by Gloria Welton
PEI Watershed Alliance (PEIWA) helps watershed groups across the Island recruit volunteers and hire for paid job opportunities which could be seasonal or year-round.
PEIWA is non-profit cooperative association of watershed management groups on PEI. Its mandate is to improve and enhance the environmental quality of PEI watersheds for the benefit of all residents.
There are 24 community-based watershed groups across the Island with a rich history of positive, action-based watershed stewardship accomplishments on PEI.
“A watershed makes up everything that affects how water reacts to the environment and the well-being of our groundwater,” says Heather Laiskonis, Executive Director. “PEI is one of the only provinces that uses groundwater for drinking, so it is very important how watersheds are maintained and how healthy the water is when it gets to ground level, because that is the water we drink.”
Heather is originally from Michigan and moved to PEI in 2016. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation from UPEI and her Master of Marine Studies in Fisheries Resource Management from Memorial University in Newfoundland. She worked her way through school as the certified Wildlife Technician at the South Shore Watershed Association.
“Watershed groups need volunteers for the outside work that is done from spring until fall. Students are hired for 60 days of outside work from June 1 until the end of August.”
Heathers says the Alliance places great importance on having enough volunteers.
“Volunteers do a lot of stream cleaning to make it the right environment for our fish and ground water. We do a lot of education and outreach, such as hosting events and going to schools and various organizations across the Island. We also do a lot of tree and shrub planting in spring and fall. The more hands the better, so we are always looking for volunteers to help accomplish our tasks.”
Heather says there are paid positions available for full-time year-round and seasonal work. “Many watershed groups look to hire college and university students, who are available to start in May.
“We may have some positions for recent graduates who can work longer terms, and/or positions for high school students, pending the outcome of specific grant applications.
“To apply for a job, send us a resumé and tell us about yourself in your cover letter, so that we can determine which positions may be applicable to your education and qualifications.
“To volunteer, reach out to me through email, or apply online through our website and I will direct you to various watershed groups as needed.”