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The River Runs Free


Photos & Story by Michael Maloney


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ver the years I have seen many things, some good and some not so


good. Recently I ventured to the site of a


celebration concerning the opening of the Peticodiac Causeway which spans an area between Moncton and Riverview. For some 40 years man has blocked the


natural flow of this salt water estuary and damaged the environment in a variety of ways.Whatwas once a saltwater tidal flow renowned for its height and natural force as it rushed up the muddy river became nothing more than a tiny trickle that went unnoticed by the naked eye. The so called Tidal Bore was no more. The upriver side of this man-made interference, the causeway, became a small shallow lake—a lake undergoing transition because of man’s unwarranted interventions. The natural cleansing and flushing of an entire ecosystem ended. New Brunswick’s Peticodiac barricade


has been criticized in ational Geographic and has deserved the negative commentaries which have occurred in various environmental arenasworldwide as


an example of what not to do. Scientists of various denominations hail


this return to the natural asmost noteworthy and the well known David Suzuki, offered his support and applause to our Premier Shawn Graham. With the opening of the gates,water left


a man-made lake as the river returned to its natural path. Tidal waters from the Bay of Fundy are


once againmaking its presence known. The salmon, the sea trout, the gaspereau, the shad and many other aquatic species and life formswill once again have access to the upper reaches of the Peticodiac to travel, and to spawn. And future generations will reap the


many rewards of an ecosystem returned to the way it was, the way it was intended. While most focus on the physical, there


was something of much value that was overlooked. Culture and a blending of the traditional


with the new is important. I listened to Anglophone songs,


francophone songs and native songs. I listened to the Premier as he spoke in


16 • Bread ‘ n Molasses September/October 2010


English and in French. I listened to MLAs Chris Collins and Bernard Leblanc. I listened toGilbert Sewell, an elder fromthe Pabineau First Nations as he spoke in English and in Micmac, and I watched the native smudging ceremony performedwith sweet grass and accompanied by prayer. The natural can work well with the


unnatural when considerations are given to that which was created, by the creator. Once again the “river runs free.”


MichaelMaloney is an avid outdoorsman who has worked with Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and is a registered instructor for Hunter Education, Fishing Education, and Range Safety and Range Safety Officers, Canoe and Olympic Small Bore.


Holding an Arts Degree, a K-12 Education Degree, and a Masters Degree in Administration and Curriculum, Michael’s passion for the outdoors and for its conservation has manifested itself through the eye of the camera he is a wildlife/naturalist photographer and a freelance writer. His home is and will always be, the Mighty Miramichi.


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