"The Stewardship Association of Municipalities provides a regular forum for member municipalities to share knowledge and help resolve wetland stewardship issues."
The Stewardship Association of Municipalities (SAM) was formed to help reinforce the municipalities’ commitment to wetland conservation. The association meets twice a year with the meetings being rotated between member communities. This allows for the opportunity to share experiences and to promote a sense of camaraderie between these stewards of our wetlands.
The town of Stephenville Crossing signed a Municipal Stewardship Agreement in 1995 and is now an important link in wetland conservation in North America. Through this agreement the town agrees to manage wetlands within its jurisdiction with technical advice from the partners of the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture.
The objective of the Agreement is to restore, enhance and protect the important wetlands in Stephenville Crossing and to promote a greater appreciation of wetlands and wetland values. Wetland values are to be included in the municipal plan.
The agreement promotes the maintenance of healthy populations of waterfowl, other species and water quality, opportunities for canoeing, hiking, photography, birdwatching, and hunting, and to help residents and visitors learn more about nature, especially wetlands and waterfowl conservation.
The St George's River Estuary provides important spring and fall staging habitat for a variety of species of waterfowl and shorebirds. Protection of such food-rich staging areas as this one is vital to waterfowl conservation.
Spring staging occurs as waterfowl are completing their long northern migration from their wintering grounds. They stop at sites like this to feed thus replenishing their energy reserves. From these areas most of the birds move inland to the breeding grounds where they will nest and rear their young.
In the fall waterfowl will gather in these feeding areas once again to build up their energy reserves in preparation for the return migration to their wintering grounds. The Osprey is also a common sight at the estuary feeding on the plentiful fish that it can take from the shallow waters.