RIDEAU VALLEY, June 6, 2023 — New accessible infrastructure, expanded septic services, a new clean water program and the planting of our 7 millionth tree: the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) accomplished all this and more in 2022.
The RVCA provides conservation-led programs and services based on a watershed-wide model serving 18 member municipalities along the Rideau River and its tributaries. Our wide-ranging programs cover a huge geographic area of more than 4,000 km2, from Central Frontenac to Merrickville-Wolford and downriver to the City of Ottawa. Through science, stewardship and education, the RVCA strives to manage local natural resources sustainably to ensure a healthy watershed for the future.
A newly-released 2022 annual report highlights RVCA’s many accomplishments over the year, including:
- 317,000 people visited RVCA conservation areas in 2022 (up from 200,000 annually pre-pandemic)
- 6,783 students participated in outdoor education programs at Baxter and Foley Mountain Conservation Areas
- 2 accessible bridge projects begun at our most popular conservation areas (1 each at Baxter and Chapman Mills conservation areas)
- 239,595 trees planted (7 million planted since 1984)
- 10,127 trees and shrubs planted on 69 waterfront properties
- 3,687m2 of invasive species removed during 12 volunteer removal events
- 1,392 Planning Act applications reviewed
- 353 Section 28 applications processed under the Conservation Authorities Act
- 734 septic system applications processed for new or replacement septic systems across nine municipalities
- 117 sites sampled for water quality on lakes, rivers and major tributaries
- 196 Clean Water Projects completed in partnership with landowners
- 2,050 healthy butternut seedlings distributed to help replace dead and dying butternut trees in Eastern Ontario
- Restoration continued at the Stillwater Wetland Complex (Nepean) and the Hutton Creek Marsh Wetland (Lombardy)
Staff also met strict approval and customer service goals, issuing 99% of Section 28 permits within provincial timelines and issuing most septic permits within half the provincial timelines.
“Staff work tirelessly to ensure the watershed is healthy and thriving for all who call it home,” said Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, RVCA General Manager. “We are extremely proud of our municipally-supported programs that look to build resilient communities in the face of climate change and population growth.”
We extend our thanks to our member municipalities, partners and volunteers who made 2022 such a success and we look forward to a productive 2023.
Download the RVCA’s 2022 Annual Report at www.rvca.ca or call 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 to request a hard copy.
ATR-May June 2023
Tenders and RFPs
The RVCA encourages competition among suppliers in order to maximize savings for taxpayers. The purchasing process is transparent and equitable ensuring fairness among bidders.
Request for Proposal
RVCA Website Development and Support
RFP Inquiry Addendum
Question 1: What is the budget/budget range for website development and support?
Response: We have estimated costs associated with this RFP to be between $60,000 - $90,000.
Question: Can you provide specific information for your requirements for these:
- Public engagement functionalities
- Project management capabilities
- Performance management tool
Response: Although listed in section 2.2 as required deliverables, we don't have any large need for these functionalities or capabilities. It would be reassuring to know the CMS has the capability to add these elements should it become a need.
Question: Google says there are 4,000 pages of content [on the current site]. Will all this content be included in the new website or will you audit and streamline the content? Do you need assistance with this and if so, to what extent? Will your team input the content after training or do you need assistance with this?
Response: We anticipate reducing content significantly. RVCA’s communication staff are currently working to edit and streamline content. This includes restructuring the menus and flow of the site, although we look forward to sharing that with our successful contractor to gain their input and insight on how to best to present information to improve user experience. We do not anticipate inputting large amounts of content during the initial design stage but rather during the testing phase and following the website’s launch. However, this could be a cost-saving option should our anticipated budget be insufficient.
(WCS – R12/2023)
May 19, 2023 – The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is terminating the Flood Watch that was previously in effect and issuing a High Water Safety message for Bobs Lake and Christie Lake.
The water levels on Bobs and Christie Lakes continue to decline slowly. Although some precipitation is in the forecast for the weekend, both lakes are now near seasonal levels and are not expected to increase significantly. Parks Canada staff are closely monitoring the water levels in these lakes. Operations at the Bolingbroke Dam will take place as required to balance the levels in Bobs Lake and Christie Lake.
Water levels and flows in the rest of the Rideau Valley Watershed are generally average for this time of year.
Everyone should be cautious around lakes and streams given the fluctuating water levels. Children should be educated about the hazards and supervised around all watercourses.
This watershed conditions statement is in effect until Thursday June 1, 2023 at 5 PM. No further messages will be issued unless forecasted levels or conditions change.
Contact: Brian Stratton, RVCA Manager Engineering Services
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-6804, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1141
"Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is a partnership of municipalities within the Rideau Valley watershed
created under the Conservation Authorities Act to deliver a range of programs in watershed management and
natural resource conservation."
RVCA Watershed Conditions Statements:
- Water Safety – High flows, unstable banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
- Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts, calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams and/or lakeshore flooding or erosion.
- Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individuals in flood prone areas should prepare.
- Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.
UPDATE #5: Flood Warning Downgrade — Lower Ottawa River | Mise à jour no 5 : Levee De L'Avertissement de crue – Cours inférieur de la rivière des Outaouais
Water Conditions Statement: Water Safety — Lower Ottawa River
May 18, 2023 – The Flood Warning for the Ottawa River issued on May 10, 2023 has been downgraded to a Water Safety Statement.
Water levels along the Lower Ottawa River from Gatineau to the Grenville/Hawkesbury area are expected to continue decreasing over the coming days.
Based on Ottawa River Regulating Committee forecasts, Ottawa River water levels are declining, and the rate of decline is slowing as they reach normal summer targets. There is no snow remaining in the watershed and reservoirs are now targeting summer levels. No significant rain is forecasted for the next couple of days.
Residents are advised to stay away from watercourses where flows are high and where banks might be unstable. Parents are encouraged to explain dangers to children.
The Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley, and South Nation Conservation Authorities monitor water levels and weather forecasts with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as part of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Program. Updates are provided as conditions change.
This Water Safety Statement will remain in effect until Thursday, June 1 at 5:00 p.m. No further updates will be issued unless forecasted levels or conditions change.
For more information regarding the Ottawa River, visit www.ottawariver.ca.
To view current flood warnings across Ontario, visit: www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
RVCA Manager Engineering Services
613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1141
- Water Conditions Statement: Water Safety: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
- Water Conditions Statement: Flood Outlook: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions.
- Flood Watch: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities.
- Flood Warning: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.
Déclaration sur l’état de la rivière, mise à jour no 5 : Déclaration Sécurité Aquatique: - Cours inférieur de la rivière des Outaouais
Le 18 mai 2023 - L'avertissement de crue pour la rivière des Outaouais émis le 10 mai 2023 a été rétrogradé à une déclaration de Sécurité aquatique.
On s'attend à ce que les niveaux d'eau le long du cours inférieur de la rivière des Outaouais, de Gatineau à la région de Grenville/Hawkesbury, continuent de diminuer au cours des prochains jours.
Selon les prévisions du Comité de régularisation de la rivière des Outaouais, les niveaux d'eau de la rivière des Outaouais diminuent, et le taux de baisse ralentit alors qu'ils atteignent les cibles estivales normales. Il ne reste plus de neige dans le bassin versant et les réservoirs approchent maintenant les niveaux d'été. Aucune pluie importante n'est prévue pour les deux prochains jours.
Il est conseillé aux habitants de ne pas s'approcher des cours d'eau dont le débit est élevé et dont les berges peuvent être instables. On demande aux parents d'expliquer ces risques à leurs enfants.
Les offices de protection de la nature de la vallée de la Mississippi, de la vallée de la Rideau et de la Nation Sud surveillent les niveaux d'eau et les prévisions météorologiques avec le ministère des Richesses naturelles et des Forêts dans le cadre du programme de prévision et d'alerte des crues. Des mises à jour sont transmises au fur et à mesure de l'évolution des conditions.
Cette Déclaration Sécurité Aquatique restera en vigueur jusqu'au jeudi 1er juin à 17 h. Aucune autre mise à jour ne sera émise à moins que les niveaux ou les conditions prévus ne changent.
Pour de plus amples renseignements sur la rivière des Outaouais, visitez le site www.ottawariver.ca.
Pour consulter les alertes de crues en cours en Ontario, visitez le site www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.
POUR PLUS D’INFORMATIONS :
RVCA Manager Engineering Services
613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 poste 1141
- Communiqué sur les conditions des bassins versants – Sécurité aquatique : indique que des débits forts, de la glace fondante ou d’autres facteurs peuvent être dangereux pour des utilisateurs comme les plaisanciers, les pêcheurs à la ligne et les baigneurs, mais qu’une crue n’est pas prévue.
- Communiqué sur les conditions des bassins versants – Perspective de crue :préavis de crue possible basé sur des prévisions de pluies abondantes, de fonte des neiges, de forts vents ou autre.
- Veille de crue :possibilité de crue pour des cours d’eau et municipalités spécifiques.
- Avertissement de crue : crue immimente ou en cours pour des cours d’eau et
2022 Annual Report
RVCA’s 7 millionth tree takes root in Richmond
RIDEAU VALLEY, May 16, 2023 – The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority had seven million reasons to smile on Saturday, May 13 as it celebrated the planting of its seven millionth tree with a commemorative event in Richmond.
Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and Elizabethtown-Kitley Mayor Brant Burrow helped plant a burr oak sapling, which served as a symbolic seven millionth tree for the ceremony. In reality, the true milestone seedling is growing somewhere in the watershed, likely hand-planted last spring in a rural landowner’s unused field along with thousands of other bare root native trees.
Since 1984, the RVCA has been committed to tree planting across the watershed as part of its comprehensive watershed management strategy. Trees aren’t just pretty providers of shade; they are also key to reducing the impacts of floods and droughts, filtering contaminants out of stormwater, storing carbon, managing erosion and providing critical wildlife habitat.
Most of the trees planted since 1984 have been through RVCA’s Private Landowner Forestry program, which offers generous financial and technical support for farmers and other rural landowners to complete large-scale planting on their properties. The program offers steep subsidies, bringing prices as low as $0.15 per tree. Program costs are covered by funding partners such as Forests Ontario, the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation and One Tree Planted.
Landowners in all 18 of RVCA’s member municipalities have participated in the program, but the City of Ottawa and Elizabethtown-Kitley’s landowners have planted the most. More than 2 million trees have been planted in the City of Ottawa through its Green Acres program, which works with RVCA as well as Mississippi Valley and South Nation conservation authorities to plant trees on private lands. Elizabethtown-Kitley has about 600,000 trees on the books since 1992, more than any other rural municipality in the watershed.
“Seven million trees is quite an accomplishment,” Mayor Sutcliffe told Saturday’s crowd, which included donors and funding partners as well as about 30 volunteers who had just finished planting another 130 trees along Flowing Creek. Sutcliffe reiterated his commitment to planting another one million trees during this term of office.
Mayor Burrow said he was proud to learn his municipality is tops in tree planting in rural Rideau Valley.
"Considering that Elizabethtown-Kitley covers an area of more than 550 square kilometers, it stands to reason our tree canopy would be fairly significant," Mayor Burrow said. "However, learning that our landowners have added another 600,000 trees to the natural inventory still came as a bit of a surprise - and it is something our residents should be extremely proud of."
Mayor Burrow suggested he’d like his municipality to hit 700,000 by the end of his term in 2026.
RVCA general manager Sommer Casgrain-Robertson said this milestone is another great example of the watershed-wide model at work.
“When we plant trees in Portland, residents downstream in Smiths Falls benefit. When we plant trees in Merrickville, residents downstream in Barrhaven benefit. We’re all downstream from somewhere,” Casgrain-Robertson said. “We are thrilled to see the commitment from local landowners as they embrace these natural solutions on their properties, for the benefit of the entire watershed.”
RVCA thanks its many partners, donors and supporters for helping it reach this momentous milestone.
To learn more about the tree planting program and book a site visit, visit https://www.rvca.ca/stewardship-grants.
PERTH, May 15, 2023 – Staff and volunteers duelled thick grass, invasive species and hardened shorelines last weekend as they planted nearly 1,200 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers along the Tay River in Last Duel Park.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) partnered with the Town of Perth to implement the major shoreline naturalization project at the former campground. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund provided funding.
All told, staff and volunteers helped naturalize more than 350 metres of shoreline on May 13.
The new plantings in three areas along the existing pathway left room for three lookouts over the Tay River, and in some areas favoured low-growing plants to preserve the view for path users.
Natural shorelines are the “ribbon of life,” with more than 90% of lake and river species depending on the intersection of land and water at some point during their life cycles. Natural shorelines also help to reduce erosion as deep-rooted native plants and trees hold the soil in place in the face of wake, wind and runoff. They also slow stormwater so it has time to soak into the ground, filtering contaminants in the process and improving local water quality.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Town of Perth to bring this project to life,” said RVCA’s shoreline naturalization co-ordinator Brandon Holden. “It may not look like much right now, but once these plants and trees take root residents will reap the benefits of this healthy shoreline for decades to come.”
This won’t be the last duel for the new shoreline plants, though. They’ll contend with competing grasses and invasive species for at least three years as the new plants take root and begin to grow. To aid them in their battle, coir mats have been deployed to suppress weeds and grasses around many of the seedlings. While the planting areas are designated no-mow zones, some maintenance may be required if existing grasses or invasive species begin to out-compete the native plants.
“We extend a huge thanks to the volunteers who came out over the Mother’s Day weekend to improve their park and support natural climate solutions in their community,” said Shannon Baillon, Director of Community Services at the Town of Perth. “We look forward to enjoying a more beautiful shoreline for years to come.”
RVCA offers generous financial and technical support for shoreline naturalization for any waterfront landowners in the Rideau Valley watershed. Learn more and book a site visit at https://www.rvca.ca/stewardship-grants/shoreline-naturalization/shoreline-naturalization-program.
PORTLAND, May 11, 2023 – Residents worried about water quality and algae blooms in the Rideau Lakes and nearby waterways can now take matters in their own hands.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) has partnered with Rideau Lakes Township, Cataraqui Conservation and Big Rideau Lake Association to sell rain barrels this month as part of its ongoing sustainable drainage project in Portland and surrounding areas.
Installing a rain barrel is an easy, inexpensive step residents can take to reduce runoff and keep contaminants out of their lake. The barrel is placed under an eavestrough or gutter to catch rainwater as it drains off roofs and other hardened surfaces. During dry periods, the stored water can be used to water the garden.
This storage system stops stormwater from carrying harmful chemicals, sediments and excess nutrients into our lakes and rivers.
“When rainwater rushes across roads, laneways and fields, it picks up all sorts of nutrients and possible contaminants that can hurt our lakes,” said Mike Yee, an RVCA planner and committee member on the sustainable drainage project. “When we slow stormwater down or store it for later, we see fewer algae blooms, fewer unwanted aquatic plants and better overall water quality.”
Rain barrels and accessories can be purchased at www.rainbarrel.ca/rvca for pickup at Portland Bay Conservation Area on Friday, May 26 from 3 to 7 p.m. Residents can see a demonstration rain barrel in action while they’re on site, which also features a rain garden to help soak up runoff from major storms.
Money raised from the sale will support continued sustainable drainage efforts in Portland and the surrounding area.
For program information and for sustainable drainage resources visit https://www.rvca.ca/sustainable-drainage-pilot-project-portland.