MEDIA RELEASE

Conservation Council welcomes investments to protect
health of people and ecosystem at Parlee Beach

Fredericton, May 5, 2017 — Today, the provincial government announced infrastructure investments and restrictions on new development specific to the Parlee Beach area. Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued the following statement.

“Today’s announcement is an important step to protect the health of our treasured Parlee Beach ecosystem and the families who swim and play there.

These investments, coupled with better impact assessment for new developments, including campgrounds, should speed up the repair of this valued beach ecosystem. Better sewage treatment, combined with smart education programs, will reduce harmful bacteria that can pollute our coast and jeopardize human health. Keeping our bays and beaches clean always pays off for our coastal economies.

Pollution from near shore developments on the Northumberland Strait, like campgrounds and roads,  won’t be solved by today’s announcement. The Conservation Council encourages the Minister of Environment to move the coastal zone protection policy from being a paper document to a regulation under the Clean Water Act, and to classify important bay areas to protect their health, like they currently do in Maine. Putting in place a comprehensive land use policy and much wider wetland and salt marsh buffer zones for the entire Northumberland Strait region would further safeguard public and environmental health.

Projects we will monitor closely with respect to Parlee Beach water quality include the cumulative effects assessment and protocols development (which will study the impact of the total pollution going into Shediac Bay, not just pollution from individual projects), and an independent ground survey of local wetlands to improve our understanding of their size and the ecological services these critical spaces provide.”

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Background

In April, the Conservation Council welcomed the provincial government’s decision to use Health Canada’s technical and science-based guidelines for beach water safety at Parlee Beach. The protocol includes daily water quality testing, seven days a week, with all monitoring results and public health advisories posted online for easy public access.

The province announced rules for notifying the public about water quality test results after it was revealed that high levels of fecal contamination in the water at Parlee Beach, including E. coli, went unreported for the past three summers.

Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) is bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick and can cause kidney failure, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia. When we discover E. coli in water, it usually has come from sewage runoffs, and animal faecal matter. That’s why health officials all over the world carefully monitor E. Coli and its different strains.

Health Canada has set safe limits for E. Coli in drinking water and E. coli in recreational waters. The number of faecal bacteria considered unsafe for recreational swimming varies depending on whether the bacteria is found in freshwater or saltwater. If tests find more than an average of 35 for every 100 millilitres (just a wee bit less than 1/2 cup), it is declared unsafe for all and the beach is closed.

To arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill
Communications Director
Conservation Council of New Brunswick
506-458-8747 | 506-238-3539
jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

News from Groups Archives

Action Alerts

Have your say on Draft Water Strategy!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017
by Conservation Council of New Brunswick
A Water Strategy for New Brunswick

On October 6, 2017, the department of Environment and Local Government released a draft water strategy for comments. The draft strategy is available on the government website. Comments can be submitted by email to: waterstrategy-strategiedeleau@gnb.ca or by mail to: Department of Environment and Local Government, Policy and Planning Division, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, N.B., E3B 5H1. Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2017.

In order to help groups with their submissions, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, in cooperation with watershed groups, has put together key elements of a watershed strategy and a sample letter to send to the Department.

Summary​ ​of​ ​8​ ​Key​ ​Elements​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Strong​ ​Water​ ​Protection​ ​Strategy

New​ ​Brunswick​ ​deserves​ ​a​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy​ ​that:
    1. is​​ ​​science-based;​ ​(involving​ ​baseline​ ​data,​ ​tracking​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​into​ ​consideration cumulative​ ​impacts,​ ​environmental​ ​flows)
    2. sets​ ​water​ ​quality​ ​standards​ ​within​ ​a​ ​working,​ ​legal​ ​mechanism;
    3. conserves​ ​all​ ​water​ ​within​ ​​watersheds​ ​including​ ​surface​ ​waters​ ​(lakes,​ ​streams,​ ​rivers) and​ ​groundwater,​ ​by​ ​developing​ ​good​ ​conservation​ ​plans,​ ​policies​ ​and​ ​practices,​ ​and uses​ ​the​ ​precautionary​ ​principle​ ​as​ ​a​ ​guiding,​ ​legally​ ​enforceable​ ​tool;
    4. protects​ ​our​ ​marine​ ​coastal​ ​areas​ ​in​ ​law;
    5. has​ ​a​ ​meaningful​ ​form​ ​of​ ​​co-governance​ ​with​ ​First​ ​Nations;
    6. includes​ ​the​ ​development,​ ​implementation​ ​and​ ​enforcement​ ​of​ ​watershed​ ​protection plans,​ ​developed​ ​in​ ​a​ ​transparent​ ​manner,​ ​involving​ ​government,​ ​businesses,​ ​watershed organizations,​ ​farmers,​ ​municipal​ ​officials,​ ​and​ ​citizens;
    7. is​ ​accountable,​ ​which​ ​includes​ ​ongoing​ ​monitoring​ ​and​ ​annual​ ​reporting​ ​to​ ​the​ ​public​ ​on the​ ​progress​ ​of​ ​goals​ ​and​ ​objectives​ ​outlined​ ​in​ ​the​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy;​ ​and,
    8. is​​ ​enforceable​ ​through​ ​a​ ​modern​ ​legal​ ​framework
Sample Letter
 My name is ______, and I am writing to express my support for a strong Water Strategy in New Brunswick.

I live near ______ OR I live in ___________ watershed

Describe your favourite spot to fish/swim/paddle etc.

Share your favourite water memory.

Clean, healthy water is important to me because _____________.

Have you recently experienced a boil water order? Blue-green algae? Extreme weather? Describe what is of concern to you.

I applaud the provincial government for moving forward on its commitment to protecting our water; however I believe the draft strategy does not go far enough to ensure healthy water for my watershed.

We need a water protection strategy that (Insert one or multiple key elements).

I am afraid that if left unattended, my watershed will face ongoing and increasing treats from (pollution, wetland and coastal estuary loss, loss of adequate environmental flow to sustain aquatic life, and increasing climate change impacts such as floods, droughts, and high temperatures.)

Please protect my watershed by implementing a strong water protection strategy with modern legislation that (note key element(s)) to ensure the health of our water and people.

Thank you,
Your name.

For more information, visit the CCNB's website.

Call for nominations for the NBEN Awards - 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017
by Annika Chiasson
Every day people and environmental groups take action to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment.  

Over this past year, who stands out in your mind? 

We invite you to nominate a group or individual deserving of one of the NBEN awards which will be presented in style at Eco-Confluence 2017.  Send an e-mail to nben@nben.ca describing your nominee’s work.  Nominees must be members or associates of the NBEN*.

Nomination deadline is September 13, 2017.

*Current NBEN Steering Committee members are not eligible for awards.