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The Tantramar Wetlands Centre is a community-based centre of wetlands education specializing in experiential programming aimed at public school students and teachers. Recognized nationally as a centre of excellence, this award-winning project provides exciting wetlands education experiences to over 4,000 visitors annually.

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New Brunswick Envirothon 2019 Champions Tantramar Regional High School

Left to Right: Isaiah Ayer, Oliver Priemer, Casey Murray, Joe Kaswell, and Isaac Ayer

New Brunswick Envirothon 2019 Champions Tantramar Regional High School

  On May 5 and 6, Tantramar Regional High School’s Envirothon Team competed in the New Brunswick Envirothon Competition at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John campus. Composed of students in grades 10 and 12 with a wide background that includes volunteering with the Tantramar Wetlands Centre, Environmental Science students, farmers and fur harvesters, the team of Casey Murray, Isaac Ayer, Isaiah Ayer, Oliver Priemer, and Joe Kaswell placed First in the overall competition bringing home the Provincial Banner! Out of 16 teams, the Tantramar Team placed First in tests on Wildlife, Forestry, and Aquatic Ecology and Third in Soils. They placed First in the oral presentation that dealt with agriculture and sustainable practices. The team heads to North Carolina to compete in the International Envirothon from July 28 to August 2. Last year these young men knew nothing about the Envirothon until two Envirothon teams from Moncton area High Schools came to the Tantramar Wetlands Centre for training and our students were doing the training! Thanks to teachers Meghan Best for organizing the team and Matt Wheaton for accompanying the team to North Carolina. A special thank you to the Titan community for helping these students raise over $5,000 in a little over a month for transportation to the North Carolina Competition. Well Done!

Winter Visitors

Snowshoe hare March19 2015 at 10am (1)

We are well into our winter program at the Tantramar Wetlands Centre and, with the weather we’re having, I’m sure we could run these activities well into spring. During our tracks and scat activities we talk to our visiting students about all the signs wildlife leave behind during the winter. Students learn that although we often do not see the animal we can tell they’ve been here. How? They leave tracks in the snow, scat along their trail and signs of feeding.

Well, today we were very lucky. Not only did we find snowshoe hare tracks while we were walking down the trail but our friend stayed around long enough to strike a pose. His white coat blends in so well with the snowy background that it took us a moment to pinpoint him after we saw something moving around in the trees. He stayed put, turning his head to the side and then looked at us straight on, perfectly posing for a handful of photographs. Finally he tired of our intense interest and bounded away.

Further down our trail we came across an excellent specimen of scat. Upon inspection it seems to have been left behind by a fox. You may not all share our enthusiasm for this type of find but it demonstrated very well the difference between the scat of a wild canid (eg: wolves, coyote, fox) and a domestic dog. The scat specimen had hair and bone fragments throughout. A domestic dog’s diet does not include these components. It’s quite amazing to see just how much is happening in our marsh even in the winter!

Snowshoe hare March19 2015 at 10am (4)

Snowshoe hare March19 2015 at 10am (5)




World Wetlands Day

February 2 was World Wetlands Day and this year’s theme “Wetlands for our Future” has inspired the Tantramar Wetlands Centre to share all the benefits that Wetlands provide us with, both now and for our future. Traditionally thought of as wastelands, wetlands have been lost at a staggering rate. Major changes in land use, including agriculture and infrastructure development, have led to the loss of 64% of the world’s wetlands since 1900. Click on the card below to find out some of the BIG benefits that wetlands hold for the world:


Wetland Benefits

  1. Flood Prevention- Wetlands are like sponges. They absorb rainfall and hold excess water, lowering the risk of rivers and streams flooding. They act as buffers along coastlines to reduce the impact of strong storm surges.
  2. Habitat- Wetlands provide food and shelter for many species that visit or live there year round, including migrating waterfowl. They act as nurseries for many species of birds and fish.
  3. Recreation- We’ve all had the urge to get out in the great outdoors. Wetlands provide an opportunity for canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, scenic walks, fishing, skating or snowshoeing. Take a moment to think about any activities you’ve done in a wetland.
  4. Clean Drinking Water- Wetland soil, plants, and marine life will absorb and filter out harmful toxins, fertilizers and pesticides. Wetlands also help to replenish groundwater and store fresh water that will help in times of drought. Some communities rely heavily on this natural technique as large scale treatment plants are just too costly.
  5. Food- Rice is the staple diet of nearly 3 billion people and is grown in wetland paddies. Many commercial fish species rely on coastal wetland ecosystems for part of their life cycle.
  6. Fight Climate Change-   Wetlands store large amounts of carbon. For example, peatlands alone store more than double the amount of carbon found in forests. Wetlands also help protect against erosion in the face of rising sea levels.
  7. Sustainable Products- When properly managed, wetlands can provide sustainable access to timber, fish, vegetable oils, furs, and important medicines.
  8. Biodiversity- Wetlands are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. Wetlands are home to many endemic species; forms of life that are unique to one particular site.

Goodbye Fall, Hello Winter….and Cold and Snow!

Fall 2014- First snow fal (4)

The first day of winter is soon approaching! We’ve already said our goodbyes to our migrating duck friends here at the Tantramar Wetlands Centre. Some are long gone, wishing to avoid the cold, while others lagged behind to fill up on as much available food as they could find. When the marsh freezes over they no longer have access to this food and move on. Some ducks, such as the American Black Duck, may hang around the area but move to the coast line to find open water. Perhaps you’ll see them along the coast of Nova Scotia this winter! Others have a little farther to travel. Here is some interesting insight into where our Tantramar Marsh ducks may spend their winters:


Blue-winged Teal– These small dabblers are not a fan of cold weather and are likely the first to leave. Our Atlantic Blue-winged teals have been found along the coast of Florida to its southern most tip as well as other stops along the Gulf Coast. They will also spend their winters in the Caribbean and South America. Blue-winged Teals travel the farthest south out of all North American waterfowl species. We were fortunate to observe three broods of Blue-winged Teal in our marsh this summer.


American Wigeon – These ducks will winter along the coast from Cape Cod South to North Carolina. Some will migrate a little farther and have been found in South Carolina and Florida. A brood of seven American Wigeon ducklings called the Tantramar Wetlands their home this year.

 gadwall pair

Gadwall– We had at least one pair of Gadwall nest in the Tantramar marsh this spring. These ducks may be wintering all along the Eastern Seaboard down to the North Carolina and South Carolina boarder. They also like to spend their winters along the Gulf Coast.

 2011-06-17 Roger LeBlanc filming Galerucella beetles 030

Ring-necked Duck– Our local diving duck seems to favor Florida in the winter. They’re known to travel farther inland than most of the other species of ducks mentioned. This spring and summer we had seven broods hatch in our marsh.

 October 21 058

Mallard– Our green headed friends may only need to travel as far as New Jersey to find wintering grounds. They can, however, be found along the Atlantic coast anywhere in the upper half of the United States. Five pair of Mallards were nesting in our marsh this spring.

Wherever our Tantramar Marsh ducks are this winter we’ll be patiently awaiting their return. In the mean time we are gearing up for our winter program here at the Tantramar Wetlands Centre. We are looking forward to donning our snowshoes and heading out on the marsh to look for signs of life. We know that even in the winter wetlands are alive!

2014 GOMI Summer Conference a Success!

The 2014 Gulf of Maine Institute (GOMI) Summer Conference was a success! Read about the experience on the Sackville Tribune Post website:


Our Tantramar Team! Left to right: Ben Hicks, Alexandra Duchemin, Max Farella, Sarah Stewart, Liam Stewart

Our Tantramar Team! Left to right: Ben Hicks, Alexandra Duchemin, Max Farella, Sarah Stewart, Liam Stewart

The annual group picture.

The annual group picture.

Liam Stewart leaving a personal touch during his project for the Drifters Group

Liam Stewart leaving a personal touch during his project for the Drifters Group


The GOMI conference is a great opportunity for students to meet other youth interested in environmental stewardship.

The GOMI conference is a great opportunity for students to meet other youth interested in environmental stewardship.



On the road to Massachusetts! 2014 GOMI Summer Conference

Five Tantramar Regional High School students/Wethead volunteers will leaving tomorrow and travelling to Massachusetts to represent the Tantramar Wetlands Centre at the 2014 Gulf of Maine Institute (GOMI) Summer Conference! During the week, you’ll be able to see updates from the conference on the GOMI website.


GOMI logo 2


Click here to see photos from the 2013 GOMI Conference that was held in Wolfville, NS.


Milestone: 100,000 students participate in Project Webfoot in New Brunwick

The Tantramar Wetlands Centre (TWC) helped Ducks Unlimited Canada celebrate an impressive milestone this spring! In May 2014, we hosted the 100,000th New Brunswick student to participate in Project Webfoot since the program began in 1996.

The TWC is one of several partners that delivers the Project Webfoot program, a co-curricular program developed to compliment New Brunswick’s Grade 4 curriculum on habitat. The TWC on its own has delivered wetland education programs to just under 60,000 visitors since opening our doors in 1998 from our location in Sackville, NB.

The Wetlands Centre’s critter dipping dock and our own Max Farella were on Global News (click here to watch the video).  Max and Sarah Stewart have been representing the TWC for this project Webfoot program since they participated when in grade 4 and are now deliver the program as high school students.  Check out the pictures below to see the celebration and Project Webfoot in action!



Our dedicated helpers, Mark and Ryan, made the front page of the Sackville Tribune Post!



Complimentary cake to celebrate 100,000 NB students… and counting!



Ducks Unlimited Canada (temporary) tattoos were sported by many during the celebration!


Wetlands Rock Birding Spring 2014

Beginner Birder: many students have the opportunity to use binoculars for the first time!


Spring 2014 Wetland Benefits Game

Wetland Benefits: a fun relay race that teaches students about what makes wetlands so valuable!



Critter Dipping: searching for aquatic macroinvertebrates (aka insects in the water) with a net and bucket.



Migration Headache: an exciting game in which students can be active while learning about duck migration and habitat.


  You can view more pictures in our Photo Gallery or on Flickr.

A Long Winter in the Wetlands

The winter seems to have spilled into spring this year. Despite the cold weather, our winter program is long gone and we are well into our spring program. The weather is often unpredictable and varied on the Tantramar Marshes and this winter was no exception. This makes planning ahead for winter visitors a challenging endeavour!

This year we welcomed more than 25 classes to the Tantramar Wetlands Centre to participate in the Wetlands in Winter program. Visitors have the opportunity to learn how to identify the skulls, tracks and “scat” (droppings) of wetland animals, explore what is living under the ice, and take a walk using snowshoes to take in the beauty of the snow-covered marsh.


Wetheads being trained to identify mammal skulls.


Showing students the size of a polar bear skull in comparison to the local black bear.


Snowshoeing towards the marsh while identifying tracks in the snow along the way.


Drilling a hole in the ice to collect a sample. This helps show students that there is life in the marsh, even in the winter!


The MASSIE students visited the Wetlands Centre and tried using snowshoes.


Looking through the samples from under the ice, students find lots of macroinvertebrates living in the marsh!


Searching for macroinvertebrates.


Examining critters (like this leech) on the big screen.


Some of the many wonderful Wethead volunteers that helped with our winter program. (Watch out for that black bear!)

Two Canada geese on the frozen marsh on April 14, 2014.

Two Canada geese on the frozen marsh on April 14, 2014. A very long winter indeed.


You can view more pictures in our Photo Gallery or on Flickr.

2013-2014 Teacher Workshops

Every year, the Tantramar Wetlands Centre facilitates teacher workshops to train B. Ed students and educators on environmental and wetland education. During the 2013-2014 academic year, we facilitated two of these workshops. We hosted students from Crandall University in November 2013 and travelled to Fredericton to do a workshop with St. Thomas University students in January 2014.

Facilitators introduced participants to the Project WET curriculum, which focuses on water, and shared resources, such as Resources for Rethinking. Workshops activities included H2O Olympic competition,  examining macroinvertebrates and learning about river ecosystems. Take a look at the photos below to see some educators having fun while learning.

Participants are introduced to the Project WET curriculum and to the wonders of water, with hands-on activities they can do with their classes.

Participants are introduced to the Project WET curriculum and to the wonders of water, with hands-on activities they can do with their classes.

H2O Olympics boat races

Students compete in the H2O Olympic “boat races” to learn about surface tension and water pollution.


Students learn about surface tension while competing in "pole vaulting".

Students learn about surface tension while competing in “pole vaulting”.


Participants each develop a riverfront property and learn how they impact others downstream through pollution.

Participants each develop a riverfront property and learn how they impact others downstream through pollution.


Discovering macroinvertebrates (a.k.a. "critters") while searching through vegetation samples from the TWC marsh.

Discovering macroinvertebrates (a.k.a. “critters”) while searching through vegetation samples from the Tantramar Wetlands Centre marsh.


The workshops always end with an H2O Olympics medal ceremony to honour the competitors.

The workshops always end with an H2O Olympics medal ceremony to honour the competitors.


GOMI Summer Conference 2013

The 2013 Annual Gulf of Maine Institute (GOMI) Summer Conference took place this past summer in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Youth and leaders from all around the Gulf of Maine congregated at Acadia University for a week of learning, inspiration and environmental stewardship.


The students participated in various fun team-building activities.




GOMI participants celebrated Canada Day at the Grand Pré UNESCO World Heritage Site.





The youth from different communities worked together on six different “theme teams” to learn about a specific topic and prepare a presentation to share their knowledge with the rest of the group. The 2013 theme teams were: Community Gardens, Sharing Your Story (through Photography), Climate Change, Salt Marsh Ecosystems, GOMI Ocean Drifters and Tidal Energy.


Learning about sea level rise while standing on the dykes in Wolfville.

Throughout the week, the youth were asked to practice their public speaking by making short presentations about various topics related to community organizing and the environment.

July 2013 308

July 2013 319

July 2013 320

Salt Marsh Salad

The students also had the chance to share their talents in the Annual Talent Show. There were singers, dancers, storytellers, bubble makers, stand up comedy and more.

July 2013 254

Learning new dance moves.

July 2013 297

Washing off the youth that went mud sliding.

After the final presentations were made by the theme teams, each regional team was asked to come up with a set of goals to work on for the coming year. One of the goals chosen by the Tantramar Team was to start a compost program at Tantramar Regional High School. The students will launch the program on December 9, 2013.

Tantramar Team

The Tantramar GOMI Team is currently raising funds to attend the 2014 GOMI Summer Conference in Massachusetts.