Sitmu’k Living Shoreline Restoration Project

Allen Beck, Restoration Specialist, holding salt marsh cord grass that we will plant at Sitmu’k on Aug. 5.

(Submitted photo)

The next phase of the Sitmu’k Living Shoreline Restoration Project is about to get underway.

The Clean Foundation and the Mi’kmaw Conservation Group will be undertaking phase two of the project next week with the removal of a rock pile from the salt marsh and planting grasses with the community. The hope of the project is to increase the resilience of the coast in Pictou Landing First Nation to adapt to storm events and sea level rise.

Phase one of the project was undertaken this past November. Reef balls were placed along the shoreline in the intertidal zone as a way to create habitat for oysters, mussels, fish and algae. Reef balls can also help slow down waves and helping shoreline grasses grow. Following the completion of the first phase, a team from Clean Foundation visited Sitmu’k this past March to monitor the progress. A drone was utilized to take pictures of the reef balls to see how they managed the ice coverage over the winter. The reef balls mostly stayed in place and remained in good condition, and even had algae growing on them.

The restoration team will work on the second phase of the project on Aug. 4 and 5. The first day will see a local contractor excavate the rock pile on the salt marsh, and place coir logs (biodegradable logs made from coconut husks) around the excavated area for stabilization. The logs will help prevent the area from caving in with sand, as well as slow the waves, becoming covered in plants over time.

Archaeologists with Boreas Heritage Consulting will be on site to ensure cultural resources are not disturbed during excavation. CB Wetland and Environmental Specialists will oversee the work to ensure regulations and protocols are followed. 

Volunteers from grades 7-8 from Pictou Landing First Nation will join the team on Aug. 5 to plant salt marsh cord grass and sweetgrass along the shoreline. Through this hands-on experience, students will learn about coastal restoration practices. If any Grade 7 and 8 students have not registered to participate yet and are interested, they can contact Kelsey Crouse at 902-212-2928 or kcrouse@cleanfoundation.ca.

Elders are also invited to join in on the second day to share stories and teachings with the participating youth. An honorarium will be provided for any Elder that participates. Elders interested in participating can call Charlynne Robertson at 902-817-7056 to register.

The deadline to register is July 30.

Community members are also welcome to join or head down to the shore. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.