Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative Report, 2009

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  • Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative

    Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 1

    Graeme Stewart-Robertson

  • Executive Summary

    Marsh 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 6

    Disclaimer 7

    Restoration Master Plan 8

    Marsh Creek Overview 9

    New Opportunities 12

    A Vision for Marsh Creek 14

    A Model of Sustainable Development 16

    Direct Results 17

    Climate Change Adaptation 20

    Future Directions 21

    Open House 23

    Open House - Exit Survey Responses 26

    Site Locations 29

    Courtenay Bay 32

    Forebay 32

    Medial Marsh Creek 33

    [South] 33

    Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 3

  • Medial Marsh Creek 34

    [North] 34

    Rockwood Cut 35

    Line Marsh 35

    Fen on Little Marsh Creek 36

    Rothesay Avenue 37

    Floodplain 37

    Drurys Pasture 38

    Drurys Pasture Adjunct 39

    Upper Marsh Creek Lake [above earthen 40

    #ood control dam] 40

    Upper Marsh Creek Pond [above old 41

    concrete dam] 41

    Glen Road Fen 42

    Coldbrook Floodplain 43

    Coldbrook Floodplain 44

    Extension 44

    Braemar Wetland 45

    Majors Brook [corner of 46

    Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 4

  • McAllister Drive and 46

    Westmorland road] 46

    Majors Brook Linear Marsh 47

    Consumers Drive Marsh 48

    Majors Pasture 49

    Three Mile Fen 50

    Marsh Creek at Ashburn Road 51

    Junction of Majors Brook 52

    and Marsh 52

    Creek 52

    Ashburn Lake Road [West] 53

    Mystery Lake Marsh [upstream] 54

    Kelly Lake Swamp 55

    Marsh Creek on the Glen Road 56

    Renforth Bog 57

    Ashburn Creek 58

    Forebay Recommendations Paper 59

    Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 5

  • Acknowledgements

    Marsh 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.

  • Disclaimer

    Marsh 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 Plan

    Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative 8

  • Marsh Creek Overview

    Marsh 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

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