Gateway Gazette

Riparian Restoration Field Workshops in Black Diamond

September 17-18 & 24-25th

Introduction to Streambank & Riparian Restoration in Alberta’s Foothills

Hosted by the Town of Black Diamond, this 3rd Annual Riparian Restoration Workshops are designed for citizen land owners, city planners, engineers, councillors, consultants, and farmers. Our workshop participants come from all around Alberta. Community members are encouraged to attend for free!

Technical Instructor: Laurie Hamilton, Terrestrial & Wetland Ecologist

Laurie HamiltonFor over twenty-two years, Laurie has worked on
environmental and land management projects in BC, Alberta, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan. She has obtained specialist scientific experience in vegetation, wetland and riparian ecology, species at risk, habitat mapping and assessment, and geomatics as well as experience in other disciplines such as terrain, soils, surface hydrology, wildlife habitat, aquatic environments, and reclamation.

Certificate: Introduction to Riparian Restoration in Alberta’s Foothills

Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily (includes locally sourced picnic lunch)

Cost: FREE for Local Citizens of Black Diamond, $100.00 per Participant from outside the community. *Discounts available for students and non profits! Contact the Program Coordinator: Rayleigh Conley (rayleigh@sustainabilitycircle.ca) for more information.

REGISTER HERE

*Our 2016 Riparian Restoration Program is made possible through the generous support of the Alberta Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP), the Environmental Damages Fund, and the Alberta Conservation Association.

Alberta Gov'tGovt of CanadaAB Conservation Association

Riparian Restoration Program

RRP17Our resources for watershed sustainability are designed to facilitate capacity building, professional development, policy and planning, and mobilization of best available technologies. Sustainability Resources has designed Riparian Restoration Field Workshops to build community capacity for watershed management.

Riparian Restoration & Habitat Conservation

RRP6The primary objective of this program is to conduct well-informed restoration activities and build the capacity of decision makers to implement best available practices for improving watershed quality. Sustainability Resources is known for providing quality learning experiences to support community sustainability and resource management. We are pleased to lead the coordination of the Riparian Restoration Program with partners in government, ENGOs, industry, and especially the community. Since 2014 we hosted four Field Workshops with over 100 volunteers, community leaders and industry experts and restored over 150 m2 of streambank!

RRP4In August 2014 Sustainability Resources hosted their first Riparian Restoration workshop in Black Diamond, engaging 30 individuals and restoring 70 m2 of damaged shoreline by planting 600 willow saplings. The Riparian Restoration Program aligns the mutually reinforcing activities of its partners that are related to habitat restoration, to ensure their greatest collective impact. Many key partnerships have been formed, such as that with Cows and Fish or Bow Point Nursery. New partnerships have since been developed with local educators to meet the curriculum objectives of secondary school teachers and inform students of potential career paths.

In 2015 we installed a pilot section of FlexMSE geotextiles along 16 m2 of stream bank which included 200 FlexMSE bags weighing 75 lbs each (total 15,000 lbs). We also planted a total of 440 shrubs along this same stream bank to revegetate a total of 84 m2 of land, including sandbar willow, red osier dogwood, dwarf birch, river alder, pussy willow, snowberry, balsam poplar, and trembling aspen sourced through a local nursery. This project is very unique in that we bring in watershed experts, community decision makers (local government), industry volunteers, and landowners to work side-by-side restoring watershed habitat and protecting our communities from floods, droughts, and helping to restore landscapes from some of the unintentional impacts of agriculture and development. We also get to celebrate our achievements by sharing local food in a fun out-door educational environment.

This program wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated support and commitment of our partners and volunteers! Please learn more and stay in touch with this program by joining our facebook page! 

RRP2The Riparian Restoration Program is supported in policy by Part 3, Divisions 1 and 5 of the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA).

Division 1 states research and development, including pilot projects, of conservation stewardship will be supported and Division 5 enables the application of conservation offsets as a conservation and stewardship tool. Biodiversity and habitat offsets remain an important component for mitigating anthropogenic impacts to aquatic systems. Fisheries Protection Provisions in the 2012 revisions to the Fisheries Act (section 6.1) have deemed habitat and biodiversity offsets as a key component of Canada’s fisheries regulation. When habitat that is deemed vital for commercial, recreational or Aboriginal (CRA) fisheries, is destroyed; habitat/biodiversity offsets are required to ensure No Net Loss in fisheries productivity. It is unclear as of yet which offsetting strategies will provide sustainability and ongoing productivity of CRA fisheries and proponents are given little guidance on offset site selection and must consult with environmental professionals to select offset locations.

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