Rabbit Brook is a tributary of Hall’s Creek. It has a sub-watershed area measuring approximately 29 km² and is a watercourse that is highly influenced by urbanization.
A physical habitat survey of this brook indicates that it is considerably degraded. Sediment deposition and siltation due to urban sprawl and development are major issues for the physical habitat of Rabbit Brook. The majority of the brook’s substrate is made up mainly of fine sediments, which is knee-deep in certain areas. This sediment originates from multiple sources, including bank erosion, storm sewer outlets, inadequate culvert installation, streambed modification and piping.
A number of obstructions are also associated with Rabbit Brook, and were most often caused by debris that had been discarded into the brook. Again these obstructions create large areas of sediment deposition that act similar to a settling pond. These areas can span hundreds of metres upstream. Numerous sewage cross connections around the Mapleton Road area have been identified when the storm sewer system is surcharged. Storm sewer outlets carry large amounts of sand and silt during rain events, as well as discharge raw sewage into rabbit Brook as an overflow measure. The City of Moncton has also used the stream’s buffer zone as a snow dump, only to let it melt during the spring instead of removing it.
Rabbit Brook is a typical urban stream that has been abused and taken advantage of during the past years. The Beaverbrook elementary school and a small group of local residents are fighting for its safekeeping and they have saved it many times against destruction to accommodate development. Even though the brook has suffered through the years, its flow remains strong. With some help this brook can become vibrant again.