
A scrolling-style website, you can pass through these themes through maps, photos, and diagrams. Anyone interested in the river or the watershed will surely learn something new!
This project would not have been possible without the support of Jijuktu’kwejk Watershed Alliance Board with special thanks to John Brazner, Keeler Colton, Ian Manning and Jennifer West. Student workers from this project were funded by Canada Summer Jobs 2020. Special thanks to Esri Canada for providing access to their GIS technology through the Esri Nonprofit Organization Program.
Our summer students had an amazing season in 2020! Keeler Colton did a great job in the field and helped us all learn a lot more about the watershed. Jeff Smith created a beautiful story map, which is an interactive website that will launch this fall. We encourage you to look through Keeler’s report, and keep an eye out for the story map in the coming weeks!