EASTERN ONTARIO — The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) Board of Directors celebrated World Water Day with release of their 2017 Annual Report. The report highlights the many achievements and on-the-ground projects that happened throughout the over 4,000 square kilometres of the Rideau watershed — activities that focus attention on the importance of water and supports World Water Day values.
“RVCA is committed to supporting watershed health and the principles promoted through World Water Day,” said Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, RVCA General Manager. “It is fitting that we release our 2017 Annual Report on this special day and share how RVCA and its many partners are working to support human health and well-being through sound management and protection of the natural systems around us.”
World Water Day 2017 looks to nature-based solutions to help solve many of our water challenges. The challenge is to do more with ‘green’ infrastructure wherever possible. Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods. These globally endorsed concepts and principles are fully supported by the RVCA and guide its local conservation work.
RVCA and its many partners (municipalities, farmers, property owners, conservation groups, businesses and academia) recognize the value of water and the benefits of nature. RVCA looks to protect the health of the Rideau watershed and the people who live in it through environmental monitoring and reporting, on-the-ground restoration and stewardship, conservation lands and education, development review and approval and flood forecasting and warning.
“Without natural features like forests and wetlands, we wouldn’t have clear air to breathe, clean water to drink, rivers to boat, swim and fish in, water and soil to support agriculture and industry and green spaces to explore and relax in,” said Ms. Casgrain-Robertson. “Simply put, nature sustains life.”
Highlights for 2017 include:
- $752,192+ in grants distributed to landowners who undertook stewardship projects
- 274,550 trees planted (5.97 million planted since 1984)
- 200,000 visitors to conservation areas annually
- 10,200+ students experienced RVCA Outdoor Education Programs
- 9,700 trees and shrubs planted along shorelines through RVCA’s Shoreline Naturalization Program
- 3,000 hectares of conservation land protected and managed
- 1,191 hours from 262 volunteers invested in Ottawa’s City Stream Watch program to research and clean up city streams
- 1,187 Planning Act applications received (minor variances, site plan control, subdivision applications, etc.)
- 628 applications for new or replacement septic systems received
- 380 hours donated by 25+ volunteers to help monitor and sample Watershed Watch lakes
- 348 septic re-inspections completed in participating municipalities
- 300 applications received for work along wetlands, shorelines and waterways (Section 28, Conservation Authorities Act)
- 42 kilometres of trails maintained for public use at local conservation areas
- 40 flood forecasting and warnings messages issued in 2017
- 39 lakes and 58 river and stream sides monitored for nutrients, E.coli and other parameters
- 16 wells monitored for ground water quantity and quality
- 6 invasive species removals and 5 stream clean ups on tributary streams in Ottawa
- release of the Jock River Subwatershed Report and 12 Jock catchment reports
- posting of 6 subwatershed reports and 66 catchment reports online at watersheds.rvca.ca
“Today’s investment in local water and watershed health will ensure a sustainable future — one that supports local communities, economies, tourism and recreation,” said Ms. Casgrain-Robertson. “Thanks to everyone who helped us achieve our 2017 goals and we look forward to continued support and success in 2018.”
For your copy of the RVCA 2017 Annual Report, visit www.rvca.ca or call 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 for a hard copy. To see what’s in store for 2018 take a look at our 2018 Budget and Work Plan which is also available online at our website.