A brewing partnership to raise awareness about Marram grass
Nature New Brunswick, an organization part of our NatureNetwork, has decided to diversify their outreach strategy by partnering with Brasseux d’la Côte — a local brewery. The product created by the brewery raises awareness of Marram grass, which holds sand in place and preserves the coastline, and 10 cents of each bottle purchased supports the work of Nature New Brunswick.
The partnership began as a somewhat artistic endeavor to raise awareness of the costal habitats of the Acadian peninsula in New Brunswick. The brewery originally reached out to Lewnanny Richardson, Nature New Brunswick’s Species Director, about building an artificial dune outside the brewery and planting marram grass to educate the public on this importance of this coastal habitat. The dune was still there this summer for an additional educational opportunity – plastic pollution. Lewnanny regularly does beach cleanups and Brasseux d’la Côte was interested in displaying the trash collected on the dune in front of the brewery to bring additional awareness to the issues facing coastal habitats in that region of New Brunswick.
Recently, Brasseux d’la Côte developed a white wheat beer called “Barram” to honour the work NB does to protect sand dunes and marram grass in the Acadian peninsula. The name “Barram” comes from the French word “barachois”, a form of the phrase “barre à choir”, which is a sandbar that surrounds a lagoon, and from Marram grass. As Lewnanny explains, none of this would have been possible 10 years ago. In the last decade, there has been a big shift in people’s minds and there is more environmental awareness in addition to a general openness about environmentally focused educational campaigns.
For Executive Director Vanessa Roy-McDougall, partnering for a charity brew is an interesting new avenue for outreach and education. The craft beer market is exploding in New Brunswick so partnering with a local brewery was something they could not pass up. They have noticed an increase in their social media outreach as a result of the partnership and have been featured on local TV and in local newspapers. Lewnanny even says that he has even received calls from neighboring municipalities that heard about his projects from the publicity surrounding the brewery partnership and are interested in organizing beach cleanups in their region.
Increasing public awareness and knowledge of key species at risk and their habitats is an important component to ensuring that vital ecosystems are protected in Canada. Partnerships with local business is an innovative way to reach the public and gain support for protected areas in Canada. Check out Nature Canada’s Engagement Program to learn more about interesting outreach strategies!