Future of Shearstown Estuary committee continues to look bleak
The future of the joint management committee in Spaniard’s Bay and Bay Roberts is looking rather dim at the moment.
During a regular meeting of council in Spaniard’s Bay, held on Monday, Oct. 29, Spaniard’s Bay Mayor Paul Brazil spoke on the future of the joint management committee (JMC) that looks after the Shearstown estuary, a wetland area that borders both Spaniard’s Bay and Bay Roberts.
Brazil indicated that the committee is struggling to stay operational due to a lack of members to keep the committee afloat.
“The two lead people in that committee – one is relocating out of the town, and the other one has expressed an interest to move on from it as well,” Brazil said. “So, I’m not sure where we go from here with the JMC.”
Council noted that even if no one is willing to take part in the committee, the agreement under which the JMC was created still stays in place, and any activity would simply be shelved until a new group of people step forward to take on the responsibilities.
“There was one person who showed interest in volunteering,” Brazil added. “But, they’re not from Spaniard’s Bay, or Bay Roberts either, so according to policy, they cannot be a part of the executive. They can still be a member of the committee, though. That poses a little bit of a solution, as well as a little bit of a problem. We still need Previous answer more people.”
Deputy Mayor Darlene Stamp expressed her own concerns with the committee as well, noting that the committee contributes to the town’s tourism, which could also take a hit if the JMC were to dissolve temporarily.
Later in the meeting, a concern was raised by Coun. Paul Ryan, who noted that airboats had been seen in the area recently as well.
This was also addressed at a recent council meeting in Bay Roberts by JMC representative for the Bay Roberts town council, Coun. Geoff Seymour. At that time, it was indicated that the Town of Bay Roberts would look into the possibility of introducing new town bylaws to address these concerns.
The JMC was originally formed in 2002, and has been at the forefront of a number of projects that have contributed to the overall goal of bringing the estuary back to what it once was.
“They’ve done massive amounts of work for that area,” Brazil went on to say. “They basically turned it from a watery dumpsite and made it into one of the most desirable water habitats in the province.”
The Shearstown Estuary has been looked after by the JMC in Spaniard’s Bay and Bay Roberts for a number of years now, but the committee is currently struggling to find new members.