TAY SUBWATERSHED, July 24, 2018 — Thanks to special funding through the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is covering costs for shoreline restoration projects to landowners in the Tay Subwatershed.
Landowners whose land drains into the Tay River or one of its 14 catchments (portions of Central Frontenac, Drummond/North Elmsley, Rideau Lakes, South Frontenac and Tay Valley Townships) could be eligible for full cost coverage for shoreline naturalization planting and partial funding for tree planting and livestock restriction fencing projects.
RVCA and the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation were awarded $25,000 by the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund for environmental work specifically located in the Tay River Subwatershed. This special provincial fund supports work that protects and restores ecological health to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin. The money will go towards stewardship activities that will improve watershed health and water quality.
“The RVCA is always looking to work with landowners and businesses who want to help improve water quality,” says Meaghan McDonald. “We do this by undertaking what’s known as best management practices — which are basically simple, practical and affordable ways to manage our resources and let nature do her job on our behalf.”
Unaware of the importance of shoreline vegetation, many landowners clear their shorelines and transform them into urban landscapes. They destroy the cattails, bulrushes and other native species. These changes destroy the balance of the aquatic and shoreline ecosystem. They also alter the wildlife habitat, natural beauty and character of our lakes and rivers. The clean water and features that landowners valued in their waterfront property are compromised.
Fortunately, degraded shorelines can be restored. More and more cottagers and landowners understand the value of natural shorelines.
Tree planting and shoreline naturalization are two easy ways to reduce erosion, filter pollutants and provide valuable habitat to local species. Fencing and restricting livestock from accessing watercourses also protects the shoreline, reduces erosion and keeps animal waste from directly entering creeks, streams and rivers.
“Our goal is to plant at least 5,000 native trees and 1,000 shrubs to naturalize 1,000 metres of shoreline as part of this special project, says Ms. McDonald. “We also hope to work with local farmers and see an additional 300 metres of fencing installed to reduce livestock access to watercourses.”
RVCA staff are looking to connect with interested landowners and conduct site visits and prepare project plans in the coming few months. Fencing projects can be undertaken at any time, but planting projects are being planned now for completion in spring of 2019.
“The success of the program relies largely on landowner interest,” says Ms. McDonald. “We really hope to work with landowners and balance their needs with the needs of the environment. Making the shoreline program free will hopefully enhance participation.”
The project is well supported locally, with participation from community groups including the Friends of the Tay Watershed and Bobs & Crowe Lake Foundation/Association.
“Everyone here wants the same thing,” says Ms. McDonald. “A clean, healthy waterway supporting a vibrant, sustainable community. Working together we hope to maintain and protect the Tay River system.”
To learn more or get involved, contact Meaghan at ext. 1192 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the health of the Tay River Subwatershed and what can be done to maintain and improve local conditions, visit https://watersheds.rvca.ca.