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Watershed News
August 2014

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Meet Volunteer 
Extraordinaire
James Dillman!

James was raised with an appreciation of the outdoors. Nature walks with his mom, frog catching and bird watching have always been a part of his life. James saw that the opportunity to get involved with SEAWA could allow him to have input into watershed and environment management. James has assisted at the Canada Day celebration, attended the Urban Riparian tour and gave  wetland watershed model demonstrations during his shifts at the SEAWA booth at 'Country in the City' during Stampede. He has learned a lot in his recent involvement and enjoys helping to educate the youth, share his passion and pass on an interest that will grow into the next generation.

 

Thanks James! 

Medicine Hat is a Community in Bloom
Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on enhancing green spaces in communities.
This past week, renowned judges visited our city for a whirlwind tour. Ted Clugston, Mayor of  Medicine Hat,  says, "Communities in Bloom has heightened the sense of pride in our community and we are very excited to be involved."
Read more about Medicine Hat as a CiB 2014 National Finalist here.
Tips for Watering the Garden in Hot Weather
  • Water vegetables two to three times a week.
  • Watch your garden for an indicator plant.
  • Avoid wetting plant leaves when you can.
  • Do what you can to keep water in the ground.
For the full article, click here.
Reconnect or 
Look us up!

SEAWA is gaining momentum with partners and collaborative activities. If you would like to connect with us, we are open to hearing your ideas!

Contact us through the website or visit the office at 1014 Allowance Avenue SE in Medicine Hat.
Click the title above for everything you need to know about getting outside for the month of August to capitalize on the remainder of the summer! You will find information like:

Project WET is an international, interdisciplinary, water education program for formal and non-formal educators of kindergarten to grade 12 and beyond, intended to supplement a school's existing curriculum.

The Program is grounded in well defined beliefs that are reflected in the materials and in training opportunities:

  • Water of sufficient quality and quantity is important for all water users (e.g., energy producers, farmers and ranchers, fish and wildlife, manufacturers, recreationists, rural and urban dwellers).
  • Sustainable water management is crucial for providing tomorrow's children with social and economic stability in a healthy environment.
  • Awareness of, and respect for, water resources can encourage a personal, lifelong commitment of responsibility and positive community participation.
To find out how Project WET Works, click here.
Urban Riparian Tour
July 9th, 2014

Cathy Linowski started the morning with a description of the protected area and the history of  Tiny Cryptanthe in the Ranchlands area.
Click for the link to CBC Article about this plant  (May 2014.)

Next, the group traveled to the river to visit the water testing site for a Trace Organic Project, led by Dr. Peter Wallis. He explained to the group thatt this particular study hopes to validate ELISA methodology and use it to determine contaminant concentration in water samples from the Medicine Hat area. The trace amounts found in water samples suggest good health and water quality of our watershed. This study, carried out by Hyperion Research Ltd. and the City of Medicine Hat with support from SEAWA, will act as a foundation for implementing policy, guidelines and regulations. 

The site visit at Ross Creek and Highway 41A was a good example of riparian areas nestled in a busy urban transportation network. Norine Ambrose pointed out the plant species and spoke about the life systems that are present and thriving in the midst of any urban center.

During lunch, Cam Jacques provided  information on the irrigation practices and improvements at the Medicine Hat Golf and Country Club, as well as the water license and processes that are part of golf course management. The participants were quite interested and everyone present learned something new. 

After a respite from the heat over lunch, we ventured outside again to the storm pond at Hull Way NE. This established, well planned pond sported diverse riparian activity and is a pleasure to behold. There was discussion on future urban development and pond projects.

The day ended with the last site; the  junction of Riverview Way and Altawana Drive. Norine facilitated a Riparian Health Assessment exercise for the participants and discussed how moving water affects both the natural and man-made components of the riverbank.

To check out the photo album of the Riparian Tour, click here (and LIKE the SEAWA Facebook page while you're there!)

Click here for the Prairie Post article as well as the CHAT TV article.

Thank you all for coming, the day was a success and we enjoyed hosting you and the speakers.

Environment and Sustainable Resource Development release the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan

Following three phases of consultation from November 2009 to February 2014, the Government of Alberta has released the final version of the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP). The SSRP is a forward-looking and comprehensive blueprint to ensure our continued success over the next 50 years.

You may view and download the SSRP at www.landuse.alberta.ca.

Some of the highlights of the SSRP include:

  • Eight new and expanded Conservation Areas on provincial Crown land including the 54,588 hectare Castle Wildland Provincial Park and the 34,356 Pekisko Heritage Rangeland.
  • An increase in tenure terms from 10 to 20 years for leaseholders with high-level stewardship management practices throughout any region where protection of intact native grasslands is needed.
  • Air and surface water quality management frameworks to help ensure negative trends are identified and assessed, and the environment remains healthy for residents and ecosystems.
  • Commitment to a Biodiversity Management Framework to support cumulative effects management of important elements of biodiversity that are affected by land uses in the region.
  • Regional trail system plan that will identify and designate winter and summer motorized, non-motorized and mixed-use land and water-based trails, routes, and areas that link communities, neighbourhoods, destinations and tourism areas.
  • Development of approaches to address the climate variability found in the region supporting flood risk management and drought management.
  • Endorsement of the Efficient Use of Land Principles and the release of the Efficient Use of Land Tools Compendium to encourage municipalities to minimize the amount of land taken up by the built environment.

Once effective, a regional plan is implemented as part of a larger integrated resource management system. All regional plans are reviewed every five and 10 years to evaluate its ongoing effectiveness and relevance to the region.

 

What others are saying about the SSRP:

Alberta Beef Producers

Alberta Wilderness Association

Article in the Cochrane Times

Medicine Hat News

 

Stay Tuned! Upcoming Events and Activities
Executive Director Posting will be advertised this month.

MHC Science Camp kids visit the SEAWA office, August 19th.

Shoreline Clean-up, September 21 at Kin Coulee. 

September is the start of the 'Back to School' schedule for Directors and committee members. Full meeting schedule resumes in the fall.
Join the Conversation
Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions you have about SEAWA, about land and water issues in the region, or about your personal connection to the watershed.
Get in Touch
Shanna Mohns
Communication Coordinator, SEAWA
shanna@seawa.ca