Collaborative initiative for the restoration of the Little Southwest Miramichi River
RED BANK, NEW BRUNSWICK – The Government of Canada is committed to working together with First Nations to support restoration efforts and improvements to water courses to protect fish habitat namely for Atlantic salmon, American eel and sturgeon.
Member of Parliament for Miramichi — Grand Lake, Pat Finnigan, announced on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard an investment of $1.4 M for the restoration and improvement of a section of the Little Southwest Miramichi River. He was joined by Chief Bill Ward of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation, and representatives of the North Shore Micmac District Council (NSMDC) - Anqotum Resource Management, and several guests to mark and celebrate work being carried out for this large-scale restoration project.
Before the start of the project in 2016, between one and four metres of the river bank eroded each year. Over time, this has altered the water and sediment flow, as well as habitat degradation of several species such as Atlantic salmon, American eel and sturgeon.
In order to prevent further degradation, concerned community members and the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation took the lead on consultations with local stakeholders and the federal and provincial regulatory authorities to propose a restoration project for this portion of the river.
The goal of this restoration project is to counter erosion of the river bank, create and improve fish habitat, expand biodiversity, as well as improve water quality and flow. The project will also help protect significant Mi’kmaq heritage resources throughout the floodplain surrounding the river. At the request of its member community of Metepenagiag, NSMDC Anqotum Resource Management is managing all aspects of the initiative which will provide an opportunity for members of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation to build capacity through the coordination, implementation and monitoring of the project.
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of August, depending on weather. A three-year monitoring period will follow after the project in completed.
Photo Caption: Member of Parliament for Miramichi – Grand Lake, Pat Finnigan, announced a partnership and an investment of $1.4 million for the Little Miramichi South West River Restoration project.
“We are committed to working with the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation and NSMDC Anqotum Resource Management as joint stewards of the environment. I thank our partners for investing time and energy in conserving and protecting this river for generations to come.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“This project demonstrates how, together, we can develop innovative approaches to restoration. I look forward to seeing the results of today’s investment in the Little Southwest Miramichi River, like decreased erosion and improved fish habitat for important species like salmon.”
Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament, Miramichi — Grand Lake
“Anqotum is pleased to be a partner in developing a strategy focused on capacity building, combining resources and strengthening relationships with all stakeholders. Going forward, Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation will monitor this vital watershed and witness the improvements to the health of several culturally significant species and their habitat.”
James Ward, General Director of the North Shore Micmac District Council (NSMDC) - Anqotum Resource Management
“Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation is honoured to see a project of this magnitude that we have led and supported for so many years come to fruition. As one of many stakeholders, it is our firm belief that we will continue to live on this river; a river that not only supports the beauty of our lands, terrestrial and aquatic species and heritage resources, but also the health of our people.”
Chief Bill Ward of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Gulf Region
Anqotum Resource Management
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