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NB Wetland Conservation Policy: 

NB Wetland Conservation Policy Christie Clark UNB Graduate Candidate


Introduction Status of Wetlands in Canada and New Brunswick Wetland Functions and Values Wetland Policy and Regulations Wetland Research


Wetlands Wetlands are the most productive of any natural ecosystem in Canada and among the most threatened habitats in the world due to drainage, pollution and urbanization.

Wetland Characteristics: 

Wetland Characteristics Wetlands are comprised of three characteristics: an area of land that is permanently or periodically saturated with water; hydric or wet soil vegetation that has adapted to water or saturated conditions. Five wetland classes: bog, fen, marsh, swamp, and shallow open water

Wetland Conservation: 

Wetland Conservation As guardian of this global ecological patrimony, Canada should be a leader in wetland protection. Instead losses are still occurring. At the landscape level, wetlands have often been considered places that needed to be transformed so that they would become useful. They were drained, filled-in or built around. Attitudes and interests in wetland conservation have changed over the past few decades, wetlands are seen as assets both within and outside of urban areas.

Wetland Values and Functions: 

Wetland Values and Functions Wetlands are typically the biological reservoirs in grassland, forested and arctic landscapes, and coastal areas, hosting and sustaining many of the country’s natural assets such as plants, birds, insects, and mammals. They also sustain the mainstay physical resources, such as water and soils. In an overarching capacity, the combined biophysical properties of wetlands are the life networks and homes for many wildlife species.

Wetland Values & Functions: 

Wetland Values & Functions support habitat for a wide range of species and provide for great aesthetic and educational opportunities. act as a natural sponge as they soak up rainwater and slowly release it to surrounding forests and aquifers that eventually feed our drinking wells. A wetland that is 1 hectare in size with 30 cm of water would hold approximately 3 million litres of water

Replacing Lost Wetland Functions: 

Replacing Lost Wetland Functions

NB Wetlands: 

NB Wetlands 25% of the world’s wetlands are found in Canada, 10% of which are located in the Eastern Provinces and covers 4% of NB’s land base. Of these 300,000 hectares, 97% are inland while the remaining 3% are coastal wetlands. New Brunswick has lost 65% of its coastal marshes due to residential or commercial purposes.

NB Wetlands Conservation Policy: 

NB Wetlands Conservation Policy The responsibility for managing and protecting wetlands in New Brunswick rests primarily with the Departments of Environment (DENV) and Natural Resources (DNR). DENV is responsible for the legislation that provides protection for wetlands, namely the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation (EIA), Clean Environment Act and the Watercourse and Wetland Alteration Regulation (WAWA), Clean Water Act.

NB Wetlands Conservation Policy: 

NB Wetlands Conservation Policy To effectively manage and conserve wetlands, NB Provincial Government developed a Wetlands Conservation Policy. The Policy was approved in 2002 and has two main objectives: maintenance of wetland function; and stewardship, securement, education and awareness.


POLICY STATEMENTS The Government of New Brunswick will: Prevent the loss of Provincially Significant Wetland habitat and achieve the goal of no net loss of wetland function for all other wetlands. (Note: All coastal marshes are considered Provincially Significant under this policy, and will receive the highest degree of protection.); Promote and develop wetlands education and awareness programs and supporting materials; Promote stewardship and securement of wetlands through enhanced cooperation among local, municipal, provincial and federal governments and private sector stakeholders.

Environmental Impact Assessment: 

Environmental Impact Assessment The regulatory mechanisms for development review of the NB Wetland Conservation Policy is provided by the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (EIA). EIA is a process through which socio-economic and environmental impacts potentially resulting from a proposed project are identified and assessed. EIA is a planning tool which is used when a proponent (any individual, firm or government agency), proposes a project in New Brunswick that falls under Schedule A of the EIA registration document.

Environmental Impact Assessment: 

Environmental Impact Assessment The trigger for any project involving wetlands is (v) all enterprises, activities, projects, structures, works or programs affecting two hectares or more of bog, marsh, swamp or other wetland (the project must be registered under EIA). Once the project is registered it is reviewed by a technical committee who comments on any conditions or permits that may be required for the project to proceed Once the technical review committee completes its review the project is either determined, determined with conditions, or denied. A condition of a determined project affecting a 2 hectare or more wetland could involve the submission of a Compensation/Mitigation plan.

Wetland Alteration Permit: 

Wetland Alteration Permit The Department of the Environment administers the Watercourse and Wetland Alteration Regulation permit program. The basis of this regulation is that Wetlands throughout the Province (including coastal marshes) are considered watercourses and any person working within 30 metres of a 1 hectare wetland or greater is required to obtain a permit prior to any activities (i.e. vegetation clearing, soil excavation, construction or landscaping)


Mitigation/Compensation Mitigation is a process for achieving wetland conservation through the application of alternatives, including: avoidance of impacts minimization of unavoidable impacts, and compensation (should be viewed as the last resort) Suggested compensatory mitigation ratios by mitigation type: (Mitigation ratios based on area of compensation required for each hectare of impacted wetland) Restoration 2:1 Enhancement 4:1 Creation 3:1 Preservation 10:1 combined with restoration, enhancement, or creation.

NB Coastal Areas Policy: 

NB Coastal Areas Policy The NB Wetland Policy is complemented by New Brunswick’s Coastal Areas Protection Policy (CAPP) This policy recognizes salt marshes as coastal features, and highly restricts development in salt marshes or within a 30-metre buffer. The CAPP prevents development by zoning coastal features and the areas around them, and so its successful implementation will require cooperation from municipalities.

City of Fredericton: 

City of Fredericton Very few wetlands remain within the City of Fredericton; therefore conservation is extremely important. We are very fortunate to have large wetlands in uptown Fredericton (Regent Bog and Corbett Brook headwaters) which aid in our city’s flood protection

Graduate Research: 

Graduate Research Evaluating the New Brunswick Wetland Conservation Policy Case studies within the City of Fredericton Comparative analysis of projects registered with DENV through the EIA or WAWA processes. How many approved, denied, avoided and what were the conditions

A Request:: 

A Request: I would be interested in speaking with everyone and learning of your experiences while working with wetlands. If you would be interested in participating in a focus group or semi-structured interview please let me know.


Questions and comments? Contact: Christie Clark 452.6106

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