Thanks to its high profile exploits, Americans and now Canadians have been inspired to
bring such positive results to other rivers, bays and sounds and in the process begin a
wave of change in how we relate to our natural water ecosystems.
The first Canadian Riverkeeper has been set up on the Petitcodiac River in southeastern
New Brunswick. Knowing what the Riverkeeper movement has done in the U.S., the
significance of establishing Canadas first Riverkeeper for the Petitcodiac River is
clear to Gary Griffin and Daniel LeBlanc, the actual Riverkeepers of the Petitcodiac.
"We feel that this is a watershed moment, so to speak. After years of fighting for
the restoration of the Petitcodiac River, the people of our area now have a new breath of
fresh air, a reinvigoration and an acknowledgment from the worlds most important
river protection alliance that its cause is worthy and that it is possible to save the
river", says Gary Griffin.
For over 15 years, Gary Griffin has kept the hope alive that one day the gates of the
Petitcodiac River causeway would be removed. Before the movement for river restoration
began, Mr. Griffin was often the lone public voice predicting the demise of the river and
fighting to convince governments and community leaders that the Petitcodiac is an integral
part of the life of this community. Besides monitoring the demise of the fish populations
for the federal governments Department of Fisheries and Oceans, on a volunteer
basis, Mr. Griffin gave presentations to municipal councils, school groups and business
organizations. He remained at the forefront of the issue when the Petitcodiac River's
demise finally became a public issue over the last few years. He is particularly pleased
that with the creation of the Riverkeeper a powerful new dynamic will assure that river
restoration efforts proceed. For Mr. Griffin, Riverkeeper is a great boost of confidence:
"By networking with so many other groups with similar concerns, there is now a
movement afoot which will make our issues unavoidable by government and polluters. Also,
the legal expertise behind the Keeper movement assures that if government tries to ignore
us they will be brought to court. Everything has changed. I can't wait to see how all of
this is going to unfold."
For all those interested in joining the Petitcodiac Riverkeeper Society or for
information on its concerns and objectives, call The Petitcodiac Riverkeeper at 388-KEEP
The mailing address is: Petitcodiac Riverkeeper, P.O. Box 300 Moncton, N.B. E1C 8K9.
Email is at: email@example.com
Last year, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and John Cronin published the book, Riverkeepers, which
explains the evolution of this movement and its impact.
La Fondation Medias Verts
(Exerpts taken from the Riverkeepers website: http://www.umoncton.ca/mediasverts/riverkeeper.html)