Wednesday 7 December 2022

SAM Newsletter #36: Winter 2022


Barbour Heritage Living Village in the Town of New-Wes-Valley

2022 Fall Meeting - New-Wes-Valley, NL

Thank you to the Town of New-Wes-Valley municipal staff, Mayor and Town Councillors for being such amazing hosts for our 2022 Fall Meeting! We are grateful for all your efforts in organizing and delivering a wonderful meeting, and your support and participation was really appreciated. We had great weather, lots of municipal engagement, and stimulating takeaways. We would also like to thank each of the representatives for coming and participating in the SAM Meeting. Looking forward to seeing you all at our next meeting in the spring!
SAM Fall Meeting attendees in the Town of New-Wes-Valley
We would like to thank all of those below who helped contribute:
SAM Fall Meeting attendees visiting Cape Freels and meeting in the Town of New-Wes-Valley

SAM Environmental Steward Award Winner!

Congratulations to Linda Bailet, the first winner of SAM's newly re-designed Environmental Steward Award! At the SAM Fall Meeting in Town of New-Wes-Valley, we were pleased to present Linda with the 2022 Individual Community Champion Award!

This award recognizes an individual’s significant initiative or achievement in environmental stewardship in Newfoundland and Labrador. This individual’s actions will have had a positive environmental impact, proving to be a key force in conserving the environment. This Champion Award recognizes an individual’s contributions to environmental sustainability, bringing us one step closer to a greener future.

Linda Bailet with her SAM Individual Champion Environmental Steward Award at the SAM Fall Meeting in the Town of New-Wes-Valley
Linda is a retired science and biology teacher from the Town of Carmanville who has been involved with many volunteer activities over the years, both at local and provincial levels, and is an avid gardener, birdwatcher, and outdoors person. Linda was involved with the Carmanville Habitat Committee Inc, which operates and manages the Carmanville Wetland Interpretation Centre and its extensive Nature Trails. The Town of Carmanville has been a long time member of SAM and the wetlands associated with the Interpretation Centre and Trails form an important part of its Municipal Habitat Conservation Agreement. ​Linda also served on Carmanville Town Council for two terms. It was during this time that Linda attended her first SAM meeting in 2011. Linda was elected as SAM Vice-President in 2012, a role she held until 2015 and was subsequently elected as SAM President until 2017. During her time as President, SAM grew immensely in membership and in organizational capacity to implement its mandate through the hiring of staff.
Congratulations Linda on your well-deserved award! SAM is grateful for your contributions to our organization.

What's Going on in the Codroy Valley?

In 1987, the Grand Codroy Estuary was designated as a wetland of international significance recognizing its importance to waterfowl and other wildlife. The Habitat Conservation Plan for the estuary recommends ongoing monitoring of the habitat and wildlife as one important aspect of ongoing conservation efforts.
Since 2019, SAM, with the support of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), has conducted annual trapping in the Grand Codroy Estuary to detect the possible presence of the invasive European Green Crab which can have a negative impact on the ecosystem when found in large numbers. While our results to date have confirmed the presence of Green Crab in the estuary, populations appear to be remain at low numbers. Trapped crabs have been found in the more salty/brackish waters near the mouth of the estuary (near Searston Beach), rather than upstream where water is less saline.
SAM Conservation Biologist Ashley deploying Green Crab Traps in the Grand Codroy Estuary
This year, SAM Conservation Biologist Ashley, along with Jennifer Sullivan from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), again deployed traps to catch green crab that might be in estuary over two days in mid-September. Results were similar to past years and to date, it appears that green crab populations have not significantly expanded. It remains important to continue to monitor European Green Crab in the estuary to detect any changes in distribution, or abundance.
Jennifer of the NCC checking the Green Crab Traps
It is important to monitor European Green Crab in this area for any changes in distribution, or significant increases in the number of crabs found. Physical changes to the mouth of the estuary that allow upstream waters to become more saline, for example, could increase crab distribution farther from the mouth of the estuary since this would be more suited for their survival, and have impact on the wildlife upstream.
Jennifer (NCC) also assisted Ashley in conducting some waterfowl monitoring. Following our monitoring protocol, they visited a number of monitoring sites and recorded the species observed. They were lucky enough to spot some Sandhill Crane stopping over in a wetland as well as many Canada Geese and American Black Duck.
Trapped Green Crab from the Grand Codroy Estuary
 Also, as part of waterfowl monitoring efforts in the Codroy Valley, Ashley went to the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in Corner Brook this fall to present to the Fish and Wildlife Technician students who would later travel to the Codroy area to conduct their own waterfowl surveys. Ashley introduced the concepts and principles of waterfowl monitoring to the students, as well as summarizing some of the stewardship history of the communities that surround the Grand Codroy Estuary.
Later in the fall, Ashley and staff of the Wildlife Division met with Executive of the Codroy Valley Area Development Association to explore potential partnerships on conserving the estuary for the benefit of the community and visitors. We look forward to continuing this partnership.
A big thanks to all partners who supported these projects, including the NCCDFO, and CNA!

SAM Returns to the Barrens

It had been almost a year since SAM visited the municipalities along the Northwestern coast of Bonavista Bay; New-Wes-ValleyIndian BayCentreville-Wareham-Trinity and Carmanville further along. SAM Conservation Biologist Zach had an opportunity to return to the Oceanic Barren Ecozone in September of 2022, once again experiencing this unique and captivating landscape.
SAM's Conservation Biologist Zach with IBEC's Senior Project Coordinator Kaylene Stagg in Cape Freels
While in the area, Zach met with a very engaging and supportive New-Wes-Valley council to discuss their conservation needs. He went to Carmanville to see the wonderful  Carmanville Wetland Interpretation Centre and Trails and the great work of the Carmanville Habitat Committee Inc, and helped their staff plant Black and White spruce seedlings in a windfall area and install bird nest boxes along the trail. Zach spent a day in Cape Freels with the welcoming familiar face of Senior Project Coordinator Kaylene Stagg of Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation (IBEC), conducting a shorebird survey and an assessment of sensitive vegetation within the Cape. Zach had another great engagement session with some members of the Centreville-Wareham-Trinity town council and left some spruce tree saplings and nest boxes for them to install in their beautiful Black Brook Park. To cap it all off, Zach had a terrific day celebrating conservation at Centreville Academy, delivering an Atlantic Salmon presentation, a Wetland 101 presentation, and a taxidermy ‘show and tell’ with some outdoor play to about sixty students.
Zach presenting to students at Centreville Academy in the Town of Centreville-Wareham-Trinity
It seems to be that whenever we visit with SAM member municipalities, we usually come away with the same sentiment of gratitude. Grateful for the efforts of the municipal leaders and staff for continuing to protect their important wildlife habitat. Grateful for the people who welcome us into their community and show us their special places. Grateful for the amazing province we get to call home and the hospitality wherever we are.
Educational Outreach and
Community Opportunities
Did you know that SAM provides free outreach and educational programming to all ages, on a variety of topics (Wetlands, Forests and Salmon)? Find our educational programming on our website! This year alone we have engaged over 1000 people across the province!
We have engaged with: Elementary and High Schools (K-12), Girl Guide Groups (from Sparks to Trefoil!), Scouts (of all ages), College students, public events such as 'Family Fun Days' at Salmonier Nature Park, community events like clean-ups, and more!
Outreach in the outdoors, no matter the weather!
Winter is the perfect time to get outdoors! It provides an opportunity to see some of the birds who overwinter in our province, observe the tracks of many different types of wildlife, or to enjoy the snow with winter activities like snowshoeing! Please reach out to Karleena at for more information on SAM programming for your municipality or group!
Families participating in the Youth Christmas Bird Count in the Town of Corner Brook
Guest Feature: Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation (IBEC)
Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation (IBEC), based in the Town of Indian Bay (a SAM member since 2016), is a strong supporter of SAM and its environmental work throughout the province. With over 34 years of protecting the Indian Bay Watershed and surrounding areas, while completing over 150 various environmental projects, some with SAM partnership, IBEC knows a thing or two about sound stewardship practices.
IBEC has worked on several projects in 2022:
Our Community-Nominated Priority Places for Species at Risk (CNPP) Project, Conserving and Understanding the Species at Risk of Cape Freels, regarding the study of human behaviour and how it affects Species at Risk, was to conclude in March of 2023, however it has been extended for another three years. This project collects data on all types of birds found in the area (shorebirds, waterfowl, seabirds, and birds of pray), negative and positive behaviours of humans, interaction with tourist and locals, cleanups of the beaches, and has a strong focus on outreach to youth.
IBEC's Senior Project Coordinator Kaylene Stagg holding a Leach’s Storm-Petrel (LESP) in Cape Freels
IBEC was contracted to conduct additional research in Cape Freels, in respect to Leach’s Storm-Petrel (LESP) behaviour, involving the reasons behind its high mortality rate, and determining what predators are involved in its predation. That contract involved dozens of night shifts, surveying specific areas well after midnight (LESP are only observed from 10pm onward most nights during the Summer). Senior Project Coordinator Kaylene Stagg has taken a leading roll in IBEC’s work in the Cape Freels area.
Our EcoAction project related to erosion control along the Indian Bay River, entered its second year, with another year of funding scheduled for 2023. Three rock walls were installed, and 2,000 White Spruce seedlings were planted to assist with bank stabilization efforts along the shoreline where erosion has washed away large amounts of sediment. The above projects have been funded through Environment and Climate Change Canada.
IBEC's Director Darren Sheppard conducting field work in Cape Freels
Northwest Brook Revival was funded through the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation (ASCF), which involved removal of debris from the schedule Salmon river, checking on and repairing in- stream structures that were put in place in 2015, while providing a presence on the river, especially in hard-to-reach locations. And we were involved in the Aquatic Conductivity Assessment program for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), our fourth year checking on culverts and bridges throughout Bonavista North, to determine if barriers are blocking fish passageways, especially for Salmon. Executive Director Darren Sheppard is the trainer for this program, traveling throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, providing insight over protocols and techniques and proper usage of surveying equipment used for this type of work, to Indigenous groups and other environmental not-for-profits.
IBEC would like to thank SAM for the opportunity to write this piece for the newsletter feature. Keep up the great work! IBEC can also be found on Facebook!
Social Media
Did you know? You can follow SAM on a variety of Social Media Platforms!
Check us out on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @SAM_Stewardship

2022 Stewardship Anniversaries

We would like to recognize some significant
Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement signing anniversaries.
Congratulations and we look forward to many more years of
conservation and stewardship!

25 years since signed (1997)
Bay Roberts-Spaniard's Bay

20 years since signed (2002)
Flower's Cove

5 years since signed (2017)
Pouch Cove
Do you have a conservation story you would like to see featured in a future newsletter? Send an email with the details to!
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Contact us:
Stewardship Association of Municipalities
Millbrook Mall, P.O. Box 20024 · Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador A2H 7J5