Clean Annapolis River Project – 2016

Youth Leading Environmental Change is a program that engages youth throughout the Annapolis River watershed in environmental education, stewardship actions and leadership development training. Youth have the opportunity to learn how landscape features and functions impact human and environmental health, as well as community well being.

Participants reinforce their understanding of these concepts and apply them through a variety of environmental restoration and stewardship activities that positively impact their community and the health of the ecosystem.

Funding from the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia supported the launch of this program in 2016. We have 30 students in schools between Digby and Aylesford enrolled in the ongoing leadership program. Students began training and field activities in May, and will continue to be actively involved with field work through September 2016. In October students will share their experiences through school and community presentations. Several of CARP’s leadership students have already stepped up as environmental ambassadors, assisting with public speaking at education and outreach events.

Sophie and Harold collecting morphometric data for a wood turtle in Aylesford, Nova Scotia. Liam radio-tracking wood turtles in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. Students joined Fish Habitat Project leader Amber to learn how to conduct fish habitat suitability assessments. Jayson and Simon placing egg mats.
Sophie and Harold collecting morphometric data for a wood turtle in Aylesford, Nova Scotia. Wood turtles are a species at risk, listed as threatened both provincially and federally. This data supports Clean Annapolis River Project’s Wood Turtle Monitoring and Stewardship program, and is also contributed to the provincial Species at Risk Database, to support recovery efforts.
Liam radio-tracking wood turtles in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. Through the Youth Leading Environmental Change program, students were taught how to conduct a variety of field activities related to Clean Annapolis River Project’s Wood Turtle Monitoring and Stewardship program. This included radio-telemetry, visual surveys and nesting surveys.
Students joined Fish Habitat Project leader Amber to learn how to conduct fish habitat suitability assessments. The team helped complete assessments on the Nictaux River System, in support of CARP’s restoration activities that focus on restoring habitat for Atlantic Salmon and Brook Trout.
Jayson and Simon placing egg mats. Sturgeon eggs are sticky, so these mats provide an artificial substrate that can be easily checked for eggs. We had the unexpected opportunity to conduct Atlantic sturgeon eggs surveys on the Annapolis River, in hopes of documenting critical habitat for this species at risk. We have not yet identified eggs, but we are glad to have these talented and energetic students trained and available to help us with continued efforts.