Rebirth of Water 2016-2017

Marsh Creek, which is the largest watershed in greater Saint John, has been the recipient of centuries of untreated municipal wastewater deposition. Offensive odours, unsightly sanitary products and the threat posed by various human pathogens, resulting largely from the ~50 sewage outfalls in the lower reaches of Marsh Creek and the Saint John Harbour, have caused most residents to abandon the wellness of the watercourse. ACAP Saint John, a community-based ENGO and champion of the Harbour Cleanup project, has been conducting water quality monitoring and fish community surveys in the watershed since 1993 with the view towards someday restoring the ecological integrity of this forgotten natural asset.

10,000 Hands - 2016

ACAP Saint John and its community outreach initiatives have become an established vehicle by which community stakeholders can participate in hands-on improvements to their local environment. The efficiency of this program lies in its ability to maintain a strong partnership with the City of Saint John for logistic support, the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund for financial support, and in ACAP Saint John’s ability to maintain an established, growing and dedicated network of volunteers and experts. Through direct engagement, in-field and in-class education programs, tree planting and outdoor activities, citizens develop a sense of understanding and ownership of their environment and are more likely to support other initiatives that promote good stewardship and sustainable development.

Without Borders Public Opinion Survey

Without Borders is a regional greenway and protected areas initiative for Greater Saint John with the aim to share information and resources with local governments in working towards improving environmental protection, implementing a regional greenway, and increasing the quality of life and well-being of residents. The natural environment does not recognize the governance boundaries by which we organize land use and, therefore, developments that occur within one jurisdiction inevitably have an effect on neighbouring jurisdictions. A regional approach to environmental planning takes into account the effect of local land use decisions on the environment, society, and economy on the region as a whole.

A public opinion survey was conducted in 2016 to gauge public support for a regional greenway and protected area and to understand the opinions and desires of residents for this type of project. The survey was completed by 760 respondents from the Greater Saint John area with overall positive and enthusiastic feedback. Residents commented on their opinions of the environment of Greater Saint John and about their preferences for a greenway including desired modes of transportation, activities, features, facilities, locations and destinations. The full results of the survey are available below.

Nearshore Water Quality 2014

Marsh Creek, which is the largest watershed in Greater Saint John, has been the recipient of centuries of untreated municipal wastewater deposition. Offensive odours, unsightly sanitary products and the threat posed by various human pathogens, resulting largely from the ~50 sewage outfalls in the lower reaches of Marsh Creek and the Saint John Harbour have caused most residents to abandon the wellness of the watercourse. ACAP Saint John, a community-based ENGO and champion of the Harbour Cleanup project, has been conducting water quality monitoring and fish community surveys in the watershed since 1993 with the view towards someday restoring the ecological integrity of this underutilised natural asset.

Analyses conducted by the Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) Saint John have indicated substantial improvements to the quality of water in Marsh Creek in 2014. The most notable change was the decrease in faecal coliform bacteria, which are used as an indicator for the potential presence of other disease causing pathogens such as amoebic dysentery and Hepatitis. Sampling conducted during 2014 along the lowest 400 m of the creek - which has historically received the greatest volume of untreated municipal wastewater - has shown decreases in faecal bacteria counts ranging from 95 to 99%, as compared to results from 2013. 

Harbour Cleanup Delivers Dramatic Improvements in Marsh Creek Water Quality

Analyses conducted by the Atlantic Coastal Action Program in Saint John have indicated substantial improvements to the quality of water in Marsh Creek in 2014. The most notable change was the decrease in faecal coliform bacteria, which are used as an indicator for the potential presence of other disease causing pathogens such as amoebic dysentery and Hepatitis. Sampling conducted during 2014 along the lowest 400 m of the creek - which has historically received the greatest volume of untreated municipal wastewater - has shown decreases in faecal bacteria counts ranging from 95 to 99%, as compared to results from 2013. 

While the levels of bacteria still remain on average above the federal recreational water safety guidelines of 200 counts/100 ml at all sites tested, the substantial improvements in water quality are very encouraging, suggesting that the City of Saint John’s ongoing efforts to complete Harbour Cleanup are beginning to pay dividends. ACAP staff have also noted that, in addition to observed improvements in the clarity of the water in Marsh Creek, there have been no calls received from the public complaining about the offensive odours that have historically plagued this area of the city.

For more information contact Graeme Stewart-Robertson at 652-2227.


Fecal coliforms (CFU/100 mL) measured upstream and downstream of known municipal effluent discharge sites in Marsh Creek, Saint John, New Brunswick, from 1995-2014

Fecal coliforms (CFU/100 mL) measured upstream and downstream of known municipal effluent discharge sites in Marsh Creek, Saint John, New Brunswick, from 1995-2014

Fecal coliforms (CFU/100 mL) measured upstream and downstream of known municipal effluent discharge sites in Marsh Creek, Saint John, New Brunswick, from 1995-2014

Fecal coliforms (CFU/100 mL) measured upstream and downstream of known municipal effluent discharge sites in Marsh Creek, Saint John, New Brunswick, from 1995-2014


 
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