In 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 are being developed with local educators to meet the curriculum objectives of secondary school teachers and inform students of potential career paths
Riparian Restoration in Turner Valley, Alberta 2015
These workshops (3) will take place in the field and there will be heavy lifting. At 9:00 am we will meet at the the Sheep River Library in Turner Valley and travel to the worksite. The workshop will begin by Cows and Fish leading the group through a Riparian Health Checklist and a fish habitat assessment with Streamworks Environmental. We will experiment with FlexMSE geotextiles as a substrate for willow propagation along 16 m2 of shoreline. Along the remaining 64 m2 we will use willow staking techniques with propagated plugs and mixed seed. Lunch is provided. Register for Riparian Enhancement Workshops!
The 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.