A River Runs Through It

canoe on river anks

Don’t take work home,” is advice that likely is true for people who have a different line of work. My work this summer involved a river I get to see every day.

Our office completed an exciting project: a geomorphologic assessment of a river that I see daily from the Matrix Fredericton office window. I’m part of the Eastern Surface Water group – we have the really important job of studying and protecting Canadian rivers.

Funding the geomorphic assessment and action plan for the upper Nashwaak (pronounced nash walk) River, the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation’s goal is to build an Atlantic salmon habitat conservation plan. They wanted to conserve and enhance the fish population through habitat protection and restoration measures: bank restoration, by installing erosion protection measures or through in-stream restoration. The population of salmon in the Nashwaak River has been falling since the 1990s.

We worked on about 70 km of the Nashwaak River. Working with the Nashwaak Watershed Association, a non-profit organization focused on watershed stewardship, we completed assessments of the River as the preliminary work for a watershed management plan. We looked at erosion and deposition processes, as well as areas of habitat degradation along the banks of the river.

It was a terrific experience. There were moments where my colleagues and I almost had to pinch ourselves. Nigel Tilson, environmental scientist, captured it best when he said, “I have a great job. I spent the week paddling a beautiful river, I work with amazing people, get to help the environment and they even pay me for it.”

So my work does follow me home. I have the opportunity to help restore a fish population right in my own backyard.

Amber Yates is an aquatic biologist in our Eastern Surface Water team located in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Amber has over four years of experience in environmental science including watercourse restorations, geomorphological assessments, and surface water monitoring and reporting.


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