Wednesday 30 August 2023

SAM Newsletter #38: Summer 2023

Point Riche Lighthouse, Port au Choix

2023 Spring AGM

Thank you to the Town of Port au Choix municipal staff, Mayor and Town Councillors for being such amazing hosts for our 2023 Spring AGM! We are grateful for all your efforts in organizing and delivering a wonderful meeting, and your support and participation was really appreciated. We had wonderful community outings, lots of municipal engagement, and stimulating takeaways. We would also like to thank each of the municipality representatives for coming and participating in the weekend events. Your participation always strengthens our organization. 
SAM Spring AGM attendees in the Town of Port au Choix
We would like to specifically recognize the efforts below who helped contribute:
SAVE THE DATE: The SAM 2023 Fall Meeting will be hosted by the Town of Bay Roberts on October 20th-21st, 2023! More information on SAM Meetings can be found here.

Thank you Cynthia!

We want to sincerely thank Cynthia Downey of Stephenville Crossing, for serving on the SAM Board of Directors as one of our longest tenured Director's for six years. As treasurer for SAM, Cynthia was an extremely dedicated volunteer. When called upon, she was always there to answer the phone, provide financial advice, sign off on expenses, or just lend a smile. Her presence will be greatly missed, and we want to thank Cynthia for her commitment to and service with SAM. We appreciate all of her valuable and important contributions over the years!
Cynthia Downey, past Board Member

Welcome Frank Deering! A New Addition
to the Board of Directors

SAM member representatives at the 2023 Spring AGM elected Frank Deering of Bay Roberts to serve on the Board of Directors. Since his first attendance at the 2021 SAM Fall Business meeting in Deer Lake, Frank has proudly been involved in SAM and will be a great addition to the Board. We are very excited to have you on board, Frank!
Frank Deering of Bay Roberts, new SAM Board Member

Conserving the Special Barrens of Cape Freels

In March of 2023, the Town of New-Wes-Valley expanded upon their existing Stewardship Agreement (Business Pond Conservation Area and Queens Meade Conservation Area) to add the vulnerable Cape Freels Conservation Area, which includes a wetland complex, sand dunes, tidal marine flats (Pinchard's Bight), a sandbar, Cape Island, and Shoal Arm Pond. Within Cape Freels you can find important species of flora and fauna such as: Red knot (Calidris canutus), Piping plover (Charadrius melodus), Leach’s storm petrel (Hydrobates leucorhous), Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), Marsh felwort (Lomatogonium rotatum), and Little yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor). The well maintained and meandering Cape Freels Hiking Trail - The Wonder Shore takes you through this impressive habitat, allowing the public to safely view various avifauna feeding on the rich shoreline, wetlands, intertidal zones as well as the coastal barens. With the newly added Cape Freels Conservation Area, the Town of New-Wes-Valley now conserves approximately 4,820 acres of significant hyper-oceanic barren habitat for nesting shorebirds, seabirds, waterfowl, and some critically listed species.
Picturesque Cape Freels Conservation Area
Thank you to the Town of New-Wes-Valley for your continued support and demonstrating your municipal leadership in the conservation of biodiversity! We are excited to share your story of environmental stewardship.
Picturesque Cape Freels Conservation Area

What has SAM Been Up To?

Out East:
In April, SAM's Outreach Coordinator Karleena attended the 2nd Annual Environmental Non-Governmental Organization (eNGO) Conference event held in New-Wes-Valley. This event was spearheaded by Birds CanadaIndian Bay Ecosystem CorporationSAMDucks Unlimited CanadaNature NLCPAWS-NL, and Council for Canadians Avalon Chapter, and was held at Norton's Cove Cafe.
NL ENGO Conference attendees in the Town of New-Wes-Valley.
This event gathers eNGOs from across the province (over 20 of which were represented) to work together , foster relationships for future projects, partner collaboration and general sharing of conservation ideas. Conference events included a Nocturnal Owl talk and walk through the Town of Lumsden, various trainings on topics like volunteer management, a panel with post-secondary students on careers in eNGOs, speed networking (one-on-one), a networking dinner with special guest Mayor Tiller from Town of New-Wes-Valley, and a public nature walk at the Town of Carmanville Wetland Interpretation Centre. 
NL ENGO Conference attendees in the Town of New-Wes-Valley.
Thank you to everyone for an eventful weekend! If your organization would like to be a part of planning the 2024 eNGO Conference, or if you would like your organization to be on the invite list, please reach out to This event was possible thanks to funding through Memorial University's Catalyst Conference Fund For Public Engagement.
Nocturnal Owl Survey in the Town of Lumsden during the NL ENGO Conference: Jana and Danielle with Ducks Unlimited Canada, Karleena with SAM, Catherine with Birds Canada, and Kaylene with Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation.
On May 14th, SAM Staff traveled to the Shearstown Estuary to engage the residents of Bay Roberts and Spaniards Bay on World Migratory Bird Day, in partnership with Birds Canada. We held an interpretive walk along the Estuary and unveiled a new interpretive sign in the newly designated green space. Thanks to Mayor Yetman and the town of Bay Roberts, the town of Spaniards Bay, and all of the public that attended the event.
New interpretive sign for the Shearstown Estuary in Bay Roberts/Spaniard's Bay
Other Engagements: Outreach Coordinator Karleena presented Wetlands 101 to Smallwood Academy in the Town of Gambo. She also met with Girl Guides from the City of St. John's to clean up around Mundy Pond, a local walking trail. Conservation Biologist Sam presented Forests 101 programming to Beachy Cove Brownies in the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Phillips, provided an interpretive walk and nest box installation and monitoring program to Girl Guides and Scouts in Paradise, and nest box installation and monitoring program to an after-school program in the Town of Bauline, and an interactive presentation to a summer camp in City of St. John's. Sam also has been engaging the Town of Torbay Conservation Corps NL Green Team with environmental monitoring orientation and field training.
Outreach in Eastern NL
Out West:
Conservation Biologist Ashley has been busy with several outreach and engagement events on the western side of the Island. In April she helped the Upper Humber Rod and Gun Association in the Town of Deer Lake with an outdoor education event for students from Xavier Jr High, providing basic compass training and a waterfowl ID game, complete with a Bird Identification book prize!
Outreach with the Upper Humber Rod and Gun Association in the Town of Deer Lake
In May, Ashley presented our Atlantic Salmon Habitat Conservation Programming to Stephenville Crossing Girl Guides, which included a short interpretive walk and a few fun salmon-themed activities.
Did you know? Girl Guides and Scouts who complete SAM Programming can earn a special SAM Crest!
Stephenville Crossing Girl Guides
Later in May, Ashley virtually presented the first Limestones Barrens programming in partnership with Parks Canada to the Caribou Kids Klub in Port au Choix. Bonnie Lou, a Parks Canada Public Outreach and Engagement officer, facilitated the program activities. Thanks to Bonnie Lou and Parks Canada for organizing this event!
While on the West Coast for the SAM Spring AGM, SAM staff participated in Wetland Ecosystem Services Protocol-Atlantic Canada (WESP-AC) field training with Ducks Unlimited CanadaNature Conservancy of Canada, and other EHJV Partners.
While on the Great Northern Peninsula for the Spring AGM in Port au Choix, SAM's Outreach Coordinator, Karleena, presented the Atlantic Salmon Habitat Conservation Programming to students at French Shore Academy in Port Saunders in partnership with Angie Roberts of the Torrent River Salmon Interpretation Centre. SAM Staff, along with Angie, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Birds Canada staff, also led a public nature walk along the John Hogan Trail in Hawke's Bay.
Outreach at French Shore Academy
At the beginning of June, Ashley spent some time assisting Intervale Associates with their important work, and attended a Piping plover (Charadrius melodus) Index Count in Port aux Basques. Despite the damage that Hurricane Fiona caused to coastal dunes and beaches in the area in 2022, there were still Piping plover sightings and even a few nests spotted!
Piping Plover Index Count with Intervale Associates in the Town of Port aux Basques
Later in June, Ashley presented our Wetlands 101 programming to students of C.C. Loughlin in Corner Brook with the help of Ducks Unlimited Canada intern, Jessica, where they eventually returned to Margaret Bowater Park for a Duck ID game, a scavenger hunt, and an activity to learn about food chains/webs.
Wetlands 101 Outreach at C.C. Loughlin in Corner Brook
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!

30 years since signed (1993)

25 years since signed (1998)
Grand Falls-Windsor

20 years since signed (2003)
Channel-Port aux Basques

15 years since signed (2008)
St. Anthony
Hawke's Bay

10 years since signed (2013)
Frenchman's Cove
St. Lawrence

5 years since signed (2018)
Corner Brook
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
36 Patrick's Path - Torbay, NL - A1K 1J2