Wolastoq part two

We heard from watershed organizations, angler associations, First Nations communities, boaters and countless others on how vital the Saint John River is to their culture and day-to-day life. The building of a dam, a particularly bad flood year or salmon runs was among the stories and histories that were shared with us. As we travelled along the Saint John, we had the opportunity to observe how closely the prosperity of communities, agriculture and industry is intertwined with river health.

(c) WWF-Canada
We were also fortunate enough to observe how important the health of the Saint John river was to all New Brunswickers.  While individual communities had unique challenges, there were key concerns and questions that could be found up and down the river.
–While a working river that provide hydro and employment, there were challenges around reconciling the benefits of dams along with the significant impact to ecosystem services and other benefits the river provides.   How can we sustain energy needs and allow the river to flow to provide for maximum ecosystem services.
–New Brunswick is unique in that there is a large force of on-the-ground citizen scientists that collect data and monitor their watershed.  How can we share data?  How can we manage data in an accessible way for all to access?
–With many citizen science groups, watershed groups and key groups with a stake in the health of the river how can we work together?  How can different stakeholders with different goals work together to create a shared vision and work together towards that vision?
The Saint John River Community Tours was the first step for WWF’s Freshwater team to begin work with folks on the river.  With every new endeavor, the challenges are daunting. But the possibilities of success are thrilling and the opportunity to work with a wide range of folks on the ground makes it all possible!