The four-year project is designed to halt ongoing erosion in the area and remediate the pool, which has historically been a popular fishing hole.
Sarah Blenis, project coordinator, said Crowley’s Pool is a critical holding pool for several at-risk species, including Atlantic Salmon.
“Crowley’s Pool is currently infilling with sediment. The sediment that is depositing into the pool is decreasing Atlantic Salmon spawning habitat,” Blenis told Quispamsis council on Tuesday.
The erosion is also allowing sediment to go into the lower Hammond River and the confluence point with the Kennebecasis River, she said, which is a critical habitat for the Yellowlamp Mussel and a critical overwintering habitat of the Shortnose Sturgeon.
But Blenis said the erosion and resulting sediment are not only impacting the river and the species who live in it.
“As climate change continues and the flooding events and severe spring freshets increase, the riverbank is continuing to degrade and that’s also putting the Stock Farm Road at risk,” she said.
In fact, a 2017 study by Dillon Consulting noted that continual erosion may cause failure of the roadway over time.
Blenis said restoration work is estimated to cost between $300,000 and $450,000, with half of the money coming from Canada’s Nature Fund.
A restoration design would be created during the first year which would allow the conservation group to get a better understanding of the costs, she said.
Blenis said these types of remediation projects have been done successfully elsewhere in the province, usually through a combination of riprap and planting.
Coun. Kirk Miller questioned how much of the sediment is coming from the river bank at Crowley’s Pool versus further upriver.
“My fear is we fix the erosion from the bank but if everything is still coming downriver from elsewhere … we’re stuck again,” said Miller.
Blenis said as part of the monitoring program, they are looking at doing an in-depth sediment and erosion rate transfer study to determine other potential areas that could be contributing to the infilling issue.
Quispamsis council voted to support the association’s application for funding and to defer any potential contributions from the town to the 2023 budget process.