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Watershed News
January 2015

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Happy New Year
On the road to success, the rule is, always to look ahead. May you reach your destination and may the journey be wonderful in all things for which you've set your course.
World Wetlands Day

They purify and replenish our water and provide the fish and rice that feed billions. Wetlands act as a natural sponge against flooding and drought, and protect our coastlines. They burst with biodiversity and are a vital means of storing carbon.Unfortunately, these benefits are not widely known. Often viewed as wasteland, 64% of wetlands have disappeared since 1900.World Wetlands Day 2015  is February 2nd. Visit the website to see how you can get involved.

For teachers, organizers, or any wetland enthusiast click the link to find

everything you need to get your World Wetlands Day activity rolling; logos, hand-outs, posters and more.

Youth, take a picture in a wetland location between 2 February and 2 March 2015 for a chance to win a free flight to a wetland location anywhere in the world. Open to those aged 15-24 years.

Copy Works Connection

This new publication is the latest creation brought to you through Copy Works Design and Gifts. By utilizing over twelve years of experience in designing and publishing both newsletters and magazines, Copy Works Design and Gifts is now redirecting the focus back into the community.Each month, Copy Works Connection will feature one local business and the people who are the essence behind that business. SEAWA will be in the January and February editions, so be sure to pick up a copy!

For an on-line edition, click here.

Environmentally Friendly Road Salt Alternatives

Keeping ice and snow off your driveway and sidewalks is important for safety. Most homeowners, churches, schools, and small business use salt, sand, or another product for deicing purposes. These substances almost always end up polluting water resources and compromising environmental health. Consider using a product that is less damaging to the environment on your driveway, walkway, and sidewalks.

For more on this, follow the link.

What are the environmental concerns associated with road salts?

In August 2000, Environment Canada completed a five-year study of the effects of road salt on the environment. They concluded that road salts are toxic to the environment, particularly in large concentrations. In the United States, de-icing salt is considered a possible pollutant under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Up-cycled Bird Feeder

In much of North America, winter can be a difficult time for birds. The days are short, the natural food supply has been consumed or is hidden by snow, and most insects are dead or dormant. 


If you would like to help your local feathered population get through the winter here is a simple way to do it!

Medicine Hat Christmas Tree Recycling


Hatters with a natural Christmas tree can now bring the trees to one of three drop-off locations in the city. The Medicine Hat Mall, the Kipling Street Recycling Depot and the recycling bins near Shamrock bottle depot are set up to take in trees to be recycled.


The trees should be free of all decorations and ornaments before being recycled.

In addition, the city landfill is a location where Hatters can drop off both natural and artificial trees. The landfill is open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Connect, Strengthen 
and Expand
SEAWA is gaining momentum with partners and collaborative activities. If you know of a group, business or individual who has a common interest with us, please forward this newsletter on to them!

Contact us through the
website or visit the office at 1014 Allowance Avenue SE in Medicine Hat.

Meet Craig Marshall, SEAWA's New Executive Director


The  arrival of the new calendar year means that the time has come for SEAWA to bid Maggie Romuld a fond farewell in her role as Executive Director. She has led the organization superbly since her interim assignment began in November of 2013, and had worked closely with SEAWA for several years prior. Maggie gives a resounding endorsement of Craig as the new SEAWA Executive Director and looks forward to some personal adventures of her own. Craig shares a bit about himself:

     "I grew up in small town Leader, SK where I gained my appreciation for the prairies and grew my prairie roots. As a child and teenager, my family spent a lot of time at our cabin in Cypress Hills Inter-provincial Park, SK where I further cultivated my appreciation for nature and the outdoors.

     During my late teens and early twenties, I spent a number of summer seasons working as a forest firefighter in Cypress Hills, SK. Working with Saskatchewan Environment, I was also involved with renewable resource management projects, such as forest health surveys, forest management planning, tree planting, weed control, and prescribed burning.

     During part of the time period that I worked at Cypress Hills I completed a Diploma with Honours in Fitness and Lifestyle Promotion through Medicine Hat College. Despite have a strong interest in the fitness field, my time working at Cypress Hills led me to form a keen interest in working in the environmental science and renewable resource management fields and I saw a brighter future in that path. In 2005, I went back to college to obtain my Diploma with Honours in Environmental Assessment and Restoration through a joint program offered by MHC and Lethbridge College.

     My first real introduction to the environmental profession was as a seasonal Environmental Technician with O'Connor Associates Environmental Consulting between college years, where I spent the majority of my time conducting groundwater monitoring and other sampling at contaminated sites across southeast Alberta.

     After completing my environmental science schooling in 2007, I joined Alberta Environment as a temporary Compliance Inspector/Environmental Protection Officer based in Medicine Hat. My primary duties involved completing reclamation certificate reviews and field audits and responding to public inquiries and complaints.

     Although my time with Alberta Environment was a good experience, I was in a temporary role there and felt like I needed more "dirt on my boots" before working as a regulator. In late 2007, I made the move to an environmental consulting firm with a field office in Medicine Hat that specialized in pre-disturbance environmental planning. With this company I was an Environmental Technician and Environmental Planner completing desktop work (project management, desktop environmental screening, report writing) and field work (reclamation assessments, vegetation surveys, weed surveys, wetland assessments, environmental sensitivities identification) for projects such as pipelines, power lines, and drilling programs.

     Most recently I have been working with Methanex Corporation in Medicine Hat where I worked primarily as the site Environmental Advisor, although I spent approximately a year in a temporary promotion as the Environmental Permitting Advisor on a new-build feasibility project team. As the site Environmental Advisor, I managed all of the environmental programs at the site which included extensive environmental monitoring, reporting, permitting, and dealing with non-routine environmental issues. To accomplish these objectives, I facilitated and managed projects involving diverse teams of internal and external personnel.

     While at Methanex, I also became heavily involved with the local, non-profit Palliser Airshed Society as a Board Member and serving on multiple committees. I continue to be involved with the Palliser Airshed Society through my current involvement with its Technical Advisory Committee.

    In February of 2015, I will be continuing my educational pursuits through distance education with Royal Roads University where I will working towards the completion of a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with an environmental/sustainability and leadership focus.

     I am thoroughly looking forward to joining SEAWA and coming back to working with my true passion in environmental science, which has always been the field of biology. As well, I relish the opportunity to continue to develop as an environmental professional and program facilitator. I am very enthusiastic about the objectives of SEAWA and I truly look forward to furthering the mission and vision of the organization."


The board, staff and members also anticipate Craig's input and expertise  as he leads SEAWA into a fresh, new year!

Hot off the virtual press, the Guide to Watershed Management Planning in Alberta, provides a guide of best practices and resources for watershed management planning to Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils and stewardship groups (like SEAWA!) This document will become paramount to SEAWA and other advisory councils, as they further develop their area's integrated management plans.

Support material, like this guide, and other publications are organized under the following categories: watershed management, state of the watershed reporting and assessing environmental performance.

Watershed Management

  • Alberta Water Council Recommendations for a Watershed Management Planning Framework for Alberta (2008)
  • In their report the Alberta Water Council provides twelve recommendations to improve watershed management in Alberta by developing a framework to integrate shared governance and a watershed approach into the existing policy and legislation.
  • Enabling Partnerships
    A framework supporting Water for Life that describes how landowners, communities, organizations, industry, and governments can get involved in timely and effective actions for the sustainable management of Alberta's watersheds.
  • Framework for Water Management Planning
    A reference guide outlining the process for water management planning and the components required for water management plans in Alberta. The framework provides general guidance for a consistent approach to water management planning.
  • Glossary of Terms Related to Watershed Management in Alberta
    An easy-to-follow glossary of common terms directly associated with water and watershed management in Alberta. The glossary serves as a tool and reference for Water for Life partnerships and working groups.
For the comprehensive category descriptions and resource links, visit ESRD by following this link.
People often have the passion to take personal action on an issue of concern but are unsure of how to get started and what to do. You're a volunteer who is passionate about a cause. How do you make sense of it all?


Stewardship Toolbox

While there is a lot more detail you'll need to consider once you get underway, sometimes keeping it simple is the best approach to getting things off the ground. The Stewardship Toolbox offers ten steps to help you plan, organize and sustain your community stewardship group.Click here for your electronic guide.


Already have your stewardship group up and running? This guide can also help if you're looking to refocus your vision, reorganize your group's activities or reinvigorate your membership.


Youth, what can you do to improve your watershed?  Independently, or as a team of no more than four, identify an environmental concern that impacts your watershed. Come up with a realistic solution to address the concern and submit your entry no later than Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Research your idea and explain it in a 1,000 word proposal. Guidelines can be found at this website. Ten finalists will be selected and mentored to prepare a five minute verbal presentation. You can win rewards for yourself and your school!

Having access to valuable information and resources is an important part in helping you become a good steward. Learn how you can get involved and stay in touch with SEAWA, who can assist with your inquiries.

Explore Alberta's local and international resources, learn more about its industries, and see why Alberta is such an exciting place to live.

Our province (*link)

The basics about Alberta's communities, climate, geography and more.

Help for employers (*link)

Information, tools and resources to help you find, attract and retain the workforce you need.


Take some time to explore this rich website and find interesting facts about Alberta culture, geography, the economy and much more! For example, did you know that compared to the average cost of living in Canada, Alberta is the only province with no provincial sales tax, the lowest tax on gasoline and among the lowest property taxes in Canada?

Stay Tuned! Upcoming Events and Activities
Joint Steering and Technical Committee Meeting, January 8th, Medicine Hat College
Board of Director Meeting, January 15th, Environmental Utilities
Sunshine Home and Garden Trade Show, Feb 27 - March 1, 2015
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 Manager, SEAWA