ACAP Saint John and Atlantic Water Network (AWN) Launch New Brunswick Expansion of Equipment Bank

MEDIA RELEASE - May 23, 2019

In partnership with the Atlantic Water Network (AWN), ACAP Saint John is pleased to be launching the New Brunswick expansion of the AWN Equipment Bank, providing unprecedented access to properly calibrated and fully functional water monitoring equipment to community-based water monitoring programs throughout the province. 

Located in Saint John, New Brunswick, this new provincial hub will expand upon AWN’s longest running program and function as a resource for environmental stewardship organisations across New Brunswick. The New Brunswick Equipment Bank will increase partner organisations’ capacity by providing resources, training and free access to water monitoring equipment including YSI handheld units and flow meters. This marks the first external expansion of the existing Equipment Bank at AWN’s central office in Halifax, Nova Scotia,  which provides organisations with properly calibrated and fully functional equipment. Resulting from the Equipment Bank is the compilation of a strong regional dataset populated by data that are now comparable and available for analysis and management planning. AWN’s role in coordinating and supporting regional community-based water monitoring is crucial to increasing capacity and to collecting and reporting a comprehensive set of baseline data that can be used to plan well-informed management, regulation, conservation, and restoration activities throughout New Brunswick and the Atlantic Canadian region.

This expansion comes in response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback about the Equipment Bank and the subsequent calls to open equipment banks in the other Maritime Provinces, to make this equipment more accessible to other organisations.  With funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada, TD Friends of the Environment Fund and the Canada Summer Jobs, AWN been able to expand and offer a pilot year of equipment hubs in New Brunswick and PEI. This will allow partner organisations in these provinces have better access to this equipment and continue to expand the both capacity of local groups and the amount of data collected in the region.  

As it continues to grow its body of research and restoration across the Wolastoq (St. John River) watershed and the Bay of Fundy, ACAP Saint John is thrilled to be the home of this expanded Equipment Bank and to foster growth, capacity building and employment within the environmental and stewardship sectors of New Brunswick.  

For more information or media inquiries, please contact: 

Graeme Stewart-Robertson, Executive Director, ACAP Saint John

graeme@acapsj.org , 1-506-652-2227

About the Atlantic Water Network

Atlantic Water Network (AWN) is a not-for-profit organization that has been supporting community-based water monitoring and management in Atlantic Canada for over a decade. Housed in the Department of Geography at Saint Mary’s University, AWN acts as a catalyst and support system for environmental stewardship in Atlantic Canada by providing free training and equipment to volunteers, student interns, and staff of community organizations. AWN directly supports over 50 Atlantic Canadian stewardship organizations, increasing their capacity by providing resources, training and free access to water monitoring equipment through its long running Equipment Bank program. Located at AWN’s central office in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Equipment Bank provides organizations with properly calibrated and fully functional equipment, including YSI handheld units, CABIN kits, flow probes, and turbidity meters. 

As a result of the Equipment Bank, AWN has achieved the compilation of a strong regional dataset populated by data that are now comparable and available for analysis and management planning. AWN’s role in coordinating and supporting regional community-based water monitoring is crucial to increasing capacity, collecting and reporting a comprehensive set of baseline data that can be used to plan well-informed management, regulation, conservation, and restoration activities throughout the Atlantic Canadian region. Additionally, AWN’s water quality database capacity has evolved into the recent successful launch of Atlantic DataStream; a free, open access data portal for water quality data. This secure platform for water quality data stores the data of several of AWN’s community partners throughout the Atlantic region.

About ACAP Saint John

Founded in 1992, ACAP Saint John is a community-based, non-profit organization that encourages communication, partnership and active involvement from all sectors of the community in managing our environment. Our mandate is to work with the community to improve the environmental health of Saint John, and to respond to the growing demand from the community to have a more active role in environmental decision-making.

ACAP Saint John aims to provide communities with environmental solutions to generational challenges, as well as building capacity for change and adoption of better water practices. We continue to affect long-term planning for greening and revitalization in Saint John by offering our expertise and our research outcomes to all levels of government, corporations and institutions throughout the region. Some of our past projects have included water quality monitoring, riparian enhancements, fish passage improvements, culvert removals and more broad planning projects like watershed management plans and coastal adaptation planning. 

At its heart, ACAP has always been an environmental incubator, one that transforms and evolves our region’s landscapes with the help of governments, companies and community collaborators. Our work is designed to be seen, felt and experienced throughout the environment – from our wetlands and coastlines to our streets and public spaces.


ACAP Saint John Begins Community Consultation Around Tin Can Beach

Saint John, July 16, 2015 

Tin Can Beach is located at the southern tip of the Saint John Peninsula and is the last natural coastal setting in Uptown Saint John. It offers a spectacular view of the harbour and a place to truly experience the Bay of Fundy tides and coastal habitat. The beach has historically been visited by Saint John’s residents as an unofficial green space and recreational area. It is often described as the “hidden gem” of Saint John since it tucked between traditional industrial uses of the Saint John Harbour.
 
ACAP Saint John recognizes the potential to reveal this “hidden gem” and revitalize the area. Last year the organization planted over 450 trees along Sydney Street with help from volunteers as part of an ecological restoration and revitalization project. The project is ongoing and this year ACAP Saint John is turning to the broader community to ask locals what they want to see happen at Tin Can Beach.

The public is invited to share their thoughts, ideas, and stories about Tin Can Beach through the organization’s website under “My Tin Can Beach is...” as well as with the social media hashtag #TinCanBeach. Three signs are also located in Uptown Saint John where people are invited to write comments and ideas. Signs can be found both at Tin Can Beach and on Germain Street across from the ACAP Saint John office. Pop-up signs will be located at the Queen Square Farmer’s Market on July 26th and August 9th in Rainbow Park. The ideas collected will inform the future direction of the project and the types of improvements that will be made.

The goal of this placemaking activity is to carry out a unique project that residents have a hand in creating. A collaborative and inclusive approach for revitalizing Tin Can Beach will result in a valued public space that meets the needs of our community. Community projects contribute to the health, happiness, and well being of residents and our quality of life. This project will draw on the existing ideas, skills, and assets in our community to reimagine and reinvent Tin Can Beach. ACAP Saint John has spent the last 23 years bridging the enthusiasm and creativity of the Greater Saint John community with its own firm commitment toward growing a more healthy, sustainable city.

About ACAP Saint John
ACAP Saint John is a local non-profit environmental organization that works with many stakeholders and organizations within the Greater Saint John community on environmental stewardship. 

For over two decades, ACAP has conducted successful in-school environmental education programs, summer camps, ecological inventories, water quality monitoring programs, habitat restorations, watercourse restorations, wetland enhancements, contaminated site remediation and engaged thousands of area residents in community cleanup initiatives. 

 


For more information, please contact:

Graeme Stewart-Robertson
Executive Director, ACAP Saint John
graeme@acapsj.org
(506) 652-2227 | www.acapsj.org

Buskers On The Bay to Perform at Tin Can Beach

Saint John, New Brunswick, July 16, 2015 

In collaboration with ACAP Saint John, the 2015 Buskers on the Bay Festival is expanding to include its first ever busker performance at Tin Can Beach where Dream State Circus will be performing on Saturday, July 18th at 2PM. 

Dream State Circus is a husband and wife duo that put on a terrific performance with comedy, balancing, juggling, and equilibrium. They are world renowned, international award winners joining us from Australia. Their show is positive and uplifting with content suitable for all ages, and will be the first ever buskers to perform at Tin Can Beach.

Tin Can Beach is often described as the “hidden gem” of Saint John. It is located at the end of Sydney Street in the city’s South End. It stands as the last remaining natural coastal area of the Inner Harbour and a gathering place where residents can experience the Bay of Fundy tides and coastal habitat. Prior to the 2015 Buskers festival, the Tin Can Beach area has not seen regular use as an event space since the Atlantic National Exhibition was cancelled after 1938 because of the Second World War. 

For the past two years, ACAP Saint John has embarked upon a unique series of habitat restoration and placemaking activities at Tin Can Beach and continue to engage the community to develop new ideas on how to reinvent the beach as a valued asset for our City. As a part of this initiative, interactive signage will be installed in time for Saturday’s event to allow the community to share their ideas as to what want to see done to this area. This interactive signage will be available during the Buskers on the Bay Festival and in the subsequent weeks and ACAP Saint John welcomes the public to explore Tin Can Beach and to write their comments on-site, via online form, or through social media using the hashtag #TinCanBeach. Citizens can contribute their feedback 

About Buskers on the Bay

This year the Buskers on the Bay Festival is celebrating its Silver Anniversary after 25 years of fantastic performances. This year the festival is taking place from July 16th to July 19th. The festival includes a 5.8km “Silver Ribbon” chalk walk that connects festival locations. Over 20 performers will be in Saint John and each act will attempt to break a world record. 

About ACAP Saint John

ACAP Saint John envisions a sustainable community that embraces the interdependence of the unique social, economic and environmental characteristics of the region’s watersheds.
 
For over two decades, ACAP has conducted successful in-school environmental education programs, summer camps, ecological inventories, water quality monitoring programs, habitat restorations, watercourse restorations, wetland enhancements, contaminated site remediation and engaged thousands of area residents in community cleanup initiatives. 


Gulf of Maine Visionary Award

Saint John Receives International Recognition For the Completion of Harbour Cleanup  

Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

The Greater Saint John Community, represented by leading regional environmental group ACAP Saint John, has received the 2015 Gulf of Maine Council Visionary Award for completing a once-in-a-lifetime transformative project - the Saint John Harbour Cleanup. The Visionary Award recognizes groups and individuals who have shown "innovation, creativity, and commitment to protecting marine environments" (Gulf of Maine Council). 

Saint John Harbour Cleanup has been a great success. Through the 1990s an astonishing 23,000,000 L/day of untreated wastewater was discharged into the harbour's waterways. In 2010, the rate had been reduced to 16,000,000 L/day of untreated sewage. In late 2014, the Saint John Harbour Cleanup achieved a reduction of untreated wastewater discharge down to an incredible 0 L/day. Saint John's completion of Harbour Cleanup is both the largest single environmental infrastructure action ever undertaken in New Brunswick and the greatest positive ecological change in Saint John history.


This time last year, there wasn’t a single person alive who could tell you what it was like to experience Saint John Harbour or Marsh Creek without the constant, never-ending discharge of raw sewage. Yet here we are, in 2015, witness to the first generation of Saint John residents who will be born and raised in a city that truly cares for its water, its harbour and its environment.
— Graeme Stewart-Robertson, Executive Director, ACAP Saint John

About the Gulf of Maine Council

Founded in 1989 by the governors and premiers of five jurisdictions – Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia – established the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment [the Council]. This Canadian-American regional partnership provides collaborative leadership on cross-border, environmental issues such as ecosystem conditions, water quality, and climate change within the Gulf of Maine watershed. Link

The Council annually recognizes extraordinary work in each of its five jurisdictions. The Council engages governmental and nongovernmental representatives in a comprehensive approach to management, emphasizing natural linkages over political boundaries and integrating ecological, economic and societal goals. 

This month, ACAP Saint John's director, Graeme Stewart-Robertson, travelled to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to accept this award on behalf of the Greater Saint John Community.  His acceptance speech noted the deep professional and personal significance this environmental project has had in the lives of so many in our community.

ACAP SAINT JOHN receives $9,600 commitment from RBC Blue Water Project to protect local water

SAINT JOHN, June 8, 2015 – Water – it’s one of the world’s most precious natural resources and fundamental to life on our planet. Our local water sources aren’t limitless, and they’re under continual and growing stress from population growth, climate change and pollution. Protecting this most precious resource is a growing concern around the world. 

RBC announced today a donation of $9,600 to ACAP Saint John to utilize public education, terrestrial and riparian improvements, and interactive urban environmental design to create community ownership and environmental awareness for green spaces in the urban core. 

This year, the RBC Blue Water Project has committed $4.1 million in grants globally to organizations that are committed to improve urban water quality, enhance storm water management and protect and restore urban waterways. 

“At RBC, we know that water is essential to everything we do – from our most basic daily needs to ensuring our global economy can function successfully,” said Colin Krulicki, Regional Vice President, Western New Brunswick. “By supporting the efforts of the ACAP Saint John, we are able to help raise awareness and fund water projects that will help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations.”

“This generous grant from RBC will allow ACAP Saint John to continue building capacity within our community for the long-term management our environment,” said Graeme Stewart-Robertson, executive director, ACAP Saint John. “By engaging the public in achievable, visible, environmental action, we can help codify an important shift in how we as a region think of our coastal urban areas, and how we engage every segment of our population in their protection and enhancement.”

Today’s announcement is part of RBC’s annual Blue Water Day, a time for RBC employees around the globe to come together to protect their local water sources through “Makeovers”: clean ups, plantings and awareness-raising. In 2014, over 20,000 employees completed 751 Makeovers worldwide.

To do their part for RBC Blue Water Day, RBC employees in Saint John teamed up with ACAP Saint John to clean up Bayshore Beach on June 6.  

“RBC has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability,” continued Loughery. “We understand first and foremost that every little bit we do today can help a lot tomorrow. We’re proud that our employees in Saint John and around the world are willing year after year to do their part in their communities through RBC Blue Water Day Makeovers.”

About the RBC Blue Water Project

The RBC Blue Water Project is a historic, wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment to help protect the world’s most precious natural resource: fresh water. Since 2007, RBC has pledged nearly $44 million to more than 740 charitable organizations worldwide that protect watersheds and promote access to clean drinking water, with an additional $8.8 million pledged to universities for water programs.

The RBC Blue Water Project is focused on supporting initiatives that help protect water in towns, cities, and urbanized areas. For further information, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater

 

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2014, we contributed more than $111 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $76 million and $35 million in sponsorships.

 

About ACAP Saint John

ACAP Saint John envisions a sustainable community that embraces the interdependence of the unique social, economic and environmental characteristics of the region’s watersheds.

 

For over two decades, ACAP has conducted successful in-school environmental education programs, summer camps, ecological inventories, water quality monitoring programs, habitat restorations, watercourse restorations, wetland enhancements, contaminated site remediation and engaged thousands of area residents in community cleanup initiatives. 

 

ACAP Saint John has an excellent reputation in the community for acting as a third party mediator on contentious environmental issues, and continues to expand their role as a public source of knowledge and information dissemination. Through their management of the Saint John Harbour Environmental Monitoring Partnership, ACAP is working with industry and government to initiate cumulative effects monitoring – the first for any harbour in Canada.

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