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Working in partnership, the Province of Prince Edward Island, agriculture industry and local watershed group are helping to protect Island rivers and fish habitat. (L to R): Karl Smallman, Triple S Farms; Robert Irving, President of Cavendish Farms; Blaine MacPherson, Cavendish Farms; Premier Robert Ghiz; Leaman Murphy, Chair of Trout Unlimited Prince County Chapter; and John Jamieson, Federation of Agriculture.
Through a partnership with Cavendish Farms, the Province of Prince Edward Island is purchasing 96 acres of agricultural land in the Barclay Brook area to help protect Island rivers and fish habitat, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

“Instances of fish kills are both unfortunate and unacceptable,” said Premier Ghiz. “The Province of Prince Edward Island continues to work in collaboration with industry and watershed groups to work on solutions. Today’s announcement is a positive step in the right direction and the implementation of a key recommendation from the Action Committee on Sustainable Land Management.”

After fish kills in the Barclay area in the past few years, the Province established the Action Committee for Sustainable Land Management. The Action Committee was composed of representatives from Environment, Labour and Justice, Agriculture and Forestry, the PEI Watershed Alliance, the PEI Potato Board, the PEI Federation of Agriculture, Trout Unlimited Prince County Chapter, and CropLife Canada. A key recommendation was the establishment of a fund for the removal of land from agricultural production that is prone to soil erosion and surface runoff.

The Province is purchasing six properties in the Barclay Brook area. The land will be taken out of agricultural production and will be managed by the local watershed group, Trout Unlimited Prince County Chapter. Cavendish Farms is contributing $100,000 to secure the acquisition.

This initiative is part of a broader Cavendish Farms’ approach at supporting fish habitat in Prince Edward Island. In 2014, Cavendish Farms has been working with the Abegweit First Nation on a fish re-stocking initiative and conservation education in partnership with eight Island schools.

“My family and our businesses take environmental stewardship very seriously. In PEI, we partner with our growers and use best practices to protect our environment and preserve the unique nature of the Island. We are pleased to join the Provincial government and the local watershed group to take further measures necessary to protect our waterways and fish habitat,” said Robert Irving, President of Cavendish Farms.

“Since Government received these recommendations, we have enhanced our approach to protect waterways and fish habitat,” said Premier Ghiz.

The Premier also recognized the additional measures that local farmers have implemented all aimed at protecting Island waterways. “The continued collaboration among farmers, watershed groups, government and industry will contribute to the long-term health of this watershed.”