Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative Report, 2009

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Marsh Creek Restoration InitiativeMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 1 Graeme Stewart-RobertsonExecutive SummaryMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 2 ACAP Saint John has conceptualised and developed the most advanced sustainable development initiative ever proposed for Atlantic Canada. The Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative endeavours to use soft infrastructure (wetlands and watercourses) as a means to meet a plethora of present and future needs within our community. This project has identi"ed and mapped 27 potential wetland remediation/enhancement/preservation sites - the "rst of which is poised to break ground by July 2010 - all of which utilise the wetland and watercourse compensation requirements of developers to increase storm-water retention capacity within wetlands (reduce # ooding, climate change adaptive strategies), enhance our urban natural spaces (conservation and eco-tourism), incorporate interconnected active transportation routes (GHG reduction, intra-urban connectivity and healthy lifestyles), and promote social and cultural development. This project has already achieved widespread recognition in the community thanks to public outreach and engagement initiatives such as media articles, trade industry publications, public open houses and website dissemination. Additionally, the scale and scope of Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative has the potential to be, and has already begun to be, recognised on a international level for its advancement of sustainable development concepts.As a project that stands high upon the pillars of good sustainable development, the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative represents a new vision for the City of Saint John, and indeed the entire Greater Saint John region. With potential to expand all the way to the headwaters of Marsh Creek in Rothesay, and eventually create links all the way from Grand Bay-West"eld to Quispamsis to St. Martins, this is truly a project that the region and all of its citizens can rally behind. New Brunswick deserves a world-class showcase of its potential for innovative thought, collaboration and economic drive, and no other single undertaking better encapsulates our ability to balance the needs of the environment, society and the economy better than the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative. By focusing our collective resources and recognizing the true worth of our city and its resources both human and natural we can make this type of cooperation an everyday part of doing business, and in the process transform Saint Johns image from revolting to revolutionary.Table of ContentsAcknowledgements 6Disclaimer 7Restoration Master Plan 8Marsh Creek Overview 9New Opportunities 12A Vision for Marsh Creek 14A Model of Sustainable Development 16Direct Results 17Climate Change Adaptation 20Future Directions 21Open House 23Open House - Exit Survey Responses 26Site Locations 29Courtenay Bay 32Forebay 32Medial Marsh Creek 33[South] 33Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 3 Medial Marsh Creek 34[North] 34Rockwood Cut 35Line Marsh 35Fen on Little Marsh Creek 36Rothesay Avenue 37Floodplain 37Drurys Pasture 38Drurys Pasture Adjunct 39Upper Marsh Creek Lake [above earthen 40#ood control dam] 40Upper Marsh Creek Pond [above old 41concrete dam] 41Glen Road Fen 42Coldbrook Floodplain 43Coldbrook Floodplain 44Extension 44Braemar Wetland 45Majors Brook [corner of 46Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 4 McAllister Drive and 46Westmorland road] 46Majors Brook Linear Marsh 47Consumers Drive Marsh 48Majors Pasture 49Three Mile Fen 50Marsh Creek at Ashburn Road 51Junction of Majors Brook 52and Marsh 52Creek 52Ashburn Lake Road [West] 53Mystery Lake Marsh [upstream] 54Kelly Lake Swamp 55Marsh Creek on the Glen Road 56Renforth Bog 57Ashburn Creek 58Forebay Recommendations Paper 59Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 5 AcknowledgementsMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 6 The Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative represents a collaboration of numerous individuals and organisations who share a common goal of protecting the immense natural capital that exists within our city, and highlighting the value represented by the regions largest urban watershed. The work represented within this document is a collation of years of observations and recommendations developed through dialogue between ACAP Saint John and the many stakeholders within the communities of Greater Saint John. ACAP Saint John would like to extend a special thank you to the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund and Environment Canada for their generous contributions to this important community endeavour. Thanks also to the City of Saint John and its sta, in particular Yves Leger (GIS Planning and Developing Branch), Kim Graham (Vision 2015) and Craig Campbell (Municipal Planning), as well as to Helene Rioux (Service New Brunswick) for information on property ownership. Lastly, we would like to acknowledge the critical role played by the hundreds of community stakeholders who volunteered their time, experience and the insights into helping put forth ideas and suggestions for making Saint John the premiere sustainable community of our region. DisclaimerMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 7 The Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative, conducted by ACAP Saint John, represents the culmination of years of suggestions, recommendations, criticisms and observations provided to us by hundreds (if not thousands) of stakeholders throughout the greater Saint John community. While every eort has been taken to accurately re#ect their collective viewpoints, this report in no way suggests that ACAP Saint John has managed to incorporate all of the stakeholders inputs, or that the thoughts provided by any one stakeholder are fully re#ected by the "nal report. Rather, ACAP Saint John has endeavoured to merge the most common and consistent themes provided to us into a context that re#ects the dynamic social, economic and environmental events that are occurring in contemporary Saint John.Furthermore, the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative project comprises of several visions for the future of Saint John. That is, it contains ideas or concepts of what could be accomplished to improve the sustainability of this community. The images and descriptions contained within this document have been selected and altered based solely upon their basic physical attributes (most notably their geographic location), and their potential to enhance the social, environmental and economic opportunities available to the regions residents and potential residents or visitors. ACAP Saint John made a deliberate attempt to include all relevant land areas regardless of land ownership. As such, it must be noted that the inclusion of potential enhancements or alterations to any parcel or parcels of land contained within this document do not represent or imply consent from the respective landowner(s). Rather, this document presents opportunities for those landowners who are interested in examining the potential for a large-scale sustainable development that could improve the aesthetics and connectivity of this great city. Restoration Master PlanMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 8 Marsh Creek OverviewMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 9 The Marsh Creek watershed is located in the eastern quadrant of Saint John, New Brunswick. Encompassing a total land area of over 4100 ha, it makes up the largest urban watershed in the city. Marsh Creek is a fourth order stream, which contains " ve major tributaries: Little Marsh Creek, Cold Brook, Ashburn Creek, Majors Brook, and the Fisher Lakes Tributary. The watershed is de"ned by its steep bedrock slopes that form an ample marsh basin. Water drains down these slopes and into large, deep areas of silt and heavy loam. The upper stretches of the watershed and its tributaries, primarily graduated forest streams, drain into this basin, much of which lies near sea level and was subjec t to regular t idal inundations prior to human intervention. The Marsh Creek watershed is extremely varied in its overall topography, ranging from extremely level terrain below sea level to rocky crags and hilltops. The highest peak within the watershed (~135 m) is the central summit of Golden Grove Mountain. Located to the northeast, this landmass drains into Quinn Lake at the headwater of Cold Brook. The lowest elevation in the watershed occurs along the downstream section of Marsh Creek itself, where there are several points that sit at, or near sea level.Marsh Creek is the single longest urban watercourse within the region and serves as a common outlet for all Marsh Creek tributaries. The headwaters of this ~12 km long creek originate just outside the northeastern Saint John City limits in the Renforth Bog. As such, the physical and biological characteristics of Marsh Creek can be observed to change dramatically from its headwaters - with its pristine wetlands and idyllic stream channel - to its terminus - the degraded environs of Courtenay Bay and lower Marsh Creek.A SIGNIFICANT WATERSHED MARSH CREEK IS THE LARGEST URBAN WATERSHED IN GREATER SAINT JOHN AND AT OVER 4100 HECTARES IN SIZE, FORMS THE GEOGRAPHIC CENTRE OF THE REGIONTHE GREAT MARSH A 650+ HECTARE TIDAL MARSH CENTRED AROUND WHAT IS NOW SAINT JOHNS LARGEST RETAIL DISTRICTMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 10 The arrival of the railway in the 19th century forever altered the drainage basin, as it spread the city beyond the con"nes of its harbour. The 20th century brought with it many changes including large-scale post-war housing projects, retail developments and highways. The creek oers ideal habitat for a variety of local species, including waterfowl, blue heron, raccoons, groundhogs and deer, and at " rst glance has great aesthetic appeal. However, the creek ecosystem is under daily anthropogenic stresses. Its close proximity to heavily developed regions opens it to large in#uxes of solid waste and urban runo containing petroleum and chemical products and sediment from construction and road-sanding operations. The lower end of the creek has 10 sewage outfalls, which dump millions of litres of untreated human waste on a daily basis.The Marsh Creek watershed has long been the site of human activity, dating back into the colonial era when the creek was dyked to allow hay and other crops to be cultivated in its fer ti le soils. This agricultural use continued for centuries and grew to include more modern industries such as factories, mills and shipbuildings, which were drawn to the #at lands and close proximity to timber reserves.ONE OF MORE THAN 50 SEWER OUTFALLS THAT DISCHARGE RAW SEWAGE INTO THE SAINT JOHN HARBOUR & MARSH CREEKTHE MARCO POLO WAS BUILT AND SAILED OUT OF MARSH CREEKMODIFICATIONS TO THE CREEK OVER THE YEARS HAVE ALTERED ITS MORPHOLOGYMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 11 HIDDEN GEMS MARSH CREEKS WATERSHED IS FULL OF BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES WAITING TO BE EXPLORED New OpportunitiesMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 12 Saint John is in the midst of unprecedented economic growth, and as it sits on the threshold of a new era of development and prosperity, critical decisions must be made to ensure not only the sustained growth of the economy, but to assure the long term sustainability of our community and its population. The work toward this goal has already begun thanks to the outstanding community support for the Vision 2015 process, the public private cooperation behind the Bene"ts Blueprint study, the provincial governments Roundtable on Sustainable Communities, and the City of Saint Johns Integrated Community Sustainability Plan. All of these studies identi"ed the need for a long-term plan to ensure that any alteration to the fabric of a region not only recognizes the need for social, economic and environmental stability, but also ensures that any proposed development provides opportunities to advance each of these community pillars. The combination of Harbour Cleanup (the removal of raw sewage into Marsh Creek) and recent economic growth in the region, creates the opportunity for an unprecedented rehabilitation of the Saint John landscape. The geographic centricity of Marsh Creek makes it an ideal candidate for enhancement as an integrated urban watershed, providing connectivity amongst residential, commercial and recreational features. FLOOD EVENTS SUCH AS THIS ONE ON THE CITYS EAST SIDE HIGHLIGHT THE NEED FOR COMPREHENSIVE MITIGATION STRATEGIESCENTURIES OF DEVELOPMENT HAVE LEFT MARSH CREEK IN ITS CURRENT STATE OF DISREPAIRMARSH CREEK AS IT STANDS TODAY INCLUDES SAINT JOHNS BUSIEST AND MOST-DEVELOPED COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS, AND IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE CITYS UNPRECEDENTED ECONOMIC GROWTHMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 13 HARBOUR CLEANUP PROVIDES A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO TRANSFORM MARSH CREEK FROM A BLIGHT ON THE CITYS IMAGE, TO A NATURAL TREASURETHE MCRI CONFORMS TO ALL OF THE PRINCIPLES FOR SUSTAINABILITY ESTABLISHED BY THE CITY OF SAINT JOHNS VISION 2015 PROCESSRegulations (inherent in all levels of government) stipulate that any development that alters or otherwise disrupts environmental integrity must compensate the community by creating, enhancing or preserving an equal or greater quantity of a preferably similar environment within the region in which the alteration occurred. While these regulations do provide a measure of protection for ensuring that no net loss of environmental integrity occurs, they often create a logistical burden for developers and development proponents who are responsible for speci"cally identifying how this environmental compensation will be delivered. Furthermore, the current lack of a comprehensive municipal land-use plan in Saint John prevents the integration of all compensation projects in a cohesive and collaborative manner. Since environmental compensation will be a certainty for developments in Saint John, it makes sense that the city should have a de"nitive plan for how best to utilise this resource. INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPERS ARE LOOKING FOR HABITAT COMPENSATION PROJECTS TO FULFILL REGULATORY REQUIREMENTSA Vision for Marsh CreekMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 14 Every community has its unique history and values, its goals and aspirations for the future, and its particular strengths and weaknesses. Sustainable communities use these decisions of the basis of their long-term planning. The planning process begins with a dialogue that involves the whole community in searching in and re#ecting upon its history and values; about key relationships; on the use of land and resources; on the consequences of planning options; and on the future viability of traditional industries and ways of life that have sustained the community in the past. In recent years, ACAP Saint John has been hard at work not only securing Harbour Cleanup an initiative that will have unprecedented bene"ts for Saint Johns image and environmental well-being but also on coastal climate change adaptive strategies, research on the history of the citys harbour in conjunction with UNBSJs CURA project, compiling the most in-depth database of Saint John wetlands ever assembled, and on creating comprehensive watershed management plans for the citys major urban watercourses. Throughout all of ACAPs studies, the citys sustainable planning initiatives and the provinces Self-Suciency Agenda, one common denominator began to emerge as a central component of Saint Johns environmental, economic and cultural future: Marsh Creek.Natural areas and human development do not have to be mutually exclusive. Sustainable developments incorporate natural habitat as a part of the infrastructure of the project, such as using constructed wetlands as " lters for contaminated parking lot runo. By incorporating soft infrastructure into planning processes, a developer can reduce maintenance costs and increase property values, while also preserving natural capital and providing bene"ts for the community. In addition, the advantages of the MCRI, by its very nature, are not simply short-term gains, but meaningful long-term improvements to the community that will provide value well into the future.IMAGINE A CITY WHERE JUST MINUTES FROM THE DOWNTOWN CORE YOU CAN WATCH EAGLES SNATCH FOOD FROM THE WATER IN THE BLINK OF AN EYEONCE HARBOUR CLEANUP QUELLS THE HAZARDS AND SMELLS OF RAW SEWAGE, THE PUBLIC CAN BEGIN TO USE AND ENJOY AREAS SUCH AS THE COURTENAY FOREBAYSustainable development presents a challenge to society to leave their community in a better state, thereby enhancing the quality of life for present and future generations. The Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative meets this challenge by providing uni"ed solutions to pressing local, national and international issues. By incorporating a multifaceted approach to urban development, and integrating active transportation routes, green space conservation and enhancement, # ood mitigation, all as parts of community-industry partnerships, the MCRI is one of the most remarkable opportunities for community advancement ever seen in Canada. Though wetland remediation is the over-arching theme of the initiative, the bene"ts will be felt region-wide. These bene"ts include: Economic-social impacts (green spaces, active transportation, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, education); Enviro-economic impacts (community partnerships, business accessibility); and Socio-environmental impacts (#ood event mitigation, climate change adaptive strategies, wetland remediation). Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 15 IMAGINE A CITY WHERE BOARDWALKS LINK YOUR HOME TO YOUR PLACE OF WORK AND YOU CAN WATCH BEAVERS SWIM JUST METRES FROM WHERE YOU SHOPREPLACING TIDE GATES ON COURTENAY BAY WOULD NOT ONLY IMPROVE FISH PASSAGE INTO MARSH CREEK, BUT ALLOW IT TO DRAIN BETTER DURING STORM EVENTSIMAGINE A CITY WHERE YOUR FAMILY CAN WALK ALONG A PRISTINE TREE-LINED CREEK AND LEARN HOW SETTLERS FARMED OVER 400 YEARS AGOACTIVE TRANSPORTATION CORRIDORS PROVIDE COUNTLESS POSSIBILITIES FOR COMMUTERS, RESIDENTS AND RECREATION ENTHUSIASTSA Model of Sustainable DevelopmentMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 16 So how can Marsh Creek - a name which echoes the worst of Saint Johns image - be enhanced by using all three requisites of sustainability (economic, social and environmental), transforming it from one of New Brunswicks most degraded ecosystems, into an example of a fully functional and integrated urban watercourse, as well as becoming the de"nitive example of sustainable development in Atlantic Canada? The Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative [MCRI] combines the functionality of a multi-use (i.e. walking & cycling) trail system with the existing natural bene"ts of an urban watercourse to provide the foundation of this sustainable development proposal. Speci"cally, the MCRI proposes that a number of existing wetlands in east Saint John could be expanded and interconnected via a walking and cycling trail, and enhanced with interpretative panels, gazebos, landscaping, and more to provide the maximum number and variety of bene"ts to the greater Saint John community. These varied bene"ts include: oering increased storm-water retention capacity to reduce the frequency and intensity of #ooding in East Saint John; oering environmental and historical educational opportunities for the 10,000 students attending schools in or around Marsh Creek; creating recreational opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and camping; increasing property values and growing the municipal tax base; improving the environmental health of this d e g r a d e d w a t e r c o u r s e ; "ltering parking lot and snow dump runo; improving " sh passage and riparian vegetation health; linking together existing parks and green spaces; oering a one -stop -shopping l i s t of wetland compensation projects to ease the burden for those proposing new economic development in the City of Saint John; and much more.MARSH CREEK PROVIDES COUNTLESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL GROWTH WITHIN SAINT JOHN. FOR EXAMPLE THE UPPER STRETCHES OF THE CREEK ARE IDYLLIC FOR CAMPING, HIKING, BIRDWATCHING AND ECO-TOURISM THE THREE PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY SOCIAL, ECONOMIC & ENVIRONMENTAL!FLOOD ABATEMENT IS JUST ONE OF MANY POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF THE MCRIDirect ResultsMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 17 Many portions of Marsh Creek are located within residential neighbourhoods and within easy walking distance of several public schools. Remediated and expanded wetlands would provide countless educational opportunities for local students and a chance for younger generations to develop a sense of stewardship toward invaluable wildlife habitats and their communitys green spaces. Improvements to wetland areas would also reinvigorate community links with the environment. Increased pedestrian and cycle trac would provide new business opportunities in commercial districts, while supplying existing businesses with increased walk-by advertising. Despite its negative image, Marsh Creek contains some of the most scenic and undeveloped natural areas within the City of Saint John, particularly in the medial and upstream sections. Restoration projects would include expansion of existing wetlands throughout the watershed, both in the lowlands and in the headwaters. These measures could contribute signi"cantly to a reduction of increasingly-frequent #ooding incidents. In addition, by taking advantage of the creeks linear con"guration, an essential component of the citys active transportation ambitions could become realised. This would directly link the Uptown business core with the citys east side and the suburban communities in the Kennebecasis Valley.RENFORTH BOG FORMS THE HEADWATERS OF MARSH CREEK AND IS LOCATED ADJACENT TO HIGHWAY 1 IN THE TOWN OF ROTHESAY. THE BOG IS A PRISTINE WETLAND HABITAT FOR LOCAL SPECIES SUCH AS WATERFOWL AND MOOSECOURTENAY BAY FOREBAYMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 18 Re-establishing Marsh Creek as a productive ecosystem for anadromous " shes would serve as one of the most substantial accomplishments of the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative. An enhanced and protected Marsh Creek would ensure a legacy of habitat for native # ora and fauna for future generations. As part of any wetland expansion, opportunities could also be created for increased carbon sequestration into plant biomass. COLD BROOK FLOODPLAIN ENHANCEMENT PROJECTCONSUMERS DRIVE WETLAND IS LOCATED ADJACENT TO MCALLISTER PLACE MALLMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 19 MEDIAL MARSH CREEK IS LOCATED BETWEEN ROTHESAY AVENUE AND HIGHWAY 1. THIS PORTION OF MARSH CREEK IS VISUALLY ISOLATED FROM THE SURROUNDING BUILT ENVIRONMENT, MAKING IT AN IDEAL URBAN SITE FOR WILDLIFE HABITAT AND NATURE TRAILSClimate Change AdaptationMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 20 A large portion of the Marsh Creek watershed exists within a low-lying basin (elevations ranging from 1 m 3 m above mean sea level in the lowest lying areas) that is subjected to annual episodes of #ooding. The Great Marsh (as it was formerly known) includes the residential area of Glen Falls, as well as Saint Johns busiest and most-developed commercial districts encompassing McAllister Drive, Majors Brook Drive, and Rothesay Avenue. The inter-tidal nature of Marsh Creeks lowest section has necessitated the placement of anti-#ood gates at its terminus beneath the Courtenay causeway. These gates help prevent the Bay of Fundy from back-#ooding Marsh Creek twice each day during its extreme high tide cycles. However, despite the appropriate intentions of installing tide gates on Marsh Creek, its risk of #ooding is likely to increase in future years due to (see Table 1 on next page); FLOOD EVENTS SUCH AS THIS ONE IN 2008 WILL ONLY INCREASE IN FREQUENCY AND SEVERITY AS THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE CONTINUE TO MOUNTRELIEF MAPPING OF THE MARSH CREEK WATERSHED CLEARLY SHOWS WHY FLOODING ON THE CITYS EAST SIDE HAS BEEN AN ONGOING ISSUE FOR CENTURIES. THE DARKER SHADING INDICATES ELEVATIONS CLOSE TO SEA LEVEL1. The continued de-vegetation of watershed slopes and increased impervious surfaces surrounding the #ood plain associated with urban and commercial developments. The loss of vegetation could increase the rate at which precipitation runo enters the #ood plain, thereby increasing the potential for higher creek volumes in a shorter period of time;2. The in-"lling of the Marsh Creek channel from sediments associated with construction activities and road/parking lot sanding operations (i.e. for winter ice conditions). A reduction in channel depth and/or width reduces the capacity for that channel to contain runo, thereby increasing the risk of water over#owing the banks (a.k.a. #ooding); 3. Crustal subsidence. The coastline of eastern Canada has been subsiding (i.e. sinking) at a rate of approximately 25 cm per century since glacial ice receded from the Canadian shield during the last ice age. Tide data collected from the Saint John Harbour con"rms that, since 1905 water levels in the Bay of Fundy have risen an average of 2 mm per year relative to our coastline. The continued subsidence of our coastal land will increase the length of time in which the tide gates on Marsh Creek will remain closed (during high tides) and decrease the time in which they are open. This reduction in time through which Marsh Creek can drain will increase the amount of time that runo may remain in its channel. Longer runo and retention periods increase the risk of total water volume exceeding the channels capacity, resulting in #ooding; 4. Climate change. Contemporary science predicts three climate change related eects that could increase the potential for #ooding in Marsh Creek. First, an increase in the amount of precipitation delivered during any single storm event could increase the risk of #ash #ooding in Marsh Creek. Secondly, storm surges could increase the height and/or duration of high tides in Saint John, causing A back-up of Marsh Creek as the tide gates remain closed for longer durations. Thirdly, a predicted global sea level rise of 0.40 cm over the next century, combined with a 0.20 cm relative sea level rise (from crustal subsidence) would also decrease the duration in which the tides gates could open to drain Marsh Creek. Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 21 As demonstrated, there is an increasing need for Saint John to incorporate adaptive strategies into its municipal and regional planning processes in order to mitigate the potential eects of climate change. Speci"cally, Saint John has been identi"ed as being a municipality at risk of increased #ooding and physical damage associated with sea-level rise and storm surge. The MCRI incorporates climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies by signi"cantly increasing the storm water storage capacity of existing wetlands, improving upon the existing tide gates on the Courtenay Causeway, and by building a network of active transportation routes to reduce carbon emissions from vehicle use.TABLE 1Future DirectionsMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 22 The concepts identi"ed through the development of the MCRI can be applied to other areas of Greater Saint John (and New Brunswick), providing a region-wide initiative that would provide enhanced bene"ts to the community. In order to make the project a success, work must continue on meeting with landowners and key stakeholders to maximise potential opportunities and outcomes. As working with all facets of the community is a key aspect of sustainability, this open dialogue will allow the community to take ownership in the project and begin to take pride in what Marsh Creek can become. By not limiting our expectations based on the errors of the past, we can not only envision a brighter future for Saint John, but actually make it a reality t h r o u g h c o -operation and sound planning.The work done to date on the MCRI is just the tip of the iceberg, and there exists dozens of other potential wetland projects throughout Saint John that have to be identi"ed and fully developed. Development of a comprehensive wetland functionality survey would allow potential developers to contribute to a holistic system of sustainable urban wetlands, rather than simply creating a patchwork of projects across the region. Such a survey would prioritise and package the projects in a manner which would allow the public, government regulators and developers alike to see not only where progress can be made toward an end goal, but to allow them to have complete access to information on the wetland size, water quality, aquatic and terrestrial habitat, and restorative potential.It is critical to continue to assist the City of Saint John with the renewal of its Municipal Plan to ensure the incorporation of key natural features and the recognition of wetlands as critical infrastructure.The implementation of sustainable development practices comprises the single greatest opportunity to re-invent Saint John since the post-war period. By establishing new municipal planning policies, revising business mandates, improving public consultation and taking stock of our natural capital, Saint John can become not only a more vibrant and liveable city, but it can begin to attract new residents and become a model for sensible and sustainable living throughout Canada and North America. By investing in sustainability today, were not only assuring that we enhance the ability of future generations to meet their needs, but we are also giving those future generations a better economic foundation on which to build, a better environment in which to live, and a better city to call their own. THE PLANNING OF A HEALTHY AND VIBRANT CITY MUST RECOGNISE THE VALUE THAT NATURAL AREAS BRING TO THE COMMUNITYIN THE SAINT JOHN OF THE FUTURE WETLANDS SUCH AS THE RENFORTH BOG WILL NOT ONLY BE AREAS OF GREAT BEAUTY, BUT ALSO FUNCTIONAL PARTS OF CITY INFRASTRUCTUREOpen HouseMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 23 In order to solicit public input on the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative and to better communicate the goals and aspirations of this ambitious sustainability project, ACAP Saint John held an Open House event on November 9th, 2009 at the Hilton Hotel/Saint John Trade & Convention Centre. The event was centred around two key aspects: an open presentation atmosphere between ACAP project sta and the pubic, and the completion of exit surveys which would allow the public and stakeholders to provide direct written input into the planning process. To better communicate the project, eight large format signs were designed and printed, each highlighting a speci"c aspect of the MCRI and focusing on conveying the sheer size and scope of such a large-scale restoration. Colourful site photos, concept designs, maps, and historical drawings were all included in the poster designs in order to give depth and substance to the Open House. In addition, these striking posters are now available to be seen in the ACAP Saint John oce, and members of the general public frequently stop into the oce to read, learn and discuss the promise that the Marsh Creek watershed holds for the city of Saint Johns rejuvenation. The content of the presentation was also placed on the ACAP Saint John website for global consumption and to facilitate discussion amongst a broader group of stakeholders.Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 24 POSTERS PRODUCED FOR THE MCRI OPEN HOUSE ON NOVEMBER 9, 2009Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 25 SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THE MCRI OPEN HOUSE Open House - Exit Survey ResponsesMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 26 Question 2: In your opinion, what was missing from the MCRI as presented today, and what issues would you like to see addressed as the initiative moves forward? 1. There will need to be a signi"cant commitment from community, business, government. This appears to be a grassroots community initiative which will require signi"cant shift in current policy to succeed. 2 HELP US! 3. "How to get involved" - a framework that helps business owners and proponents, get going toward a synergy with their current motives, and planners. - a list of ways that the public can help move this along. 4. More information for the people who live in that area. Bring the presentation to the Glen Falls School to let the people have more access to the information. 5. I think everything was addressed very well. All questions were answered. 6. Legend for maps. 7. A more holistic approach is needed. One needs to look at the city in its entirety and its future needs i.e. the eects climate change will have on all the city i.e. environment, economic, social, political and so on. To help the average citizen understand the urgency of climate change. It might help is you had maps that clearly show the eects sea level rise will have on the city showing the neighbourhoods infrastructure and community assets that will be endangered. 8, Nothing 9. Information on what "normal, typical, average, people can do to help. More info as the progression occurs, more info as the possibility of #ooding decreasing, more info as the changing of development of the Glen Falls area. Question 1: Was today's open house of value to you, and have you come away from the session with a better understanding of the proposed initiative ? 1. Yes 2. Help Us! 3. It is a wonderful, robust and elegant proposal. Best wishes and may it be successful - soon! 4. Yes, a good project and badly needed. 5. Yes 6. There was a lot for the overall "xing of the problem but what is there for the residents who live with the #ooding. There is no information on the children's school. They can't use their playground. No insurance coverage for #ooding, etc. 7. Absolutely, I think ACAP has clearly laid out their plan for the future of Marsh Creek and "nd it to be will thought our and attainable. 8. Yes 9. Yes 10. The panels were good as well as the interaction with sta. 11. Yes,. Good presentation material 12. Yes, enjoyed the posters and came away with a better understanding of the Marsh Creek area. 13. Yes, thank you. Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 27 Question 4: If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please write them in the space provided below. 1. Excellent presentation, knowledgeable individuals to answer questions. 2. Next open house should be held with the city of Saint John, proponents, the DOE and presenters telling how they are or are considering contributing to this. Another option for above suggestions is a workshop to collect success stories and challenges of achieving this vision. 3. The Renforth Bog plan looks good! Question 3: Would you support the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative as it was presented today? Please explain why of why not: 1. Yes, because it takes the realist approach to helping he environment. 2. Yes, 3. As a citizen I agree with this and would vote accordingly. 4. A conditional yes! My support of the proposal is dependent on if we as a society, a nation take action on climate change now! Also, if we as a society are faced with the choice of saving Marsh Creek or the downtown and our vulnerable communities I would have to say we must put the rest of our city ahead of Marsh Creek. 5. Yes, I feel their plan is well thought out and will bene"t Saint John residents in many ways ( environmental safety and stability, natural spaces for resident use etc. trails and marshes). 6. Yes, I want to save my home. 7. As it was presented today, this is a vision that I could certainly support. How to support it was not clear, and could use some additional coordination. 8. Yes, will be a valuable asset to this city by way of public spaces. 9. I believe it is a positive step that can move forward as a community/grassroots initiative. Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 28 A POIGNANT EXAMPLE OF THE RESPONSES GARNERED FROM THE COMMUNITY DURING ACAPS MARSH CREEK RESTORATION INITIATIVE OPEN HOUSESite LocationsMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 29 The following section outlines the location and geographic size of potential wetland remediation and/or expansion sites throughout the Marsh Creek watershed. All sites have been identi"ed and delineated based on the suitability of their location for collection of stormwater, the value they contribute to habitat, the placement of property ownership lines, their spatial signi"cance to social uses, their proximity to the Marsh Creek channel and its major tributaries, and the overall potential they hold as wetland areas for Greater Saint John. Each of the 27 project sites are marked by a number on the watershed map, and are then each given an individual highlighter map showing the precise location, size and delineation of their potential maximum project extent. The second watershed-area map shows potential trail routes that would serve as active transport and wildlife corridors between as many MCRI sites as possible while complimenting, not interfering with, current or proposed municipal infrastructure.Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 30 Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 31 1Courtenay Bay ForebayMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 32 Location: Central Saint JohnProject Area: 30.7 ha2Medial Marsh Creek [South]Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 33 Location: Near Rothesay AvenueProject Area: 15.9 ha3Medial Marsh Creek [North]Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 34 Location: Near Rothesay AvenueProject Area: 8.9 ha4Rockwood Cut Line MarshMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 35 Location: Rockwood ParkProject Area: 1.6 ha5Fen on Little Marsh CreekMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 36 Location: Adjacent to Hwy 1Project Area: 2.8 ha6Rothesay Avenue FloodplainMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 37 Location: Near Rothesay AveProject Area: 4.4 ha7Drurys PastureMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 38 Location: Ashburn Lake RoadProject Area: 21.9 ha8Drurys Pasture AdjunctMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 39 Location: On Rothesay RoadProject Area: minimum 0.8 ha9Upper Marsh Creek Lake [above earthen flood control dam]Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 40 Location: Glen FallsProject Area: 2.1 ha10Upper Marsh Creek Pond [above old concrete dam]Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 41 Location: Glen FallsProject Area: minimum 0.7 ha11Glen Road FenMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 42 Location: Glen FallsProject Area: 2.7 ha12Coldbrook FloodplainMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 43 Location: ColdbrookProject Area: 7.3 ha13Coldbrook Floodplain ExtensionMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 44 Location: Coldbrook Project Area: 6.3 ha14Braemar WetlandMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 45 Location: Near EPRProject Area: 5.3 ha15Majors Brook [corner of McAllister Drive and Westmorland road] Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 46 Location: Adjacent McAllister PlProject Area: 1.3 ha16Majors Brook Linear Marsh Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 47 Location: Behind Wal-MartProject Area: 1.4 ha17Consumers Drive MarshMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 48 Location: Behind McAllister PlProject Area: 4.8 ha18Majors PastureMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 49 Location: Along Rothesay AveProject Area: 6.9 ha19Three Mile FenMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 50 Location: Along Marsh CreekProject Area: 5.9 ha20Marsh Creek at Ashburn RoadMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 51 Location: Along Marsh CreekProject Area: 3.2 ha21Junction of Majors Brook and Marsh Creek Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 52 Location: Majors Br./Marsh Cr.Project Area: 1.4 ha22Ashburn Lake Road [West]Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 53 Location: Ashburn Lake RoadProject Area: 1.5 ha23Mystery Lake Marsh [upstream]Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 54 Location: Golden Grove AveProject Area: 5.6 ha24Kelly Lake SwampMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 55 Location: Golden Grove Ave.Project Area: 4.2 ha25Marsh Creek on the Glen Road Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 56 Location: Glen FallsProject Area: 2.8 ha26Renforth BogMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 57 Location: RothesayProject Area: 28.3 ha27Ashburn CreekMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 58 Location: Foster Thurston DriveProject Area: 1 haForebay Recommendations PaperMarsh Creek Restoration Initiative 59 Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 60 Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 61 Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 62 Marsh Creek MCRI final report 2009

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