The office has been abuzz lately as we get our 2023 field season underway. Spring is a very busy time for us at the PWA, with lots of preparations to make for a successful field season. It’s also one of the most exciting times of the year, when we finally get to put all our winter planning and dreaming into action!
Over the first week of May, Cris (Project Manager) and Shane (Project Leader) kicked off our water quality monitoring season with help from Ed (Data Analyst intern) and one of our star volunteers, César. Despite the cold, rainy weather this week, the team enjoyed getting back to our field work.
The first week of every month during our field season is always a big one with everyone on the team chipping in to collect and process all the water quality samples and have all of the equipment cleaned and ready each day. Our new Project Leader Kelcey made sure all the equipment got maintained while other staff were in the field, and I helped with our bacteria samples in the lab which for some reason is something that I always find fun to do!
Our bacteria samples in particular are very time-sensitive. They must be kept cold on the field, and processed right away once the field crew gets back to the office. Each sample is sealed with reagents into a container called a quanti-tray before being placed into the incubator for 24 hours. We then count the number of yellow cells (indicating the presence of bacteria) and those that glow under blacklight (indicating the presence of E.coli) to determine the most probable number (MPN) of each.
This month we are also running our 3rd annual No Mow May campaign. Learn more and get your lawn signs here! June we will be planting 2000 trees in Dieppe (contact us if you would like to come help out!)
Otherwise, we are busy putting together our workplans for the season while celebrating a variety of grant approvals and anxiously awaiting others. This year we will continue our longstanding Water Quality, Broken Brooks, and Water Guardian projects. You can learn more about those here! We are also building off of last year’s invasive phragmites work by helping to establish a regional working group with partner organizations to monitor its spread and creating some trial removal sites. If you would like to help with this work, you can start by submitting suspected phragmites stands on iNaturalist. An NB Invasive Species guide from the NB Invasive Species Council can be found here. will help you know what to look for. We are also working with the NB Agricultural Alliance to collect data to evaluate the capacity of different agricultural practices to make an impact on Canada’s climate change goals, as well as the implications of these practices on water quality.
It’s shaping up to be an exciting, action-packed field season at the PWA! If you would like to lend a hand, please reach out and add your name and email to our volunteer list! We love to see fellow residents taking a part in protecting this beautiful place we all call home. You can also follow our social media accounts for regular updates on what we get up to during the field season.