Jackie Bourgeois is committed to protecting and enhancing the environment through her role as the Executive Director of Southeast Environmental Association (SEA). She has been in the position since 2012.
SEA was established in 1992. The office is located at Access PEI, Wood Island Hill, in Montague. The SEA Watershed Management Region is made up of 33 sub-watersheds which are grouped into six primary watershed areas: Boughton, Cardigan, Brudenell/Georgetown, Montague/Valleyfield, Sturgeon, and Murray River/Harbour.
A watershed is a region of interconnected rivers and streams that drain into a single larger body of water. There are 23 watershed groups across the Island. “Our management region is the largest on PEI,” says Jackie. “The 73,140 hectares have 669 kilometres of streams and rivers and an estimated 750+ stream crossings.”
The mission of SEA is to protect, maintain and enhance the ecology of Southeastern PEI for the environmental, social, and economic well-being of Islanders through projects that will:
- Improve and enhance the environment
- Create educational learning opportunities
- Increase cultural and historic opportunities
- Create opportunities for recreational and economic development
- Bring people together through volunteerism, thus contributing to a strong and vibrant community.
About the staff
There is presently one full-time and one part-time staff member working year-round. Year-round employees have a background in environmental sciences and at least five years of relevant experience. “Post-secondary education in a related field is preferred, but equivalencies are considered depending on the position.
“We also hire three to six full-time field workers, supervisors and field technicians seasonally,” says Jackie. “Hiring usually occurs in spring. People interested in applying should watch for postings on our website, on the WorkPEI website, and on our social media pages.
“Full-time, year-round hiring is based on securing long-term, stable funding,” says Jackie. “Seasonal hiring is based on employment contracts and project-specific funding.”
- Field Supervisors/Technicians
- Programs Officer
- Operations Manager
- Marketing Specialist
- Camp Counsellors
- Nature/Interpretive Guides
- Major Gifts Officer & Community Outreach Officer
- Maintenance Person with Carpentry and Chainsaw Skills
“We would like to grow our volunteer base,” says Jackie. “SEA just started to receive PEI Watershed Management Funds last year. When people became aware that SEA was finally getting resources to conduct enhancement activities, memberships increased.”
Volunteer opportunities could include: board of directors, community steering committees, events coordinator, fieldwork projects, trail maintenance workers, nature guides, and services such as bookkeeping, legal work, website updating, and much more.
Employability skills obtained from volunteering may include: project management, forestry/silviculture work, stream restoration and assessment experience, wildlife identification skills, problem-solving, resourcefulness, planning, organizational, communication, and teamwork skills.
“SEA is looking at enhancing and developing environmental projects that will attract tourists to the region,” says Jackie. “Experiential tourism is gaining worldwide interest as people find meaning through direct experience.”
Ecotourism allows travelers to discover and learn about wild natural environments. “The Harvey Moore Wildlife Sanctuary and surrounding Milltown Cross area has wildlife attractions, nature trails, flora and fauna woodlot activities, open fields, and large pond settings. The more support we have to develop the Sanctuary, the more visitors will come to the area, which will boost the local economy.”
The attractions in eastern PEI range from world-class nature experiences to cultural and heritage experiences which present an ideal opportunity to lengthen the tourist season and potentially create year-round activities and employment.
Community-based watershed groups on PEI: explore opportunities in your region
- Southeast Environmental Association: www.seapei.org
- Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association: www.bbema.ca
- Central Queens Wildlife Federation: www.facebook.com/Central-Queens-Wildlife-Federation-176233499121866
- Cornwall and Area Watershed Group: www.cawg.ca
- Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group: www.ellenscreekwatershed.ca
- Friends of Covehead and Brackley Bay: www.fcbbwatershed.ca
- Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group: www.hcwg.ca
- Kensington North Watersheds Association: www.knwsa.com
- Lot 11 & Area Watershed Management Group: www.lot11andarea.org/watershed.php
- Morell River Management Co-op: www.morellriverpei.com
- Richmond Bay Watershed Association: www.rbwa.ca
- Souris & Area Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation: www.souriswl.com
- South Shore Watershed Association: www.sswa.ca
- Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group: sawig.wordpress.com
- Trout River Environmental Committee: www.troutriverenvironmentalcommitt.canic.ws
- Trout Unlimited Prince County Chapter: www.tucanada.org/prince-county
- Wheatley River Improvement Group: www.wheatleyriver.ca
- Winter River-Tracadie Bay Watershed Association: www.wintertracadie.ca