Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New Brunswick Envirothon 2019 Champions Tantramar Regional High School

Friday, June 28th, 2019
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

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

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

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

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!

Friday, December 19th, 2014

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!

On the road to Massachusetts! 2014 GOMI Summer Conference

Friday, June 27th, 2014

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.


A Look Back at the Past Year: Fall 2012

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Every year, Nev Garrity, one of our very dedicated volunteers, helps lead many of our activities, including the Fall Banding Program, with the assistance of our enthusiastic high school student Wetheads (volunteers).

In the fall, Wetheads set-up and bait the traps, then return in their canoes to retrieve the ducks. The ducks are immediately identified (by species, age and sex), banded and released back into the marsh. 


Wetheads in the canoe, heading out to collect ducks from the trap.

Wetheads in the canoe, heading out to collect ducks from the trap.


Collecting the ducks from the trap can be tricky!

Collecting the ducks from the trap can be tricky!


Nev instructing Wetheads on how to identify ducks by looking at their wings.

Nev instructing Wetheads on how to identify ducks by looking at their wings.


Putting a band on the ducks leg helps us track their migration patterns.

Putting a band on the ducks leg helps track their migration patterns.


Identifying the ducks. Do you know what this is?

Identifying the ducks. Do you know what this is?



Student from a visiting class holding a duck, getting ready to release it back into the marsh.

Student from a visiting class holding a duck, getting ready to release it back into the marsh.


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

TWC Envirothon Team – the Wetheads

Monday, August 13th, 2012

 From May 10-12, 2012, five Tantramar Regional High School students participated in their first NB Envirothon competition thanks to funding from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, in partnership with the Tantramar Wetlands Centre.  The Wetheads Team, comprised of (L-R) Adam Lerette, Dalton Lee, Catherine Evans, Christian Down, and Max Farella travelled to Fredericton, NB for the competition.  The annual Envirothon, hosted by the Canadian Forestry Association of New Brunswick, combines outdoor field-testing with in-class curriculum and allows students to learn skills that are not normally learned in a classroom setting.  Our students had alot of fun, and even took home a medal for their final presentation!  Though a few have graduated and are moving on this fall, the others look forward to training for next year.

Tantramar Wetlands Centre receives International Award

Monday, August 13th, 2012

In early 2011, the Tantramar Wetlands Centre, in association with Tantramar Regional High School, was awarded top honors in the “Schools Promoting the Wise Use of Wetlands in the Americas” competition, hosted by the Ramsar Convention.  This award was established to recognize schools involved in the conservation of wetlands by promoting awareness-raising campaigns and activities for the student community about the important ecosystem services provided by wetlands.

Summer Wetlands Camp

Monday, September 14th, 2009

July 30 2009_630

This was the first summer we hosted a 5-day Youth Wetlands Camp.  From July 27th -31st, 2009, local youth visited with us it the mornings to learn about value of wetland ecosystems and the many plants and animals that live here.  It was a busy week that entailed learning about: aquatic invertebrates, waterfowl identification, learning how to identify animals by their tracks and scat/signs they leave behind, learning about the interesting qualities of water through H2O Olympics, dissecting and examining owl pellets, building swallow boxes, building and putting out waterfowl loafing platforms, lots of canoeing, and even a trip to a bog!  This project/camp recieved funding from Environment Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program.

 Check out the pictures in our Photo Gallery, and be sure to sign up for more fun next summer!

New Outdoor Theatre

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Through support from Evergreen (the Wal-Mart Evergreen Green Grant), we were able to replace our old platform and replace it with a new and improved one.  This Outdoor Theatre was completed in May, 2009 and serves as a starting point for learning about and observing the different animals that occupy our wetland.