The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, in partnership with seven other agencies in Ottawa (City of Ottawa, Heron Park Community Association, Ottawa Flyfishers Society, Rideau Roundtable, National Defense HQ – Fish and Game Club, Ottawa Stewardship Council and the National Captial Commission) form the City Stream Watch collaborative in 2014.
The goal of the program is to obtain, record, and manage valuable information on the physical and biological characteristics of creeks and streams in the City of Ottawa, while ensuring that they are respected and valued natural features of the communities through which they flow. To this end, the program relies on and encourages the interest and commitment of volunteers from the community, guided by an experienced coordinator, to learn and conduct macro stream assessments on local waterways, participate in sampling fish communities through seining, and assist in stream clean-ups and stream rehabilitation projects.
The City Stream Watch program uses stream characterization protocols originally developed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Officials at the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, to facilitate its use by community volunteers, have since altered the protocol. Development of the protocol was essential, as volunteer groups consist of people with a variety of educational backgrounds and experiences.
In 2012, City Stream Watch celebrated its 10th anniversary of environmental monitoring, stewardship and community collaboration in the Rideau Valley. Dignitaries, specieal guests and staff gathered at the Rideau Valley Conservation Center on December 13, 2012 to celebrate this important milestone for the program. "The program is unique as it collects field information through hardworking and dedicated volunteers," said collaborative member and RVCA Project Manager, Jennifer Lamoureux. "We are very grateful to our many program sponsors, but most of all to the 1,300 volunteers who have invested over 9,000 hours into the program. It is an impressive commuity investment into the health of our local streams and creeks."