Our Community Partners: Northeast Avalon ACAP

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Based out of beautiful St. John’s, the Northeast Avalon Atlantic Coastal Action Program (NAACAP) has been working hard to advocate for the protection and health of the watersheds and coastal areas of Newfoundland since 1992. The community advocacy group’s mission is to promote, research, and engage communities in local conservation action by focusing on wetland and coastal clean-ups, riparian assessments, planting, and stabilisation, and environmental education.

More recently, you can find the NAACAP staff concentrating their conservation efforts on Lundrigan’s Marsh – a lively wetland nestled in the east end of St. John’s. It’s here that the crew organised a large and successful clean-up event, where volunteers and staff collected over 200 kg of trash and planted around 200 shrubs and flowers in June 2018, followed by the planting of more than 500 trees around the marsh by October that same year. Another success of NAACAP’s conservation work at Lundrigan’s Marsh is the two-year collection and analysis of water quality data in the wetland. Currently finishing Year 2 of the project, the plan is to write a report that can be used to outline future conservation needs of the Marsh.

WWF World Wildlife Fund Lundrigan’s Marsh Lookout Cleanup Lundrigan’s Marsh, 335 East White Hills Road
Staff and volunteers celebrate the success of NAACAP's Lundrigan's Marsh Clean-up event (June 2018).

If you travel west towards the large coastline of Placentia Bay, you’ll find yourself at another point of interest for NAACAP’s water monitoring and conservation efforts. A priority area for integrated marine management due to the interplay between key primary economic sectors (including commercial fishing, aquaculture, oil and nickel refining, and tourism), monitoring the Bay area is a vital step towards guiding all sectors towards approaching development sustainably. The organisation’s role in the region is of high importance, as the need for closing existing water quality data gaps is fundamental to protecting one of Canada’s most important marine ecosystem areas.

Our Community Partners: Northeast Avalon ACAP
NAACAP Board member Bob Helleur out doing some field work on Placentia Bay (November 2018).

NAACAP’s Lundrigan Marsh and Placentia Bay projects only give you a brief snapshot of what they’ve been up to in recent years – there is still much more in store for the organisation. Pending funding, NAACAP plans to continue its conservation work across various locations in Newfoundland. Some of these plans include mapping and assessing the province’s population of invasive common reed (Phragmites australis), assessing the plastic pollution in two urban St. John’s rivers, and including water quality monitoring as part of an educational walking tour of an urban river for school children.

If you’d like to learn more about what NAACAP’s been up to, give them a follow on Twitter and Facebook, and check out their website for more details on their current and upcoming projects. And of course, don’t forget to check out all of their water quality data on Atlantic DataStream!

by Jessie Smith