The Community Aquatic Monitoring Program (CAMP) was launched by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in 2003 as a pilot program on southern Gulf of the St. Lawrence estuaries; at Lameque, NB, Scoudouc, NB, Basin Head, PEI, and Antigonish, NS. It has proven so successful that by 2007 CAMP coverage extended throughout the Southern Gulf of the St. Lawrence and by 2014 involved 35 engaged community groups.
This partnerships involves local ENGOS, universities, government, and other volunteers. Community support is fundamental to the ongoing success of this project. Baseline data is gathered to better understand the health condition of select estuaries. ENGOs provide volunteer support once a month to collect data. University and college students often help with monthly collections and several students use the data gathered in their various research projects.
DFO scientists coordinate data acquisition, provide training, and in-kind material support in the form of nets and meters. Analysis of the data is ongoing and increases in value annually.
Biological data is collected with beach seines. Fish and crustaceans species are captured, identified, counted and released. From this, the community groups gather information, such as:
- kinds of fish and crustacean species
- numbers of fish and crustaceans
- water temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen
- aquatic vegetation types
- sediment samples
- water samples
CAMP Sites for Miramichi
MREAC became involved with this program in 2004 monitoring 6 sites along the Miramichi estuary. Once a month for five months (May-September), staff visits each site and collect a variety of fish species using a beach seine net. These fish are sorted, identified, counted and released alive. Other data such as vegetation and water quality parameters are also collected. During the final sample run of the season, sediment samples are collected. With our multiple years of experience, MREAC now offers CAMP training session to NBCC Environmental Technology students. In recent years the program had been reduced to three sampling runs during the core summer months.