Carleton River Watershed Area Water Quality Monitoring Steering Committee Background / History

The ‘Carleton River Watershed Area Water Quality Monitoring Steering Committee’ (the Steering Committee) held its first meeting on February 12, 2015 in the Municipality of Yarmouth. It was formed as a result of the initiatives of a number of individuals in the Municipalities of Argyle, Clare and Yarmouth and groups in the region concerned about water quality issues in the Carleton River watershed and surrounding area. The idea for forming a Steering Committee began in October 2012 at a workshop held by Nova Scotia Environment in the Municipality of Yarmouth. At that time Nova Scotia Environment was concerned with addressing recommendations from water quality surveys and reports on a number of lakes located within the Carleton, Meteghan and Sissaboo River watersheds carried out between 2008 and 2010 which showed many of the lakes to be seriously degraded as a result of nutrient over-enrichment. A recommendation had been made to design and implement a long-term water quality monitoring program in this area. An existing model of a volunteer based water quality monitoring program ongoing in Kings County was presented at the workshop as an example of a model which could be adopted in the Carleton area. The participants at the workshop included representatives from the regional municipalities, Kings County Planning Department, the Departments of Environment and Agriculture, the Tusket River Environmental Association (TREPA), the Acadia University Centre for Estuarine Research, the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI), Saint Mary’s University Community Based Environmental Network, and Carleton area residents.

A sufficient level of interest was generated at the October 2012 workshop to build support for a subsequent Planning Workshop which was held in October 2014 in the Municipality of Yarmouth. The Planning and Advisory Committee of the Municipality of Yarmouth had recommended the Council endorse the concept and support in principle the initiative to establish a sustainable volunteer water quality monitoring program in the Carleton area. The Council supported the recommendation, and with this momentum the participants at the workshop agreed to move forward and formally structure a Steering Committee to establish and oversee a volunteer based water quality monitoring program. The Municipality of Yarmouth agreed to host the Steering Committee and provide logistical and staff support.

The Steering Committee adopted Terms of Reference at its November 18, 2016 meeting. The Terms of Reference define the scope of the Committee’s work, outline the vision and mandate of the committee and its goals and objectives. The structure of the Committee is designed to include membership from The Municipalities of the Districts of Argyle, Clare and Yarmouth, the Nova Scotia Mink Breeders Association, TREPA, MTRI, Nova Scotia Environment, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, Nova Scotia Power Inc. and the Coordinator of the Community Based Volunteer Monitoring Program. The Committee generally meets twice a year, in the spring and fall, to plan the annual water sampling program and to review and report on the results of the program.

One of the goals and objectives of the Steering Committee is to establish and maintain a body of water quality data to be available as a resource for government and all other interested parties to assess water quality trends in the Carleton River watershed area. This website contributes to achieving this goal by providing access to the minutes of Committee meetings, links to related studies, reports and related material on studies and issues in the area, and the water quality monitoring data collected by the volunteers. The Steering Committee welcomes all interested persons and groups to share in the stewardship of Nova Scotia watersheds. The Terms of Reference for the Steering Committee can be found here:  Terms of Reference

Water Quality Testing Data maintained by the Committee can be obtained by contacting the Steering Committee Chairman Brad Fulton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at 902-648-3166.