Work un­der­way

Wa­ter­shed al­liance pre­pares to re­store Corn­wal­lis River

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS X - BY WENDY EL­LIOTT ,*/(4$06/5:/&84 $" ,&/57*--&

This sum­mer, the Ji­juktu’kwejk Wa­ter­shed Al­liance (pro­nounced gee-gee­wok-tok) has fund­ing for up to seven Corn­wal­lis River-re­lated projects.

One of them is con­nected to the planned small boat launch, which will be part of the new Corn­wal­lis River bridge in Kentville.

Al­liance co-or­di­na­tor Jen­nifer West said a re­cre­ational boat as­sess­ment will look at im­prov­ing small boat us­age for ca­noes and kayaks.

She said that re­cre­ational boat­ing will be head­ing east and west from Kentville, “de­pend­ing on the tides.”

The al­liance, along with the Friends of the Corn­wal­lis River group, have fund­ing for three sum­mer po­si­tions “and we’re hop­ing for more with seven projects in mind,” West said.

The sec­ond project will in­volve Sarah Mcdon­ald, who is the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer for the An­napo­lis Val­ley First Na­tion, and the his­tory of the wa­ter­shed.

“We want to find out as much as we can about its past and its uses and record the sto­ries,” West said. “This work is su­per ex­cit­ing. There’s so much in­for­ma­tion to col­lect.”

Ex­am­in­ing the cur­rent con­di­tion of the river and the need for clean ups is an­other pri­or­ity. She said pub­lic en­gage­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, event plan­ning and a brochure are en­vi­sioned.

Among other things, the brochure will help the pub­lic to pro­nounce Ji­juktu’kwejk, which is a chal­leng­ing Mi’kmaq word.

Other projects the al­liance has pri­or­i­tized are map­ping sites along the river and points of ac­cess. West said the Mi’kmaq con­ser­va­tion group will help with sam­pling over two years.

A re­view of sci­en­tific lit­er­a­ture re­lated to the river is an­tic­i­pated, along the col­lec­tion of ad­ja­cent prop­erty own­ers. She said the al­liance will work in con­junc­tion with Levi Cliché at the Clean An­napo­lis River Project.

West said the al­liance has been grow­ing it­self. Five board mem­bers - Nick Hill, John Brazner, Sean Basquill, Peter Bag­nell and Mcdon­ald - will guide the sum­mer staff.

“There’s po­ten­tial for a lot of won­der­ful changes on the river in the next few years and decades,” she said.

The Town of Kentville will pro­vide of­fice space for the sum­mer staff, West said, and links have been made to two more wa­ter­shed groups in the prov­ince.

The Ji­juktu’kwejk Wa­ter­shed Al­liance formed in 2016 with the vi­sion of a swimmable, drink­able and fish­able river.

For more in­for­ma­tion, please con­tact West at 902538-0520 or by email­ing Jen­nifer.j.west@gmail.com.

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