FREDERICTON (CNB) – GeoNB, the free Internet-based application for viewing maps and aerial photos of New Brunswick, is launching a new wetland predictive tool.

"This is another great enhancement for the popular GeoNB map tool," said Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch, who is also the minister responsible for Service New Brunswick. "Any New Brunswicker wanting information on whether a particular property contains a wetland can now easily make the search online at no charge."

Available online through Service New Brunswick, the new application enables users to search GeoNB for wetlands or potential wetlands and analyze their proximity to other locations on the map. This will help real estate agents, land developers and potential buyers determine whether a prospective development is potentially within or close to a wetland or potential wetland.

The map was developed by the Department of Environment with data from the Department of Natural Resources and the University of New Brunswick. This map includes provincially significant wetlands and other areas that are likely to be wetlands due to the water table being close to the surface.

"Wetlands perform many important functions and we must protect them," said Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney. "They are a vital link in the water cycle; they protect human health by storing and purifying ground and surface water; they maintain ecosystem health; and provide habitat for many species. Wetlands also provide protection against the effects of flooding."

The Department of the Environment built the custom code for the wetland predictive tool in collaboration with Service New Brunswick. This is the second time that the Department of Environment has collaborated with Service New Brunswick to build a custom tool for GeoNB.  In May 2010, the department and Service New Brunswick added the Flood Information tool to the GeoNB Map Viewer.

"One of the objectives of the GeoNB project is to bring together the geographic data and services that reside within the departments and agencies of the New Brunswick government," said Fitch. "As GeoNB evolves and more partners come on board, the benefits to New Brunswickers will only increase."

GeoNB is a collaborative project led by Service New Brunswick with participation from several provincial departments and municipal governments. Its popularity has consistently grown since its launch in November 2009 and is now receiving more than 6,000 visitors a week.

LINK:

●    Service New Brunswick (GeoNB): www.snb.ca/geonb