FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has developed a new and comprehensive online Watercourse and Wetland Alteration (WAWA) Reference Map.

“We know how valuable wetlands are to waterfowl, wildlife and water quality,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Jeff Carr. “Wetlands act as sponges that can reduce localized flooding during heavy rain and purify the water by filtering out silt and other pollutants.”

The new map, which replaces and is more accurate than the previous map, will serve only as a reference tool. It will be updated annually and will increase the effectiveness of the watercourse and wetland alteration permitting process. All other wetland regulations and guidelines still apply and additional information can be found on the department’s website.

The website has also been updated to provide a clear description of how wetlands are managed in the province, and to provide information to assist those who may require a Watercourse and Wetland Alteration permit.

These changes have been implemented following a period of engagement with First Nations, stakeholders and the public.

New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan promotes the use of natural infrastructure such as wetlands, floodplains and saltmarshes to help buffer the effects of climate change.