Wasauksing First Nation
Aquatic Monitoring Program
Wasauksing First Nation citizens have long been concerned with potential impacts on native fish populations and fish habitat throughout the Eastern Georgian Bay region in relation to historic industrial activities and present-day activities including commercial fishery development (e.g., aquaculture), and marinas. SVS was hired to support the three-phase project. Phase 1 was a planning phase including community engagement to gather traditional knowledge of local fish species and critical habitat, understand community concerns of impacts to traditional fisheries and identify areas for future fish and fish habitat monitoring. Phase 2 was to develop an Aquatic Monitoring Program (AMP) incorporating culture and language to implement Strategy 1 of the Surface Water and Wetlands Environmental Stewardship Guideline in Wasauksing’s Environmental Management Plan. And finally, Phase 3 included the training of community monitors in fish and fish habitat, procuring field equipment and data analysis for year one.
SVS prioritized tools and deliverables that will support Wasauksing to implement a sustainable monitoring program for future years by creating a series of one-page field guides that can be referenced on-the-water by Wasauksing staff and citizens that help distill the processes identified in the Plan. SVS also developed a data collection app for mobile phones and tablets to empower Wasauksing citizens to share their knowledge and experience on the water to help inform their AMP beyond the initial community engagement. Following the project, Wasauksing will have the Program, processes, tools, equipment and training to carry-out the Aquatic Monitoring Program to protect the nibiish (water), and all life it supports, for generations to come.
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