2022 Season Blog
Weekly updates from the watershed to you.
Week 12 – Fallen Soldier
We’d like everyone to take a brief moment of silence for miss Baylee as she’s caught the Covid. We’re wishing her the best as we know she’s really missing stream restoration right about now.
Monday we were in the deep deep wilderness of Tryon doing stream restoration. Lots of downed trees in that section of the stream so it was in need of a good cleaning. Tuesday in Albany we found ourselves doing stream restoration in a particularly beautiful part of the woods. We walked through a section of forested wetlands covered with various species of moss, vernal pools and rare plants such as ghost pipe! Ghost pipe is one of the only parasitic plant that grows from the roots of other trees to get nutrients. It does this because it lacks chlorophyll to photosynthesize itself, which is also the reason why the plant is white instead of green.
Wednesday as usual we split up to collect water quality/trail camera data, while the rest of the crew tackled some more stream restoration in Tryon. Believe it or not, we did stream restoration again on Thursday while also checking one of our Hobos in that stream for data. For those who aren’t familiar, Hobos are a device we leave in our streams to check and log water temperatures over time. Lastly, Friday we had showers scattered throughput the day which allowed us to catch up on some office work and prepare for the Crapaud Exhibition this weekend. We hope to see some familiar faces there! Have a lovely weekend everyone!
As always, Love, SSWA
Week 11 – Sink or Swim
We hope you have been drinking water and staying cool because it’s been a hot week here in the watershed. We started Monday by wishing a now wiser and older Jean-luc a very happy belated birthday! After taking some family pictures it was off to the races…. or the streams that is. This weeks focus was on restoring another stretch of water in the Tryon area.
Tuesday’s rain storm gave us a great opportunity to catch up on some office work and get some bird houses made. Our weekly water quality checks were done on Wednesday by a team of two while the rest of the crew continued with Monday’s stream work. The crew was more than excited to visit our local handpie dealer for lunch!
Due to the hot weather on Thursday and Friday stream work was restricted to the mornings while the afternoons were filled with chainsaw maintenance, office work, birdhouse building, and maintenance at the Westmoreland nature park. Although the park is lovely we would like to remind all visitors that cars and motorized vehicles should remain in the designated parking area.
We here at SSWA are very thankful that our office is so close to the water. Jumping into the ocean is a perfect way to cool down after a long hot day! Come join us on August 13 for the Swim For The South Shore to have some summer fun!
Stay cool and wear sunscreen,
Week 10 – Skidaddle Skadoodle
To kick off the week the team hopped into the stream in the morning for some good ol’ stream restoration. The afternoon consisted of splitting into 3 teams. Team 1 & 2 checked our amphibian boards and, although elusive, we found a little red backed salamander! while teams 1 & 2 were busy hunting salamanders, team 3 was in a local stream doing an RGA assessment, aka a Rapid Geomorphic Assessment.
Tuesday was a doozy of a day as the crew had lunch in the stream because we just couldn’t get enough of stream restoration. You know what they say, the streams not gonna clean itself!
Wednesday was a big day for SSWA as we were celebrating a couple birthdays for our lovely SSWA board members Daphne and Dina! So again from all of us here at SSWA, happy birthday ladies! Alright getting back to work, the crew split into 3 teams once again. Team 1 collected our weekly water quality data, team 2 visited our trail cameras to see if we got any new furry friends in the area, and last but not least team 3 went around to our pollinator gardens to cut the grass and pull out some unwanted weeds.
Thursday morning Matt helped our friends Simon and Sarah with a riparian zone survey while the rest of the crew went out for stream restoration. the crew spent the afternoon doing office work, chainsaw maintenance and prepping for Fridays event.
Friday morning the crew did some more office work and began cutting wood to build our signature bird houses. Finally in the afternoon, the week ended just how it all started, with stream restoration.
Have a safe and fun weekend!
Week 9 – Today’s lesson, create your own sunshine
We are happy to report that we here at SSWA have had yet another wonderful week working in the streams. Monday and Tuesday mornings were spent clearing and restoring a stream in Tryon. In the afternoons the team grabbed their walking sticks and set out to do RGAs or Rapid Geomorphic Assessments. These assessments give us information on how the stream is changing shape and how well it is moving sediment. They also help us identify areas that may need restorative measures in the future, such as installing brush matts.
Wednesday would have been a good day to be a duck! Matt, Jean-luc and Ashton teamed up to brave water quality in the rain while the rest of the crew got a little wet while attending a workshop in Hunter River to brush up on their stream and fish habitat knowledge.
Eager to put their new knowledge to good use the crew was back in the stream for more restoration work on Thursday morning. The afternoon brought a change of pace as it was time for some tree planting and maintenance work at the Westmoreland nature park.
Despite some dark clouds Friday morning the crew carried on with their stream restoration work and RGAs in the afternoon. It’s weeks like these when we are reminded how having a great team can make the days a whole lot brighter.
In other exciting news the Swim For The South Shore event will be back again this August! Taking place on August 13th 2022 (rain date August 14th) the swim brings the community together to celebrate having clean water while supporting your local watershed group (us here at SSWA). Swimmers can register as an individual or as a team but if swimming’s not your thing there will be live music from 10:30am-12:30pm! To register visit https://raceroster.com/events/2022/59956/swim-for-the-south-shore
Have a safe and fun weekend!
Week 8 – Sir Beav Beavus Beaverton the 3rd
welcome back to our humble blog for yet another week of sunshine and rainbows. Monday the crew were eager to get back into the stream and installed a number of brush matts in Tryon to help re-establish stream banks.
The crew spent Tuesday tree planting various tree species in Tryon while enjoying the rain. We weren’t the only ones enjoying the rain however, our local beaver came out to greet us! (He’s kind of a local celebrity in these woods). When planting in an area where certain wildlife are present, it’s important to plan ahead to see which tree species will thrive and which will not. Beavers prefer chewing hardwood deciduous trees for example so planting more coniferous trees in the area is recommended.
Matt and Baylee teamed up to collect our water quality data this Wednesday while also visiting our trail cameras to see what kind of critters we have roaming around. The rest of the crew was busy stream clearing and came across a beaver dam which we notched to help the stream flow more naturally. When managing a beaver dam or any stream blockage creating stagnant water, it’s important to notch the blockage so the water can drain over a period of time rather than all at once. We do this to protect the fish as some would become stranded in little pools if the water drains too quickly.
With Canada day coming up, Thursday is the new Friday! To celebrate, half the team is spending the day at the devils punchbowl with Gary Schneider hopefully learning lots. The rest of us at the office planted some more trees in Tryon with the help of Simon Wilmot from the Invasive Species Council. The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for our local Canada day festivities with Merry Pop-ins Daycare!
We hope you all have a lovely long weekend!
And remember, keep your stick on the ice
Week 7 – We’re gonna need more chairs
The week was off to an eventful start as we welcomed back returning staff members Heather, Ashton, and Ian along with our newest member to the team, Cole! The crew was also very excited for the long awaited arrival of our new chainsaw. Due to the exponential increase in manpower SSWA was able to divide into three teams for the week to tackle the task list.
Overcast weather on Monday created a pleasant atmosphere for team 1 to do some maintenance at our Westmorland nature park while teams 2 and 3 were knee deep in their respective streams clearing sediment and downed trees. Team 2 continued their stream restoration work in the afternoon while teams 1 and 3 got to work planting many of the trees that were received in last weeks shipment.
Tuesday team 1 was tasked with creating brush matts for a local stream. Creating brush matts involves taking cuttings off trees and securing them to a stream bank with stakes and jute. These matts will collect and trap sediment to improve the shape of the stream and help stabilize the stream banks. Team 2 was busy installing 6 new HOBO’s while team 3 worked away restoring a stream.
Warm weather on Wednesday meant it was a perfect day for the SSWA crew to tackle our water quality route and head to the beach! While the crew did head to the beach there was no time for swimming as they were busy planting marram grass and cleaning up the shore. Due to their efficiency the crew was also able to squeeze in one more macroinvertebrate survey before the end of the day.
Everyone worked hard on Thursday removing invasive species and creating more brush matts. The Friday rain didn’t put much of a damper on things as the crew took turns sifting through the collected macroinvertebrate samples and continued to prep for upcoming festivities.
Have a lovely weekend!
Week 6 – Olympic boulder lifting team
This Monday, we kicked things off with some macroinvertebrate surveys. While one person walked up the stream with the kicknet trailing behind them, the rest of the crew was cheering them on from the banks! Once they hit the three minute mark we continued the remainder of the survey, collecting the contents of the net and using a velocity headrod to take measurements of the stream width, depth and flow. The last step on our list was crucial, and involved three of our luckiest crew members for the infamous rock picking! The procedure includes each person walking a section of the stream, while doing so we reach into the stream to pull rocks for measurements as well as embeddedness. I say our “luckiest” crew members because the stream water made it a hand-numbing job!
For Tuesday we continued with our Macroinvertebrate surveys throughout the morning into the afternoon. Once the rain rolled in, we finished up our final survey of the day and made our way back to the office to get some supplies ready for our upcoming Canada day festivities.
Wednesday morning we got to go out and check what our various trail cams picked up throughout the following week. Afterwards we met up to unload and sort a full truck load of 565 trees and shrubs! After lunch the rain rolled in, so we finished off the day sanding tree cookies and preparing for our upcoming activities.
We started off strong Thursday welcoming a returning worker from last season… NOUT!!! We were happy to expand the crew, especially while we tried out a new piece of surveying equipment! The purpose of the Leveling rod and laser level are to measure the slope of our ever changing streams and rivers. For the morning we headed back to the previous survey sites of the Macroinvertebrates, to gain a bit of extra data. To end the day JL, Baylee, Nicole and Nout headed to Tryon to do some invasive species clearing.
Friday the whole crew spent the morning finishing up our slope surveying at our last two spots in Tryon. After lunch we split up to get caught up on some of our office work as well as getting the chainsaw out to continue with our efforts to collect supplies for the Canada Day activities.
We hope you all enjoy your weekend!
Week 5 – Will Matt survive the chopping block?
Your favourite time of year is upon us… it’s stream restoration season! Stream restoration is very important here in P.E.I as our fish often have trouble finding their way upstream to spawn. Common issues such as, extensive alder growth, bank erosion, and fallen trees/debris causing stream blockages all can make it difficult for fish to move freely.
Monday morning the crew was ready and eager to start stream restoration in Tryon. That afternoon we removed a downed tree blocking the trail at our lovely Lords pond and trimmed some of the hedges to make signage more visible. Matt unfortunately left us until Friday to take a course on Rapid Geomorphic Assessments… Tune in next week to see if we forgive him!
Tuesday the team was back to work restoring streams in the Tryon area for most of the day. Besides some minor blockages, this particular stream looked really good!
You know what Wednesday means…. WATER QUALITY!!! On top of collecting our weekly water quality data, the rest of the crew also collected the data from our trail cameras and it seems as though our furry friends have been pretty busy lately.
Thursday was a little rainy which gave us a good opportunity to catch up on office work and logging importing data. Logging data properly and keeping a record of data from previous years is a big part of conservation work as it allows us to view trends and patterns over an extended period of time.
Friday we had the pleasure of working with the Invasive Species Action Team to tackle common buckthorn in the Tryon area. Unlike many other invasive species, Buckthorn grows steadily over time so picking these plants before they flower will be the best way to stop them from spreading. Big thanks to Gage, Ben, and Katrina for joining us this lovely Friday
We hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Week 4 – No mow problems
To kick off the week we welcomed another new crew member to the SSWA team, Baylee DesRoches! Monday the crew split up into two teams to tackle various jobs. Team 1 was busy planting native wetland tree species in the Tryon area while team 2 cleaned up the Tryon trail by removing wooden debris and storm damage. The team cut and collected small wooden discs for an event we are hosting on Canada Day – stay tuned!
Tuesday the whole crew pitched in to plant a total of 257 native tree species, such as Red Maple, Eastern Larch, Yellow Birch, & more in the Tryon area! The tree species listed above thrive in wet habitats, so planting next to streams and adding to wetlands is ideal!
By Wednesday we had seen plenty of wildlife. The most exciting being a few Garter Snakes. PEI has 3 snake species; Garter Snake, Red Bellied Snake, and Eastern Smooth Green Snake. All of them are non-venomous. However, all of them can bite if aggravated – so best to leave them be!
Thursday morning the crew planted more trees in the Tryon area near a local tributary. The crew split up in the afternoon to do a stream assessment in Westmorland while the rest of the crew went on a much needed shopping run to get a new push mower for maintenance in our parks!
Friday we put the new push mower to good use trimming the trails at the Westmorland Nature Park, and planted even more native species near one of our water quality sites in Tryon.
We hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Week 3 – Pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er
After the long weekend our staff were well rested and ready to tackle another busy week!
Monday evening marked the beginning of our bi-weekly anuran surveys. Staff visited several different locations to listen for anurans (frogs and toads) and made notes on what they found. These surveys provide information on the species and populations of anurans found at the five locations.
Tuesday was yet another stream assessment, this time on the West branch of Tryon. This branch was full of wildlife, the crew got to meet a lovely little leopard frog and the sounds of a ruffed grouse drumming could be heard in the distance! After a quiet lunch to recoup some energy, the crew headed down to do a clean up on Victoria beach.
Water quality Wednesday brought sunshine and productivity as data was collected and HOBOs were installed. HOBOs are small temperature collecting devices that the crew placed in several streams across the Tryon area. Matt and Jen also got a driving lesson in the boss’s car! While driving stick shift comes naturally to some, to others it does not.
The remainder of the week was filled with learning, planning and trail maintenance. We received a large shipment of trees that required sorting and the crew took advantage of the Friday rain to collect the tree guards along the Tryon trail and make notes of other trail maintenance that may be required.
Enjoy the weekend!
Week 2 – New Challenger Approaching!
Hello again everyone!
We are so pleased to welcome our new summer technician, Nicole Lawlor, to the crew this week! Nicole is currently earning her degree in Marine Biology.
To kick off the week, the crew continued head water stream assessments on the East branch of Tryon, where they found beautiful fish habitat, blooming spring plants, and lovely areas of the South Shore. Staff took note of trees and debris creating blockages along the stream that will need to be removed with a chainsaw in June. Chainsawing blockages in the stream is an activity done by certified individuals, and only after June 1st, when permits allow. This permitting is in place so that spring flora & fauna can go undisturbed.
The rest of the week consisted of checking trail camera footage, testing water quality in the streams, estuary watch surveys, & cleaning out the pollinator gardens. The gardens received newly “planted” signage that will give viewers information on the importance of pollinator gardens.
Staff were lucky to witness so much of what nature has to offer this week. While completing surveys, some were fortunate to witness a mink in his natural habitat along one of the streams. Other team members were excited after witnessing a pair of mating bald eagles in Westmoreland. Eagles will engage in this behaviour by entangling their talons and spiraling out of the sky – neature.
The remainder of the week was spent prepping four event on Saturday – ‘Art & Exercise in the Park’. We are looking forward to what the next week shall bring.
Week 1 – Season prep!
Have a lovely weekend everyone! -Team SSWA