The program currently conducts habitat projects in five watersheds (Figure 1
). Since the inception of the program, 243 projects have been completed (Figure 2
), and over 100,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted (Figure 3
). Projects have consisted of a wide cross-section of types, including refuge cleanup, bank stabilization, barrier mitigation and removal, thermal pollution mitigation, in-stream habitat placement, and tree and shrub planting. These projects all cumulatively increase valuable coldwater fisheries habitat, supporting various life stages and processes (e.g. spawning, juvenile migration) for Atlantic Salmon, but also for a suite of other intolerant aquatic species that require clean, cold water, and good physical habitat. Additionally, all projects support overall biodiversity at each site, enhancing habitat for both aquatic and terrestrial species. For all tree and shrub planting, these also serve to mitigate climate change and enhance carbon sequestration. Many projects involve the support of volunteers, and 8,337 volunteers have supported habitat projects since 2006, with upwards of 950 volunteers in the most active years. All habitat projects over the last five years have been guided by the LOASRP Phase III Habitat Plan, which prioritizes habitat projects within each targeted watershed. The next phase of the habitat plan is currently in preparation to support planning and implementation over the next five years of the program.