Protecting Our Freshwater
Help us reach our goal of 100+ Pledges this Summer!
Share your progress #PledgeToProtect
Through this EcoAction project, CARP worked with a wide variety with partner organizations and community members to help Canadians contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s fresh water by restoring ecological services to improve freshwater quality in the Annapolis River Watershed.
This project aimed to improve and maintain freshwater quality in areas previously degraded by human activity within the Annapolis River watershed through the restoration of ecological services provided by wetland and riparian ecosystems and through the engagement of members of the public in this process in order to provide hands on learning and support for long-term stewardship of freshwater resources.
1. To engage community organizations as partners in riparian zone restoration activities at multiple sites across the
Annapolis River watershed.
Healthy riparian zones help to reduce the transport of sediment, bacteria and chemical pollutants into receiving waters, stabilize shoreline, and increase quantity and improve quality of habitat for native wildlife. Each site is unique, but common approaches include installation of livestock exclusion fencing to create permanent buffer zones, changes in mowing/maintenance practices, planting of native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, willow staking, and live sill construction.
Every individual has a role to play in rest orating and conserving our freshwater resources. We will be launching a "Pledge to Protect" campaign, which will seek individual commitments to undertake a simple, achievable action that contributes to your project goal. Members of the public will be able to find us at events and markets promoting the "Pledge to Protect" campaign. We will follow up with participants to see how they are doing and encourage them to continue their efforts.
2. To educate community members about the vital role that riparian ecosystems play in maintaining the healthy freshwater ecosystems in order to support long term efforts to restore and protect riparian ecosystems.
We will be working with partner organizations to use these restoration activities as opportunities to re-connect community members to the landscape and to create volunteer and service learning opportunities. We will also be planning activities like swallow nest box building workshops to create additional hands on volunteer opportunities. In fall/winter 2019-2020 we will be planning a series of workshops and educational seminars about best practices for living and working in riparian and wetland ecosystems.
Make a pledge to help restore and conserve our freshwater
Even though this project is over, we still welcome your pledges and will seek for find ways to provide support whenever possible!
Each of us has a role to play in restoring and conserving our watershed. Over the next year we will be collecting pledges from community members across the watershed to help create collective impact to protect our freshwater.
You can submit your pledge using the online form below or request a PDF or paper pledge sheet from the office. If possible, please submit a photo that represents the "before" stage of your commitment, such as a photo of the area where you plan to plant or allow native vegetation to re-establish. If possible, we would also like after photos. These images will be used on our website, social media and publications to help inspire others.
When developing your pledge…
Be ambitious, yet realistic
Ask us if you need information or educational resources
Plant native species along the river bank
Planting trees and other native plants can help to stabilize the soil, reduce erosion and sedimentation, and filter runoff.
Planting pollinator friendly species
Although pollinator species don’t directly improve water quality, they are a good way to boost the biodiversity on your property and can help to provide stream bank stabilization.
Stop mowing right to the edge of streams/rivers
Mowing to the edge of a watercourse eliminates the natural buffer of grasses, shrubs and trees. The buffer protects against erosion, filters runoff and pollutants, and provides habitat for wildlife.
Keep septic systems well maintained
Regularly have your sewage or septic system inspected and keep it well maintained to prevent any leakage and/or water pollution.
Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers
Chemicals can runoff or leach from the soil into watercourses and wetlands. Reducing chemical and pesticide use or switching to organic alternatives can help to reduce the amount of pollutants going into the watercourses.
Redirect gutters and downspouts to drain onto lawns and gardens
Runoff directed down the driveway can pick up oil, debris and other waste, which will eventually make its way into a watercourse. See our stormwater project page for more ideas connected to this.
Use a rain barrel
Rain barrels collect roof runoff, which can be used on your lawns and gardens later on.
Reduce erosion on your property
Use stormwater management techniques to reduce the transport of sediment and other pollutants to nearby watercourses
Wash vehicles on the lawn
Soaps and detergents can contain phosphorus or other nutrients that may be beneficial to your lawn or garden, but their runoff can negatively impact watercourses.
Use proper water crossings and keep off-road vehicles out of streams and rivers
Driving off road vehicles through a watercourse can cause erosion, increase sediment, and harm plants and wildlife.
Fence in livestock, keeping them from going directly into the watercourse
Consider installing a fence along the stream banks to prevent the animals from causing erosion and pollution. Make sure you have an alternate water source for the livestock and keep any manure on site stored properly and covered.