Kingston – As part of a provincewide roll-out to commemorate World Water Day, March 22, The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) is releasing its 2018 Watershed Report Card for the Cataraqui region.
The results show that, in general terms, the local watersheds are in relatively good shape. As it is a report card, grades were given for various aspects of the watershed, based on information from sampling and consideration of detailed aerial photography.
Groundwater quality received primarily A’s and B’s, while surface water quality grades were all B’s and C’s. Forest conditions were given mostly B and C grades, with D grades given to some southwestern portions of the CRCA territory. Wetland conditions show the most variance, although the bulk of the territory scored an A, there are also some B, C and D ranges, with the lower grades again coming in the southwestern end of the CRCA jurisdiction.
The 2018 Watershed Report Card provides an easy-to-understand snapshot of current conditions throughout the Cataraqui region. Conservation authorities such as the CRCA work to address issues and concerns identified in these report cards, often in partnership with local landowners, other regional environmental groups, community organizations, municipalities and provincial ministries.
Watershed report cards help us to identify areas for improvement and further investigation of environmental problems and issues within local watershed, identifying specific areas that need protection, restoration and/or management.
According to Holly Evans, the CRCA’s Co-ordinator of Watershed Planning, the Watershed Report Card for the Cataraqui watershed is a resource for residents who are interested in the general state of watershed health, as well as those who are interested to learn what actions can be taken to make improvements.
Evans reiterated that things are relatively good in our watershed.
“Overall, the Cataraqui Region has good wetland and forest cover, but there are areas for improvement. Surface water is being impacted by increased urban development, but that high total phosphorous levels are supporting increased productivity in aquatic ecosystems,” she said, adding that there are actions area residents can take to help maintain the health of the watershed.
“Keep stream and lake shorelines natural, support local initiatives to restore degraded areas, properly use and maintain septic systems and contribute to volunteer monitoring programs.”
For more information and to view the 2018 Watershed Report Card for the Cataraqui region, visit https://crca.ca/watershed-management/watershed-report-card/.
If you’re interested in comparing local results to other regions a story map has been developed to show more detailed information about conditions across the province: www.stateofontariowatersheds.ca.