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Today’s local partnerships continue to protect drinking water
Ken Graham, Chair, Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Committee

As we deal with COVID-19, we are reminded of the value and importance of our public health system. Twenty years ago, this May, Ontarians were reeling with the news of different public health event: the Walkerton Water Tragedy. The community of Walkerton, Ontario, located north-west of Toronto with a population of less than 5,000 at the time, saw seven deaths, and 2,300 people fall ill, after breakdowns in the local water system. The drinking supply in Walkerton became contaminated by Escherichia coli and Campylobacter jejuni bacteria.

After a powerful public inquiry, it was time to respond to a tainted-water catastrophe with decisive changes in how our health system was functioning. The O’Connor Commission’s call to action resulted in changes to how drinking water was managed, including the introduction of Ontario’s Clean Water Act, 2006.

In 2007, under the Clean Water Act, Mississippi and Rideau Valley Conservation Authorities formed a local Source Protection Authority which formed a committee of multiple stakeholders — Municipalities, industry, small business, environmental interests, First Nations, agriculture and the general public — who would oversee research and the development of important source protection plans. In effect since 2015, these plans include policies that respond to local threats and help protect our municipal drinking water sources. Since day one, we have been fortunate to have municipalities, residents and businesses support the work of this local Source Protection Authority and do their part to keep our drinking water safe and clean. This work continues today.

And while May is a somber time for Walkerton and Canadians as a whole, we hope that locally we can take comfort that we have made advances through legislation and local teamwork which together are ensuring that our municipal drinking water sources are safe and abundant — now and into the future.

We remember those who lost their lives in Walkerton twenty years ago this month and we think of all the people whose health continues to be affected from that tragedy

Thank you to those in public health, environmental protection and local citizens who continue to work and advocate for safe drinking water. Together we are all part of this work to protect public health in Ontario. Let’s all do our part to keep ourselves, our families and each other safe.  

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Ken Graham is Chair of the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Committee. Ken served 20 years as an elected Smiths Falls Town Councillor and 11 years on the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority Board of Directors including three as Chair. Mr. Graham has also held Board of Directors positions at numerous other organizations such as the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, the Smiths Falls Airport Commission, the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, Smiths Falls Child Development Center and the Smiths Falls Heritage House Museum. In his professional career, Mr. Graham was a civilian employee of the Ontario Provincial Police, a Police Officer with the Smiths Falls Police Service and an Investigator with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

Remembering Walkerton footer

Water Safety Statement Remains in Effect

April 20, 2020 — The Flood Watch issued on April 9, 2020 is being TERMINATED. A Water Safety Statement is in effect as all areas are experiencing high spring flows which are typical for this time of year.

The Ottawa River Regulation Committee has indicated that levels are decreasing along the main stem of the Ottawa River from Pembroke down to the Montreal region as runoff from melting snow in tributaries decreases. It is expected that levels will continue decreasing to normal spring freshet levels as no major precipitation is forecasted over the next few 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.

The Ottawa River Regulating Committee will be reassessing forecast conditions and providing hydrological condition updates on its website daily at ottawariver.ca/forecasts/.

To view current flood warnings across Ontario, visit:
www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.

This WATER SAFETY STATEMENT is in effect until May 4, 2020 at 5:00 PM. No further updates will be issued unless forecasted levels or conditions change.

- end -

Definitions:

  • 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.

Une déclaration sur la sécurité aquatique est en vigueur

20 avril 2020 - La déclaration de veille de crue publié le 9 avril 2020 EST LEVÉE. Une déclaration sur la sécurité aquatique est en vigueur car toutes les régions connaissent des débits de printemps élevés qui sont typiques pour cette période de l'année.

Le Comité de régularisation de la rivière des Outaouais a indiqué que les niveaux sont à la baisse dans le tronçon principal de la rivière des Outaouais, de Pembroke à la région de Montréal, en raison des eaux de fonte des affluents de la rivière qui diminuent. On s'attend à ce que les niveaux continuent à baisser pour atteindre les niveaux normaux de la crue printanière, car aucune précipitation majeure n'est prévue au cours des prochains jours.

Il est conseillé aux résidents de se tenir à l'écart des cours d'eau dont le débit est élevé et dont les berges pourraient être instables. On recommande aux parents d’expliquer ces dangers aux enfants.

Les offices de protection de la nature des rivières Mississippi, Rideau et 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 émises en fonction de l'évolution des conditions.

Le Comité de régularisation de la rivière des Outaouais réévaluera les prévisions et publiera quotidiennement des mises à jour des conditions hydrologiques sur son site Web à ottawariver.ca/forecasts/.

Pour consulter les alertes de crue actuelles en Ontario, visitez le site : www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.

Ce message sur la SÉCURITÉ AQUATIQUE est en vigueur jusqu'au 4 mai 2020 à 17h00. Aucune autre mise à jour ne sera émise à moins que les niveaux ou les conditions prévus ne changent.

- fin -

Définitions :

  • 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
    municipalités spécifiques.

April 9, 2020 — A Flood Watch is being issued for areas along the Lower Ottawa River. Water levels and flows from Arnprior to Hawkesbury continue to rise gradually due to on-going snowmelt in the central and northern portions of the Ottawa River basin.

On Monday a spring storm is expected to bring above average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall. Minor flood levels may be exceeded in low-lying, flood prone areas depending on the temperatures and precipitation received.

Levels and flows are expected to stabilize into the weekend and will continue to rise beginning on Monday.

Levels are currently expected to remain below major flood thresholds in all locations and are expected to be similar to levels reached in May 2018.

AREAS OF CONCERN ALONG LOWER OTTAWA RIVER:

Water levels are expected to be similar or below the peak levels reached in May 2018 for:

  • Constance Bay and Britannia (Grandview Road, Britannia Village, Belltown Community)

Water levels are expected to be similar or slightly above the peak levels reached in May 2018 for:

  • East of Cumberland Village (Boisé Village, Morin Road, Leo Lane)
  • Clarence-Rockland (Voisine, Onesime Guilbord Roads)
  • Alfred-Plantagenet (Presqu’ile (Miller Island), Presquile Road)
  • L’Orignal (Montpetit and Dufour Streets)

Residents in flood-prone areas are encouraged to closely follow evolving conditions and to take necessary measures to protect their property. 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.

The Ottawa River Regulating Committee will be reassessing forecast conditions and providing hydrological condition updates on its website daily at ottawariver.ca/forecasts/.

To view current flood warnings across Ontario, visit: www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.

This FLOOD WATCH is in effect until April 23, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

- end -

Definitions:

  • 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.

 

9 avril 2020 - Une veille de crue est émise pour les secteurs situés le long du cours inférieur de la rivière des Outaouais. Les niveaux d'eau et les débits d'Arnprior à Hawkesbury continuent d'augmenter progressivement en raison de la fonte des neiges en cours dans les parties centrale et nord du bassin de la rivière des Outaouais. 

Lundi, une tempête printanière devrait entraîner des températures supérieures à la moyenne et une quantité importante de précipitations. Les seuils d'inondation mineurs pourraient être dépassés dans les zones basses sujettes aux inondations, en fonction des températures et des précipitations reçues.

Les niveaux et les débits d'eau devraient se stabiliser au cours de la fin de semaine et continuer à augmenter à partir de lundi.

Les niveaux d'eau devraient se maintenir en dessous des seuils d'inondation majeurs dans tous les secteurs et devraient être similaires aux niveaux atteints en mai 2018. 

ZONES PRÉOCCUPANTES LE LONG DU COURS INFÉRIEUR DE LA RIVIÈRE DES OUTAOUAIS : 

Les niveaux d'eau devraient être similaires ou inférieurs aux niveaux maximums atteints en mai 2018 pour :

  • Constance Bay et Britannia (Chemin Grandview, Village de Britannia, Collectivité de Belltown)

Les niveaux d'eau devraient être similaires ou légèrement supérieurs aux niveaux maximums atteints en mai 2018 pour les secteurs suivants :

  • À l'est du village de Cumberland (Village de Boisé, Chemin Morin, Allée Leo) 
  • Clarence-Rockland (Chemins Voisine, Onesime Guilbord, Boileau, Lalonde et Ettyville) 
  • Alfred-Plantagenet (Presqu'ile (Île Miller), chemin Presqu'ile) 
  • L'Orignal (rues Montpetit et Dufour)

On encourage les résidents des zones inondables à suivre de près l'évolution des conditions et à prendre les mesures nécessaires pour protéger leurs biens. Il est conseillé aux résidents de se tenir à l'écart des cours d'eau où les débits sont élevés et où les berges pourraient être instables. On recommande aux parents d'expliquer les dangers aux enfants.

Les offices de protection de la nature des rivières Mississippi, Rideau et 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 émises en fonction de l'évolution des conditions.

Le Comité de régularisation de la rivière des Outaouais réévaluera les prévisions et publiera quotidiennement des mises à jour des conditions hydrologiques sur son site Web à ottawariver.ca/forecasts/.

Pour consulter les alertes de crue actuelles en Ontario, visitez le site : www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.

Cette VEILLE DE CRUE est en vigueur jusqu'au 23 avril 2020 à 17 h.

- fin -

Définitions :

  • 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
    municipalités spécifiques.

Effective February 18, 2020, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is regulating the entire Goulbourn Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) boundary as approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) in 2017. The RVCA will also be regulating 120 metres from the defined 2017 boundary, per Ontario Regulation 174/06.  

Since 2006, the Province of Ontario has required Conservation Authorities to regulate development in wetlands and adjacent lands. The RVCA’s responsibilities in this regard are outlined in Ontario Regulation 174/06. Although the RVCA regulates all PSWs, the wetlands within the Flewellyn Special Study Area, which includes the Goulbourn Wetland Complex, were exempt while the City of Ottawa undertook various studies to better understand the hydrology of the area and a wetland boundary re-evaluation. However, in order to address the matter of ongoing interference with these wetlands, the RVCA Board of Directors, at their meeting on January 25, 2018, passed a motion to apply Ontario Regulation 174/06 to the Goulbourn Wetland Complex based on boundaries that were identified by MNRF in 2008.This was an interim approach until such time as:

  • The City of Ottawa had concluded a re-evaluation of the boundaries for those wetlands within the Flewellyn Special Study Area
  • The wetland boundaries identified through the re-evaluation were approved by MNRF
  • Notification was provided to landowners 
  • The City of Ottawa adopted an official plan amendment to recognize the re-evaluated wetlands as Provincially Significant

These steps have been completed. The City of Ottawa adopted Official Plan Amendment 240 on February 12, 2020 to designate the re-evaluated wetlands within the Flewellyn Special Study Area as Provincially Significant. The RVCA now regulates the entire Goulbourn Wetland Complex PSW in accordance the MNRF approved boundaries, and the 120 adjacent lands. This includes PSWs that were identified through this process that extend beyond the Flewellyn Special Study Area boundary.

What Affect Does Ontario Regulation 174/06 Have?  
 
Ontario Regulation 174/06 (Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation) under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act, requires property owners to obtain the written permission of the RVCA prior to interfering in any way with the existing channel of a river, creek, stream or watercourse or for changing or interfering in any way (including hydrologic function) with a wetland. Therefore, property owners must receive approval from the RVCA prior to undertaking any development or site alteration within a Provincially Significant Wetland or within 120 metres of a Provincially Significant Wetland boundary. Development is defined as: 

  • The construction, reconstruction, erection or placing of a building or structure of any kind or changes to a building or structure that would result in an increase in size or the number of dwelling units, 
  • Site grading, and 
  • Temporary or permanent placing, dumping or removal of any material, originating on the site or elsewhere.

For More Information Please Contact Us  

 We encourage you to contact our office if you have any questions or would like additional information, including a site-specific map of your property showing regulated areas. 

You can contact one of our Resource Specialists at: 

  • Phone: 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1193 (Matt) or 1132 (Emma) 
  • Email:  

You can also view maps, Ontario Regulation 174/06 and RVCA’s development policies at Regulations & Planning

April 06, 2020

RVCA's Fresh Air Fun

fresh air fun copyWith Nature Nut Andrea and Ranger Rebecca

There's fun, discovery and learning available in your backyard or during a walk around the block!

Outdoor Educators Andrea Wood (Baxter Conservation Area) and Rebecca Whitman (Foley Mountain Conservation Area) have  tips and tricks to help you maximize your child's outdoor experience. 

Step 1 — Check out our BLOG for tips and tricks.  
Step 2
— Watch for #RVCAFreshAirFun posts on our social media pages ( twitter new Twitter  facebook new Facebook ) for fun games to maximize your time outside! 

Below are some great resources for safe fun and learning for your little ones (or big ones) while physical distancing.

Resourcesphysical distancing

Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun natural artNatural Art — Hey kids! Why not get outside and collect little pieces of “nature” and create a work of art? What can you use from your backyard to make your own unique masterpiece? A few blades of grass? Maybe a few twigs will help? How about those pinecones? There are treasures to be found! Build your design outside, take a snap and leave it behind. Don’t forget to show us your work of art here!
Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun alphabet copyAlphabet Walk — Hey parents, here’s today’s RVCA Fresh Air Fun tip! Take the little ones for an “alphabet walk.” Can you see letters in shapes around you? Or find objects for every letter of the alphabet. Access our ABC check list here (download PDF)
Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun nature detective artScavenger Hunt — Hey kids! It’s a spring scavenger hunt! Get outside see what you can spy during your outdoor adventure. Get your scavenger hunt here (download PDF).
Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun BooklistBooklist — Hey parents! Pair a fun children’s story with your next walk outside. Make connections from the book to nature while watching the squirrels, jumping in puddles or sitting under a magic tree! Check out Interpreter Andrea and Rebecca’s recommended reading list! Reading List (download PDF)
 
Conservation Area Fresh phototakingSay cheese! What a better way to capture your backyard fresh air fun than with your camera! Spring is blooming! What beautiful outdoor image can you freeze in time? The flight of a feathered friend, the unique bend of a tree branch, the buds about to burst? Post your pictures here!!!
Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun literacyLiteracy Skills — Weave literacy skills into your next bit of fresh air fun! Make a list of the different things you see on your walk while encouraging your child to use literacy skills— younger children can guess the first letter based on the sound, older children can try and spell the words; younger children can also draw pictures rather than writing the words. You can help them fill in the blanks later! You can also use books or online resources when you get some to see if you can figure out how the word is spelled.

Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun loose partsLoose Parts Play — Ever heard of loose parts? Loose parts are things that children can move around, build with, play imaginary games with, and so much more. Right now, getting out to purchase items can be a challenge. So, take a look in your garage, basement, kitchen, etc. and think like a kid!  Boards, tires, old blankets or large pieces of fabric, boxes, crates, kitchen items that aren't in use, buckets, sticks, tubes, pipes, logs, rocks, things from your recycling box, and so much more fit into this category and there is no better place to play with them than in your own backyard! 

Why is this type of play beneficial for kids?  Loose parts encourage kids to be physically active and creative.  The learning is hands on, engaging, and encourages children to communicate and be cooperative along with developing great problem-solving skills.   

Why is this type of play beneficial of parents and guardians?  It takes the mess, noise, and general chaotic nature of children playing and learning outside rather than in the confines of your home! 

Rainy Day Play — Water is a wonderful inConservation Area Fresh Air Fun rainy dayvitation for play and exploration! A puddle, a ditch, a stream, or a pond in your neighbourhood or backyard can all lead to some fresh air fun. Raid your recycling bin for containers that you can use as scoops. If you had an old kitchen strainer, use it as a net. Try and find a pail, bowl, or basin to collect water and any creatures you find! Don’t forget your rubber boots!  Interested in figuring out what you find swimming? Make observation like how big the animal is, how many legs it has, does it have antennae, if can you see gills, and how it swims. Parents, be sure to watch your kids near deep or fast flowing water.

ID Resources: 

Websites:

Books:

  • A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America by J. Reese Voshell Jr.
  • Pond Life by Golden Guide
  • Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes by Lawrence Page and Brooks Burr
  • Field Guide to Insects and Spider of North America by Arthur Evans 

Dry off and pair your experience with a fun story. Check out “Over and Under the Pond" by Kate Messner or "In the Small, Small Pond" by Denise Fleming. If you have a library card, many books can be accessed through digital library connections like OverDrive Tumble Books for free.

Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun toad houseToad House — Hop to it and try your hand at creating toad habitat in your own backyard! Toads are great neighbours because they love to eat bugs and slugs. Learn more from Ranger Rebecca as she gives tips on how to build a toad house with your little ones. Don’t forget to post and tag us in your creation! 

 

Conservation Area Fresh Air MudMud Kitchen — Today’s #RVCAFreshAirFun? How about building a mud kitchen?

The messiness of play and learning can take its tole on your indoor space and patience!  Try taking it outside for some fresh air fun!! Grab some containers from your recycling, buckets, old kitchen utensils, bowls, pots, pans, etc. that you have lying around and set up a mud kitchen in your backyard. Find a spot where your children can dig in the soil or sand and collect ingredients from nature. Fill some containers with water and watch their imaginations go! Although you may see lots of fancy set-ups for mud kitchens online, we have found that children are more than happy to sit on the ground or work with their tools on a stump, bench, board, or picnic table. When the play is finished, you can throw everything in a plastic bin or sturdy reusable shopping bag. Washing things off is totally optional!   

How does this play support learning? Here are just a few examples:

  • Ask you children about the ingredients they are using.
  • Count the scoops and numbers of things they adding to their creations.
  • Offer the opportunity to record their recipe either through words or pictures. 
  • The acts of scooping, stirring, grasping, and more are all great ways to develop fine motor skills. 

Have fun! Don’t for get to check out our blog at https://www.rvca.ca/blog.

Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun ClothesDressing for Spring — There is No Such Thing as Bad Weather, Only the Wrong Clothes!

Spring can be a tricky time of year to dress for with lots of wet weather and temperatures that can sometimes feel hot like summer and sometimes be cold enough for the odd snow flurry!  Here are some tips from our outdoor educators to help you dress for outdoor play success: 

  • Choose light layers – Several light layers are great for cool frosty spring mornings. As the temperatures warm and your play becomes more active, take a layer off at a time until you feel comfortable. If the sun sneaks behind a cloud and you start to feel chilly, grab one of your layers and cozy back up. Try and avoid grabbing cotton for staying warm. Choose wool, fleece, or other polyester materials if you can!    
  • Choose a waterproof outer layer – Look for waterproof rain pants, jackets, one-piece suits, and boots for those wet splashy days. Water is so much fun to play in and it is even more fun when you don’t get wet and cold!  
  • Cozy feet - they can sometimes be hard to find but wool socks for your child's feet (especially in rubber boots) make for warm toes and more comfortable outdoor adventures! 

Don’t forget to check out and sign-up for our blog at https://www.rvca.ca/blog.

Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun mapsMap & Compass — Get back to basics with this edition of fresh air fun! GPS technology is amazing but it doesn’t always work the way we expect it. Traditional map and compass work is a great way to explore outside. Break out your old compass and see if you can figure out how to find north and the other cardinal directions. Grab some paper, pencils, and colouring tools to make a map of your backyard or neighbourhood. See if you can match north on your map to magnetic north and see how that can help you navigate on your adventure. Ranger Rebecca explains more at https://youtu.be/6e9J29G8xD8 

Conservation Area Fresh Air Fun loose partsSidewalk Chalk — Do you have a container of sidewalk chalk lying around? In our forest school programs, we have discovered that it’s not just for sidewalks We bring it with us to mark our path on outdoor adventures and write what letters things start with. We mash it with our mud kitchen tools and mix it into our creations (think sprinkles for delicious mud cupcakes) or add water to make paint and create artwork on rocks and logs. The good news for clean-up? Just wait for a rainy day or let the kids get out the hose! Share some of your creative chalk fun in the comments! 

How does this play support learning? Here are just a few examples:

  • Creativity and imagination
  • Fine motor skills used for mashing, scooping, and mixing
  • Problem solving and figuring out how to use things in a different way
  • Talking about and maybe writing down our procedures

Conservation Area Fresh bugs slugs alphabetTiny Habitats — Time for a little more #RVCAFreshAirFun!

Even though it might be difficult to get out to a forest right now to look for creatures, did you know that you might have some tiny habitats right around your house? Do you have a rock sitting in your garden? How about a big stick or log sitting on your grass by your shed? Try lifting it up and looking underneath! You might be surprised what you find!  When you are finished, be sure to put the rock or log back so the things living underneath stay safe.    

How does this play support learning? Here are just a few examples:

  • Talking about and describing the things you are seeing.
  • Asking questions as to why they are there and what makes it a good habitat.  
  • Counting the different creatures you see.

Resources:

  • Under One Rock: Bugs, Slugs, and other Ughs by Anthony D. Fredericks, illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio
  • A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Robin Brickman
Conservation Area Fresh owlsPretend to be an animal — How about getting outside for some #RVCAFreshAirFun and pretending to be an animal? Try hide and seek with a forest friend twist – the little owls fly out into the forest and hide from one of their owl friends. When everyone is ready, the owls start to hoot and their friends listens to try and find them. 
 
 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 

April 3, 2020 (WCS – R06/2020)  –The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is terminating the FLOOD WATCH that was previously in effect and issuing a HIGH WATER SAFETY message for all areas. Water levels and flows are still high for most, but not all, of the larger waterbodies in the Rideau Valley Watershed.

The short-term forecast does not indicate any significant precipitation and the snow is now melted across the Rideau Valley Watershed. As such, water levels and flows are expected to slowly decline in the days ahead.

Everyone needs to be cautious around lakes and streams with the fluctuating water levels. Children need to be educated about the hazards and kept away from all watercourses.

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until April 16, 2020 at 5 PM. No further updates will be issued unless the forecast or conditions change.

-end-


"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.

March 30, 2020 — A Water Safety Statement is being issued for areas along the Lower Ottawa River. Based on current snow cover and weather forecast, it’s anticipated that levels and flows from Arnprior to Hawkesbury will remain within the normal range of fluctuations associated with the spring freshet period.

The Ottawa River Regulating Committee indicates that with warming temperatures and forecasted precipitation, increases in flows and levels are expected to continue and may cause minor flooding in low-lying areas over the coming weeks depending on the temperatures and precipitation received. Levels are currently expected to remain below flood thresholds.

Throughout the freshet period, the combination of heavy rainfall and snowmelt may result in rapid increases in water levels and flows on the main stem of the Ottawa River from Mattawa down to the Montreal Region.

Residents in flood-prone areas are encouraged to closely follow evolving conditions and to take necessary measures. 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.

The Ottawa River Regulating Committee will be reassessing forecast conditions and providing hydrological condition updates on its website daily at ottawariver.ca/forecasts/.

To view current flood warnings across Ontario, visit: www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.

This WATER SAFETY STATEMENT is in effect until April 10, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

- end -

Definitions:

  • 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.

Le 30 mars 2020 — Une déclaration de sécurité aquatique est publiée pour les zones situées le long du cours inférieur de la rivière des Outaouais. Selon la couverture de neige actuelle et les prévisions météorologiques, on prévoit que les niveaux et les débits d'eau d'Arnprior à Hawkesbury resteront dans la fourchette normale des fluctuations associées à la période des crues printanières.

Le Comité de régularisation de la rivière des Outaouais indique qu'avec le réchauffement des températures et les précipitations prévues, l'augmentation des débits et des niveaux devrait se poursuivre et pourrait provoquer des inondations mineures dans les zones basses au cours des prochaines semaines, en fonction des températures et des précipitations reçues. Les niveaux devraient actuellement rester en dessous des seuils d'inondation.

Tout au long de la période de crue, la combinaison de fortes précipitations et de la fonte des neiges pourrait entraîner une augmentation rapide des niveaux et des débits sur le cours principal de la rivière des Outaouais, de Mattawa jusqu'à la région de Montréal.

On encourage les résidents des zones inondables à suivre de près l'évolution des conditions et à prendre les mesures nécessaires. Il est conseillé aux résidents de se tenir à l'écart des cours d'eau où les débits sont élevés et où les berges pourraient être instables. On recommande aux parents d'expliquer les dangers aux enfants.

Les offices de protection de la nature des rivières Mississippi, Rideau et 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 émises en fonction de l'évolution des conditions.

Le Comité de régularisation de la rivière des Outaouais réévaluera les prévisions et publiera quotidiennement des mises à jour des conditions hydrologiques sur son site Web à ottawariver.ca/forecasts/. Pour consulter les alertes de crue actuelles en Ontario, visitez le site : www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.

Cette DÉCLARATION DE SÉCURITÉ AQUATIQUE est en vigueur jusqu'au 10 avril 2020 à 17 h.

- fin -

Définitions :

  • 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
    municipalités spécifiques.

Updated Flood Outlook & Flood Watch: Rain in Forecast Will Cause Water Levels to Increase Again Across the Rideau Valley Watershed

(WCS – R05/2020) March 27, 2020 –The short-term forecast is calling for rainfall amounts of 35 millimetres or more on Sunday and into Monday with above zero temperatures. As such, water levels and flows across the Rideau Valley Watershed are expected to increase again.

A FLOOD WATCH is being issued for properties around Christie Lake and Wolfe Lake. In these areas, residents should expect freshet like water levels and flows. Parks Canada staff are closely monitoring the water levels in Bobs Lake and Christie Lake, and operations at the Bolingbroke Dam.

A FLOOD WATCH continues for the low-lying areas along Stevens Creek and Taylor Drain in the Village of North Gower; however, water levels are expected to be less than those that have already been seen this spring.

A FLOOD OUTLOOK is being maintained/issued for the following areas:

  • Properties around Bob’s Lake and Tay River in the upper Rideau Valley Watershed. In these areas, residents should expect spring like water levels and flows. Parks Canada staff are closely monitoring the water levels in Bobs Lake and Christie Lake, and operations at the Bolingbroke Dam will take place as required, to balance the levels in Bobs Lake and Christie Lake.
  • Properties around the Long Reach (Burritts Rapids to Kars) of the Rideau River.
  • Properties around the smaller creeks and streams in the lower Rideau Valley Watershed, including the low-lying roads and waterfront properties adjacent to the Jock River (near Richmond).
  • Any connected creeks or ditches.

Extreme caution should be exercised by everyone when near local waterbodies. Please note that riverbanks are very slippery at this time of year and it’s quite easy for a child or adult to inadvertently fall into the water. Parents should inform their children of the risks and provide appropriate supervision.

Residents in flood prone or low-lying areas, historically susceptible to flooding, should continue to take the necessary precautions to protect their property, such as:

  • Ensuring sump pump is clear, in good working condition and has a backwater valve
  • Ensuring easy access to a portable backup generator and pump
  • Ensuring downspouts are clear and the outlet is at least 3 metres from the dwelling
  • Securing items that might float away as flows increase
  • Removing valuable items from basements or lower floors that could be subject to flooding
  • Keeping emergency phone numbers handy
  • Familiarizing yourself with your municipality’s Emergency Preparedness Plan

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until April 9, 2020, at 5 p.m. and will be updated at that time unless the forecast or conditions change.


"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.

The health, safety and well-being of our clients and staff is our top priority. RVCA is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with the following changes in operations and programming effective immediately:

  • The RVCA Administrative Centre (3889 Rideau Valley Drive, Manotick) is closed to the general public.
  • Meetings and events scheduled at the RVCA Administrative Centre are cancelled.
  • Staff are working remotely, and we are moving forward with a business as usual approach.
  • Please call 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 or search online at rvca.ca/directory for a directory of services and contact information.

Scroll below for important information on:

  • Conservation Areas
  • Summer Day Camps and Outdoor Education Programs
  • Special Events
  • Planning and Regulations
  • Ottawa Septic System Office

Conservation Areas

During the first stage of reopening, Emergency Provincial Orders remain in place prohibiting gatherings of more than five people outside of your current household. This applies to all public use of our conservation areas.  In all cases, physical distancing of at least two metres – six feet –  is required.

We are opening our amenities as staff and time permit. Please note the below:

General: 

  • Trails are open at all RVCA Conservation Areas.
  • Fees are no longer being waived. Day Passes and Annual Passes are avilable at https://www.rvca.ca/conservation-areas/purchase-a-pass
  • Foley Mountain Conservation Area gates will be open from 8:30 a.m. to dusk. Gates will be closed and locked outside these hours.
  • Baxter Conservation Area is open from dawn to dusk. 
  • Interpretive centres, washrooms and changerooms remain closed. Plan your visit accordingly and bring your own hand sanitizer as there are no hand washing facilities available.
  • Picnic tables and railings are not cleaned on a regular basis. Bring your own hand sanitizer as there are no hand washing facilities available.
  • Sites are not being maintained. Visitors are asked to carry any garbage or pet waste out with them. Please do not leave pet waste.
  • We are sure many people will be keen to get out and enjoy conservation area trails and boat launches. Please be prepared to make the necessary decision to turn around if the parking lots look busy or full and come another time!

 Please follow Conservation Area rules:

  • General Covid Sign Social Media V3STAY HOME if you are self-isolating, under quarantine, have recently returned from any travel outside of the area or are showing any signs of illness.
  • If you are going to a Conservation Area, you should be going alone or with your household unit.
  • Follow physical distancing guidelines and remain more than six feet from others.
  • Follow directional signs on posted on trails at specific Conservation Areas.
  • Yield to oncoming trail users when necessary (crossing bridges, climbing viewing platforms)
  • Keep dogs on leash.
  • Trash-in, trash-out! Please take your trash with you.
  • Do not congregate in a Conservation Area.

Boat Launches:

  • RVCA boat launches are open.

 Beaches

  • Beaches are open at Baxter and Rideau Ferry Yacht Club Conservation Areas. The beach at Foley Mountain remains closed. Please note that Interpretive centres, washrooms and changerooms remain closed. Please plan your visit accordingly.

Interpretive Centres, Washrooms and Changerooms

  • Interpretive centres, washrooms and changerooms remain closed. Bring your own hand sanitizer as there are no hand washing facilities available.

Benches, picnic tables, shelters, lookouts

  • Amenities, including benches, picnic tables, shelters and lookouts, are open. These amenities are not cleaned regularly. Bring your own hand sanitizer as there are no hand washing facilities available. Please plan your trip accordingly. 

Play Fields

  • Play fields are available for casual use only, respecting physical distancing measures and groups of no more than five people.

Summer Day Camps and Outdoor Education Programs

  • Summer day camp programs (Baxter and Foley Mountain) are cancelled. We made this difficult decision out of an abundance of caution and to protect the healthy and safety of our campers and staff.  
  • Interpretive centres and at RVCA Conservation Areas are closed to the general public.
  • Education programming and rentals at Baxter and Foley Mountain Conservation Areas are cancelled.

Special Events

Saturday, May 9, 2020 - Lanark County Tree Giveaway is cancelled. We are hoping to reschedule in June 20, 2020. Watch for updates here and on our social media platforms. 


RVCA Planning and Regulation Services

  • Staff continue to provide service over the phone and through email. Please call 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 or search online at rvca.ca/directory for a directory of services and contact information.
  • Permits and other hard copy documents can be couriered or dropped off or delivered in our drop box at the RVCA Administrative office at Box 599, 3889 Rideau Valley Drive, Manotick ON K4M 1A5 or emailed to the appropriate staff member.
  • Planning application payments can be taken over the phone at 613-692-3571 ext. 1128.
  • Section 28 permit payments can be taken over the phone at 613-692-3571 ext. 1193.
  • Onsite inspections will only be conducted without any other persons on site. Should anyone be onsite during visits, we ask that they remain inside their homes or vehicles and that they speak to our inspectors by phone during the visit.

Ottawa Septic System Office

We will continue to monitor the situation and reassess as more information becomes available. Please check our website and social media platforms for updates. Your patience and cooperation are appreciated.-

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Contact Us

Address:
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

Phone:
613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504

Email:

Hours:

Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario