St. John River – restoring this complex system requires a holistic view and long-term commitment

By Simon J. Mitchell

NB Power’s recent announcement that the Mactaquac Dam is to be refurbished, rebuilt or decommissioned has provided a new timeline under which we can collectively imagine the future of the St. John River.  It is a catalyst along with a number of other known issues, which were identified by the Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI) in The Saint John River: A State of the Environment Report, for a discussion on the future health of the St. John River system.

The goal of WWF-Canada’s Living Rivers initiative is to help protect and restore river health across the country. Projects under the initiative are underway in a number of watersheds across Canada, including the Skeena, Athabasca, St. Lawrence and St. John rivers. Our work is ecosystem and science based, rather than issue specific.  The St. John River is the latest project under the Living Rivers initiative; we decided to focus our efforts on the St. John because we see a real opportunity to play a part in shaping the future of the river and to share this wonderful story with others in the region and others across this river nation who are struggling with many of the same complex issues.

(C)  Robert Rangeley- WWF Canada

We believe that to have robust solutions to protecting and restoring river health requires reasoned and ongoing dialogue among governments, industry, NGOs and communities that is informed and guided by the best science we have or can generate.  This is exactly why we engaged in the November 2011 community tour along the St. John River, where we heard a range of concerns, from various perspectives, related to a number of issues in the watershed.  Our engagement in the St. John River means listening and working with all interested parties along the river to address its health, and ultimately providing science and community based input into the decision making processes that will shape the future of the dam and the river.  This won’t be an easy task and there will be some difficult times ahead as we move through this process. We recognize that there are a range of options related to the future of the Mactaquac Dam, and that the best option is the one that improves the health of the river and the communities that depend on it.

Thankfully, we have some time on our side. With a strong science basis and plenty of engagement, we can collectively develop robust solutions to move the St. John River further along its restoration trajectory.    It is our commitment to the watershed community and to the river that we will continue to engage with those who are interested in contributing to this effort towards a positive future for the river, its people and nature.

(C)  Robert Rangeley- WWF Canada


Donate Naturally – Grocery shop and donate from your own home

Support WWF- Canada’s conservation work by making every day activities make a difference – including grocery shopping!

Now, shop for all of your favorite natural & organic grocery and household items delivered conveniently to your front door via a low emission diesel run delivery vehicle.

With every purchase, 15% of the value of your order goes to WWF-Canada’s vital efforts to create solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet today. 

You are not charged an additional 15% on top of your order and items are competitive with those at your local store. You already shop for your groceries on a weekly basis anyway, so why not raise money for an important cause while you do so?

Try it, you’ll be surprised how easy and convenient it is to fundraise while you shop. 

Donate Naturally is an an online retailer of healthy and organic groceries, personal and household products, and supplements. Donate Naturally sells everything from fresh organic dairy, fresh baked cookies and breads, fruit and veggie bins, to cereal, laundry detergent, multi−vitamins and skin cream – all with one caveat – it has to be good for you and your family. They do not list products with harmful chemicals or toxins (see their No/No List). These are “mom−approved” brands you can trust, conveniently delivered right to your front door, with a 15% donation to WWF-Canada on every item.

Also, Donate Naturally delivers in the Mercedes Sprinter Van which uses BlueTECH diesel technology, a class leading low emission diesel engine!

Fundraise for WWF-Canada while you shop and see your donation grow and grow and grow over the course of the year!