Watershed alliance prepares to restore Cornwallis River
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.email@example.com.