Page 1

What Are We Doing?

What Can You Do?

Long Point Region Conservation Authority (LPRCA) is a community-based environmental agency that works closely with municipal, provincial and federal government partners, landowners and community groups to protect, restore and manage the natural resources in the Long Point Region watershed.

Each parcel of land, whether it is urban or rural, and each individual action can make a real difference to the health of our watershed. Whether you live in a town, or close to a forest, wetland, meadow or stream, there are lots of actions you can do to help the natural environment thrive.

Our watershed covers 2,800 square kilometres and includes most of Norfolk County and parts of Brant, Elgin, Haldimand and Oxford counties. While we may be best known for our conservation areas, there is a lot more to the Long Point Region Conservation Authority. The staff at LPRCA plant trees, monitor water quality, protect drinking water supplies, monitor water levels and deliver conservation and heritage education programs, to name just a few of our activities.

Be a Watershed Steward Land stewardship is something that everyone can participate in to improve the health of the watershed. Some things you can do are:

Planning & Regulation Services: We build a healthier watershed where people and property are protected from flooding and erosion, and where land and water are conserved and restored. Healthy Watershed Services: We work toward an environmentally and economically healthy watershed that benefits all who have a stake in it. LPRCA provides technical advisory services to assist landowners and groups undertaking habitat restoration or enhancement projects. Forest Resources Management: LPRCA manages a large forest resource using sustainable forest management practices involving silviculture and wildlife habitat improvements which contribute to the health of the watershed’s natural environment. Conservation Lands: We own more than 10,900 acres of conservation lands including woodlands, wetlands and several conservation areas which help protect the natural features of the watershed while providing a range of recreational activities and outdoor spaces for people to enjoy year round. Education and Outreach: LPRCA provides education and information to create and promote informed, engaged and supportive communities for a healthier watershed and to increase awareness and appreciation of the watershed’s natural and cultural heritage.

For Surface Water Quality • Implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce sediment and nutrient loading in the watershed. • Plant treed or grassed buffers along watercourses. • Contact LPRCA staff for best management practices for your on-line impoundments, such as bottom-draw conversion and establishing and maintaining sand traps. • In urban areas, implement best management practices such as minimizing the use of fertilizers and planting native trees and shrubs.

Where Are We?

Long Point Region

WATERSHED REPORT CARD 2013

We are one of 36 Conservation Authorities across Ontario under the umbrella organization of Conservation Ontario.

Why Report Cards?

Monitoring and reporting helps us understand our watershed and focus efforts where they are needed the most. This is the first report card for the Long Point Region watershed. It will be used as a starting point against which future report cards can be compared to identify trends in reported data. The 2013 Watershed Report Card utilizes data gathered between 2007 and 2011.

For Forests & Natural Areas • Plant trees to increase forest cover and connect woodlands. • Protect wetlands and where practical restore wetlands to meet the Environment Canada recommendation of 10% wetland cover for a healthy watershed. • Plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to enhance wildlife habitat and species diversity. • Learn to identify and control non-native invasive species.

What Does This Report Card Measure?

For Drinking Water • Practice and promote water conservation activities. • Select pervious surfaces for walkways and driveways to increase filtration through the soil and decrease surface runoff to storm drains. • Decommission unused wells and upgrade existing wells to prevent groundwater contamination. • Repair or replace faulty septic systems and ensure proper maintenance.

Surface Water Quality

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetland Cover

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a common river, lake or stream. No matter where you live, work or play, you are in a watershed. The things we do around our homes and in our neighbourhoods can affect the watershed we live in. Actions taking place at the top of a watershed affect those downstream.

Planning a project on your property? Call the Long Point Region Conservation Authority to find out more about best management practices on your property, learn about financial assistance programs or find out if a permit is required.

The Long Point Region (LPR) watershed is divided into six major subwatersheds: the Big Otter Creek, South Otter/Clear Creek, Big Creek, Dedrick/Young/Hay Creek, Lynn River/Black Creek and the Nanticoke/Sandusk/Stoney Creek. All of these subwatersheds drain directly into Lake Erie. Each subwatershed has unique features relative to their land base and land use that affect the grading of the watershed report card.

Long Point Region Conservation Authority 4 Elm Street, Tillsonburg, ON N4G 0C4 P: (519) 842-4242 • Toll Free: 1-888-231-5408 • F: (519) 842-7123 Email: conservation@lprca.on.ca www.lprca.on.ca

Long Point Region Conservation Authority

Long Point Region Conservation Authority has prepared this report card as a summary on the state of our forest conditions, surface water quality, wetlands and groundwater resources.

Grading A Excellent B Good C Fair D Poor F Very Poor

The standards used in this report card were developed by Conservation Authorities to ensure consistent reportings across the Province of Ontario and are intended to provide watershed residents with information to protect, enhance and improve the precious resources that surround us.

Cover Photo: E. Hartlen


What Are We Doing?

What Can You Do?

Long Point Region Conservation Authority (LPRCA) is a community-based environmental agency that works closely with municipal, provincial and federal government partners, landowners and community groups to protect, restore and manage the natural resources in the Long Point Region watershed.

Each parcel of land, whether it is urban or rural, and each individual action can make a real difference to the health of our watershed. Whether you live in a town, or close to a forest, wetland, meadow or stream, there are lots of actions you can do to help the natural environment thrive.

Our watershed covers 2,800 square kilometres and includes most of Norfolk County and parts of Brant, Elgin, Haldimand and Oxford counties. While we may be best known for our conservation areas, there is a lot more to the Long Point Region Conservation Authority. The staff at LPRCA plant trees, monitor water quality, protect drinking water supplies, monitor water levels and deliver conservation and heritage education programs, to name just a few of our activities.

Be a Watershed Steward Land stewardship is something that everyone can participate in to improve the health of the watershed. Some things you can do are:

Planning & Regulation Services: We build a healthier watershed where people and property are protected from flooding and erosion, and where land and water are conserved and restored. Healthy Watershed Services: We work toward an environmentally and economically healthy watershed that benefits all who have a stake in it. LPRCA provides technical advisory services to assist landowners and groups undertaking habitat restoration or enhancement projects. Forest Resources Management: LPRCA manages a large forest resource using sustainable forest management practices involving silviculture and wildlife habitat improvements which contribute to the health of the watershed’s natural environment. Conservation Lands: We own more than 10,900 acres of conservation lands including woodlands, wetlands and several conservation areas which help protect the natural features of the watershed while providing a range of recreational activities and outdoor spaces for people to enjoy year round. Education and Outreach: LPRCA provides education and information to create and promote informed, engaged and supportive communities for a healthier watershed and to increase awareness and appreciation of the watershed’s natural and cultural heritage.

For Surface Water Quality • Implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce sediment and nutrient loading in the watershed. • Plant treed or grassed buffers along watercourses. • Contact LPRCA staff for best management practices for your on-line impoundments, such as bottom-draw conversion and establishing and maintaining sand traps. • In urban areas, implement best management practices such as minimizing the use of fertilizers and planting native trees and shrubs.

Where Are We?

Long Point Region

WATERSHED REPORT CARD 2013

We are one of 36 Conservation Authorities across Ontario under the umbrella organization of Conservation Ontario.

Why Report Cards?

Monitoring and reporting helps us understand our watershed and focus efforts where they are needed the most. This is the first report card for the Long Point Region watershed. It will be used as a starting point against which future report cards can be compared to identify trends in reported data. The 2013 Watershed Report Card utilizes data gathered between 2007 and 2011.

For Forests & Natural Areas • Plant trees to increase forest cover and connect woodlands. • Protect wetlands and where practical restore wetlands to meet the Environment Canada recommendation of 10% wetland cover for a healthy watershed. • Plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to enhance wildlife habitat and species diversity. • Learn to identify and control non-native invasive species.

What Does This Report Card Measure?

For Drinking Water • Practice and promote water conservation activities. • Select pervious surfaces for walkways and driveways to increase filtration through the soil and decrease surface runoff to storm drains. • Decommission unused wells and upgrade existing wells to prevent groundwater contamination. • Repair or replace faulty septic systems and ensure proper maintenance.

Surface Water Quality

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetland Cover

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a common river, lake or stream. No matter where you live, work or play, you are in a watershed. The things we do around our homes and in our neighbourhoods can affect the watershed we live in. Actions taking place at the top of a watershed affect those downstream.

Planning a project on your property? Call the Long Point Region Conservation Authority to find out more about best management practices on your property, learn about financial assistance programs or find out if a permit is required.

The Long Point Region (LPR) watershed is divided into six major subwatersheds: the Big Otter Creek, South Otter/Clear Creek, Big Creek, Dedrick/Young/Hay Creek, Lynn River/Black Creek and the Nanticoke/Sandusk/Stoney Creek. All of these subwatersheds drain directly into Lake Erie. Each subwatershed has unique features relative to their land base and land use that affect the grading of the watershed report card.

Long Point Region Conservation Authority 4 Elm Street, Tillsonburg, ON N4G 0C4 P: (519) 842-4242 • Toll Free: 1-888-231-5408 • F: (519) 842-7123 Email: conservation@lprca.on.ca www.lprca.on.ca

Long Point Region Conservation Authority

Long Point Region Conservation Authority has prepared this report card as a summary on the state of our forest conditions, surface water quality, wetlands and groundwater resources.

Grading A Excellent B Good C Fair D Poor F Very Poor

The standards used in this report card were developed by Conservation Authorities to ensure consistent reportings across the Province of Ontario and are intended to provide watershed residents with information to protect, enhance and improve the precious resources that surround us.

Cover Photo: E. Hartlen


What Are We Doing?

What Can You Do?

Long Point Region Conservation Authority (LPRCA) is a community-based environmental agency that works closely with municipal, provincial and federal government partners, landowners and community groups to protect, restore and manage the natural resources in the Long Point Region watershed.

Each parcel of land, whether it is urban or rural, and each individual action can make a real difference to the health of our watershed. Whether you live in a town, or close to a forest, wetland, meadow or stream, there are lots of actions you can do to help the natural environment thrive.

Our watershed covers 2,800 square kilometres and includes most of Norfolk County and parts of Brant, Elgin, Haldimand and Oxford counties. While we may be best known for our conservation areas, there is a lot more to the Long Point Region Conservation Authority. The staff at LPRCA plant trees, monitor water quality, protect drinking water supplies, monitor water levels and deliver conservation and heritage education programs, to name just a few of our activities.

Be a Watershed Steward Land stewardship is something that everyone can participate in to improve the health of the watershed. Some things you can do are:

Planning & Regulation Services: We build a healthier watershed where people and property are protected from flooding and erosion, and where land and water are conserved and restored. Healthy Watershed Services: We work toward an environmentally and economically healthy watershed that benefits all who have a stake in it. LPRCA provides technical advisory services to assist landowners and groups undertaking habitat restoration or enhancement projects. Forest Resources Management: LPRCA manages a large forest resource using sustainable forest management practices involving silviculture and wildlife habitat improvements which contribute to the health of the watershed’s natural environment. Conservation Lands: We own more than 10,900 acres of conservation lands including woodlands, wetlands and several conservation areas which help protect the natural features of the watershed while providing a range of recreational activities and outdoor spaces for people to enjoy year round. Education and Outreach: LPRCA provides education and information to create and promote informed, engaged and supportive communities for a healthier watershed and to increase awareness and appreciation of the watershed’s natural and cultural heritage.

For Surface Water Quality • Implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce sediment and nutrient loading in the watershed. • Plant treed or grassed buffers along watercourses. • Contact LPRCA staff for best management practices for your on-line impoundments, such as bottom-draw conversion and establishing and maintaining sand traps. • In urban areas, implement best management practices such as minimizing the use of fertilizers and planting native trees and shrubs.

Where Are We?

Long Point Region

WATERSHED REPORT CARD 2013

We are one of 36 Conservation Authorities across Ontario under the umbrella organization of Conservation Ontario.

Why Report Cards?

Monitoring and reporting helps us understand our watershed and focus efforts where they are needed the most. This is the first report card for the Long Point Region watershed. It will be used as a starting point against which future report cards can be compared to identify trends in reported data. The 2013 Watershed Report Card utilizes data gathered between 2007 and 2011.

For Forests & Natural Areas • Plant trees to increase forest cover and connect woodlands. • Protect wetlands and where practical restore wetlands to meet the Environment Canada recommendation of 10% wetland cover for a healthy watershed. • Plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to enhance wildlife habitat and species diversity. • Learn to identify and control non-native invasive species.

What Does This Report Card Measure?

For Drinking Water • Practice and promote water conservation activities. • Select pervious surfaces for walkways and driveways to increase filtration through the soil and decrease surface runoff to storm drains. • Decommission unused wells and upgrade existing wells to prevent groundwater contamination. • Repair or replace faulty septic systems and ensure proper maintenance.

Surface Water Quality

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetland Cover

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a common river, lake or stream. No matter where you live, work or play, you are in a watershed. The things we do around our homes and in our neighbourhoods can affect the watershed we live in. Actions taking place at the top of a watershed affect those downstream.

Planning a project on your property? Call the Long Point Region Conservation Authority to find out more about best management practices on your property, learn about financial assistance programs or find out if a permit is required.

The Long Point Region (LPR) watershed is divided into six major subwatersheds: the Big Otter Creek, South Otter/Clear Creek, Big Creek, Dedrick/Young/Hay Creek, Lynn River/Black Creek and the Nanticoke/Sandusk/Stoney Creek. All of these subwatersheds drain directly into Lake Erie. Each subwatershed has unique features relative to their land base and land use that affect the grading of the watershed report card.

Long Point Region Conservation Authority 4 Elm Street, Tillsonburg, ON N4G 0C4 P: (519) 842-4242 • Toll Free: 1-888-231-5408 • F: (519) 842-7123 Email: conservation@lprca.on.ca www.lprca.on.ca

Long Point Region Conservation Authority

Long Point Region Conservation Authority has prepared this report card as a summary on the state of our forest conditions, surface water quality, wetlands and groundwater resources.

Grading A Excellent B Good C Fair D Poor F Very Poor

The standards used in this report card were developed by Conservation Authorities to ensure consistent reportings across the Province of Ontario and are intended to provide watershed residents with information to protect, enhance and improve the precious resources that surround us.

Cover Photo: E. Hartlen


Surface Water Quality

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetland Cover

Surface water quality is evaluated using three indicators reflecting nutrients, bacteria/waste and aquatic health - all key issues related to surface water quality.

Forest conditions are measured using three indicators:

Conservation Authorities reporting on the quality of groundwater used chloride, nitrates, and nitrites as the indicators.

Phosphorus occurs naturally, but is increased from natural levels by the addition of products such as soaps, detergents, sewage, fertilizers and pesticides. Excess phosphorus contributes to excessive algae and low oxygen levels in streams and lakes.

Forest interior refers to the core area found inside a woodlot. It is measured as the portion of forest in the watershed that is more than 100 m from the edge.

Wetlands are areas of land covered by water for all or part of the year and have three distinct characteristics: a water source, poorly-drained soils and wetland vegetation. Wetlands take on many forms and include marshes, bogs, fens, and swamps (treed and thicket).

Forest cover is measured as a percentage of the watershed that is forested.

Forested riparian zone is the percentage of forest cover in the swath of land, 30 m wide, along both sides of a watercourse. A riparian zone (or buffer) is typically a mix of trees, shrubs and grasses that runs along a watercourse.

Bacteria (E.coli) are found in human and animal waste. Their presence indicates water contamination and the potential for human health risks. Benthic macroinvertebrates are small aquatic bugs that live on the bottom of creeks. They are good indicators of water quality because different bugs tolerate different types of pollution.

Chloride is naturally present in groundwater; however, high concentrations may be an indication of human impacts. Chloride is a form of salt that can enter the ground from land-use activities. Salts used for snow and ice control and water softeners can be sources of chloride.

The quality of wetland conditions within each watershed is determined by the percent of wetland cover in each subwatershed.

Nitrates and nitrites are forms of nitrogen that can enter groundwater from land-use activities also. These include septic systems, waste water, fertilizers, pesticides and manure. Surface Water Quality Grade Surface Water Quality Grade C

A

D

C

Surface Water Monitoring Sites Water Quality Water Quality & Benthics Benthics

Surface Water Quality Grade

A

D

C

Surface Water Monitoring Sites Water Quality

Lake Erie

Water Quality & Benthics Benthics

D Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Surface water quality grades for the LPR range from C to D. Protection and enhancement of wetlands, forests and riparian buffers can help to improve water quality.

D

Lake Erie

Surface Water Monitoring Sites Water Quality & Benthics Benthics

Data source: Ministry of the Environment

Since 2002, LPRCA has monitored surface water quality as part of the Ministry of Environment’s Subwatershed Provincial Town Water Quality Monitoring Network and the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network. Water samples are Major Road Watercourse collected monthly (March to October) at 10 locations and analyzed for various parameters including chloride, nutrients and metals. Benthic collection is a relatively new and evolving program. Samples are now collected at 15 locations, once a year in the fall, to meet the requirements of the 2011 Watershed Report Card guidelines.

C

Water Quality

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Clean water is an important component of a healthy watershed ecosystem. It helps support diverse aquatic Groundwater Monitoring Wells Water Quality habitat, enhance recreation potential and improve the well-being of those who use it. Level & Level

Surface Water Quality Grade

Forest Conditions Grade A

Lake Erie

C D

Water Quality & Level Level Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Indicators measured using Southern Ontario Land ResourcesSubwatershed Information System Town

Data source: Ministry of the Environment

Major Road Watercourse

Trees and buffers provide many benefits including improved air quality, moderating climate, intercepting A water (which decreases soil erosion, provides groundwater recharge and reduces storm runoff to help prevent C flDFooding), supplying habitat for wildlife, and offering recreational and economic opportunities. Wetland Cover Grade Groundwater Monitoring Wells

Wetland Cover Grade

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

A

Water Quality & Level Subwatershed Environment Canada recommends that 30% forest cover and 10% forest interior habitat is Cneeded to sustain Level Town D Major Road the natural diversity of both plants and animals in a watershed, and that 75% of a stream length be naturally F Watercourse Subwatershed Subwatershed vegetated a minimum of 30 m wide on both sides for theseTown ecological features to perform their function. In Major Road Town Watercourse Road this 30 m, the portion of riparian vegetation that is forested is about two-thirds or 50%. Major Watercourse

Forest condition grades for the LPR range from A to D. Overall, approximately 20% of the watershed is forested, 3.5% is forest interior and 40% of watercourses have the suggested 30 m riparian area. To help achieve the above targets and improve watershed conditions, LPRCA, with its partners, offers a variety of programs to grow forests and plant buffers.

Private residents, municipalities and businesses within the watershed rely on groundwater to meet their water needs for drinking and business operation. Groundwater also helps maintain the flow of rivers and streams. If groundwater becomes contaminated, it is often impossible to restore. To protect this vital resource and the health of your family, neighbours and community, it is important to follow best management practices for wells including proper location, construction, upgrades, maintenance and monitoring of water quality regularly. LPRCA initiated groundwater sampling in 2003 in partnership with the Ministry of Environment under the Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network. Eight locations with 11 monitoring wells have been established in the watershed. Water samples are collected once a year at 3 locations for a variety of parameters including nutrients, metals and bacteria. The results of the groundwater quality are only a reflection of the water quality measured within each well and were not used to assess groundwater beyond the actual well; therefore, grades are not reported.

A

D

C

Water Quality

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Water Quality & Benthics Benthics

D Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

Wetland Cover Grade

Water Quality & Level

A

Level

C D

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

F Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Forest Conditions Grade

C Surface Water Monitoring Sites

D

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Forest Conditions Grade

C

Forest Conditions Grade

Lake Erie

Wetland Cover Grade A C D F Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Data source: Ministry of Natural Resources

Wetlands are very important for a healthy environment. Some of the benefits of wetlands include filtering and purifying water, recharging groundwater, slowing down flood waters, removing and storing greenhouse gases, providing habitat for many species of fish and wildlife, and creating opportunities for recreation and tourism. About 70% of southern Ontario’s wetlands have been lost, and the wetlands that still remain are important to preserve. Environment Canada recommends that a healthy watershed should contain at least 10% wetland cover. Wetland cover grades for the LPR range from A to F. Overall, about 4.5% of the watershed is covered by wetland. LPRCA, with its partners, offers a variety of programs to establish and/or enhance wetland features throughout the watershed.


Surface Water Quality

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetland Cover

Surface water quality is evaluated using three indicators reflecting nutrients, bacteria/waste and aquatic health - all key issues related to surface water quality.

Forest conditions are measured using three indicators:

Conservation Authorities reporting on the quality of groundwater used chloride, nitrates, and nitrites as the indicators.

Phosphorus occurs naturally, but is increased from natural levels by the addition of products such as soaps, detergents, sewage, fertilizers and pesticides. Excess phosphorus contributes to excessive algae and low oxygen levels in streams and lakes.

Forest interior refers to the core area found inside a woodlot. It is measured as the portion of forest in the watershed that is more than 100 m from the edge.

Wetlands are areas of land covered by water for all or part of the year and have three distinct characteristics: a water source, poorly-drained soils and wetland vegetation. Wetlands take on many forms and include marshes, bogs, fens, and swamps (treed and thicket).

Forest cover is measured as a percentage of the watershed that is forested.

Forested riparian zone is the percentage of forest cover in the swath of land, 30 m wide, along both sides of a watercourse. A riparian zone (or buffer) is typically a mix of trees, shrubs and grasses that runs along a watercourse.

Bacteria (E.coli) are found in human and animal waste. Their presence indicates water contamination and the potential for human health risks. Benthic macroinvertebrates are small aquatic bugs that live on the bottom of creeks. They are good indicators of water quality because different bugs tolerate different types of pollution.

Chloride is naturally present in groundwater; however, high concentrations may be an indication of human impacts. Chloride is a form of salt that can enter the ground from land-use activities. Salts used for snow and ice control and water softeners can be sources of chloride.

The quality of wetland conditions within each watershed is determined by the percent of wetland cover in each subwatershed.

Nitrates and nitrites are forms of nitrogen that can enter groundwater from land-use activities also. These include septic systems, waste water, fertilizers, pesticides and manure. Surface Water Quality Grade Surface Water Quality Grade C

A

D

C

Surface Water Monitoring Sites Water Quality Water Quality & Benthics Benthics

Surface Water Quality Grade

A

D

C

Surface Water Monitoring Sites Water Quality

Lake Erie

Water Quality & Benthics Benthics

D Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Surface water quality grades for the LPR range from C to D. Protection and enhancement of wetlands, forests and riparian buffers can help to improve water quality.

D

Lake Erie

Surface Water Monitoring Sites Water Quality & Benthics Benthics

Data source: Ministry of the Environment

Since 2002, LPRCA has monitored surface water quality as part of the Ministry of Environment’s Subwatershed Provincial Town Water Quality Monitoring Network and the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network. Water samples are Major Road Watercourse collected monthly (March to October) at 10 locations and analyzed for various parameters including chloride, nutrients and metals. Benthic collection is a relatively new and evolving program. Samples are now collected at 15 locations, once a year in the fall, to meet the requirements of the 2011 Watershed Report Card guidelines.

C

Water Quality

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Clean water is an important component of a healthy watershed ecosystem. It helps support diverse aquatic Groundwater Monitoring Wells Water Quality habitat, enhance recreation potential and improve the well-being of those who use it. Level & Level

Surface Water Quality Grade

Forest Conditions Grade A

Lake Erie

C D

Water Quality & Level Level Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Indicators measured using Southern Ontario Land ResourcesSubwatershed Information System Town

Data source: Ministry of the Environment

Major Road Watercourse

Trees and buffers provide many benefits including improved air quality, moderating climate, intercepting A water (which decreases soil erosion, provides groundwater recharge and reduces storm runoff to help prevent C flDFooding), supplying habitat for wildlife, and offering recreational and economic opportunities. Wetland Cover Grade Groundwater Monitoring Wells

Wetland Cover Grade

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

A

Water Quality & Level Subwatershed Environment Canada recommends that 30% forest cover and 10% forest interior habitat is Cneeded to sustain Level Town D Major Road the natural diversity of both plants and animals in a watershed, and that 75% of a stream length be naturally F Watercourse Subwatershed Subwatershed vegetated a minimum of 30 m wide on both sides for theseTown ecological features to perform their function. In Major Road Town Watercourse Road this 30 m, the portion of riparian vegetation that is forested is about two-thirds or 50%. Major Watercourse

Forest condition grades for the LPR range from A to D. Overall, approximately 20% of the watershed is forested, 3.5% is forest interior and 40% of watercourses have the suggested 30 m riparian area. To help achieve the above targets and improve watershed conditions, LPRCA, with its partners, offers a variety of programs to grow forests and plant buffers.

Private residents, municipalities and businesses within the watershed rely on groundwater to meet their water needs for drinking and business operation. Groundwater also helps maintain the flow of rivers and streams. If groundwater becomes contaminated, it is often impossible to restore. To protect this vital resource and the health of your family, neighbours and community, it is important to follow best management practices for wells including proper location, construction, upgrades, maintenance and monitoring of water quality regularly. LPRCA initiated groundwater sampling in 2003 in partnership with the Ministry of Environment under the Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network. Eight locations with 11 monitoring wells have been established in the watershed. Water samples are collected once a year at 3 locations for a variety of parameters including nutrients, metals and bacteria. The results of the groundwater quality are only a reflection of the water quality measured within each well and were not used to assess groundwater beyond the actual well; therefore, grades are not reported.

A

D

C

Water Quality

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Water Quality & Benthics Benthics

D Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

Wetland Cover Grade

Water Quality & Level

A

Level

C D

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

F Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Forest Conditions Grade

C Surface Water Monitoring Sites

D

Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Forest Conditions Grade

C

Forest Conditions Grade

Lake Erie

Wetland Cover Grade A C D F Subwatershed Town Major Road Watercourse

Data source: Ministry of Natural Resources

Wetlands are very important for a healthy environment. Some of the benefits of wetlands include filtering and purifying water, recharging groundwater, slowing down flood waters, removing and storing greenhouse gases, providing habitat for many species of fish and wildlife, and creating opportunities for recreation and tourism. About 70% of southern Ontario’s wetlands have been lost, and the wetlands that still remain are important to preserve. Environment Canada recommends that a healthy watershed should contain at least 10% wetland cover. Wetland cover grades for the LPR range from A to F. Overall, about 4.5% of the watershed is covered by wetland. LPRCA, with its partners, offers a variety of programs to establish and/or enhance wetland features throughout the watershed.


What Are We Doing?

What Can You Do?

Long Point Region Conservation Authority (LPRCA) is a community-based environmental agency that works closely with municipal, provincial and federal government partners, landowners and community groups to protect, restore and manage the natural resources in the Long Point Region watershed.

Each parcel of land, whether it is urban or rural, and each individual action can make a real difference to the health of our watershed. Whether you live in a town, or close to a forest, wetland, meadow or stream, there are lots of actions you can do to help the natural environment thrive.

Our watershed covers 2,800 square kilometres and includes most of Norfolk County and parts of Brant, Elgin, Haldimand and Oxford counties. While we may be best known for our conservation areas, there is a lot more to the Long Point Region Conservation Authority. The staff at LPRCA plant trees, monitor water quality, protect drinking water supplies, monitor water levels and deliver conservation and heritage education programs, to name just a few of our activities.

Be a Watershed Steward Land stewardship is something that everyone can participate in to improve the health of the watershed. Some things you can do are:

Planning & Regulation Services: We build a healthier watershed where people and property are protected from flooding and erosion, and where land and water are conserved and restored. Healthy Watershed Services: We work toward an environmentally and economically healthy watershed that benefits all who have a stake in it. LPRCA provides technical advisory services to assist landowners and groups undertaking habitat restoration or enhancement projects. Forest Resources Management: LPRCA manages a large forest resource using sustainable forest management practices involving silviculture and wildlife habitat improvements which contribute to the health of the watershed’s natural environment. Conservation Lands: We own more than 10,900 acres of conservation lands including woodlands, wetlands and several conservation areas which help protect the natural features of the watershed while providing a range of recreational activities and outdoor spaces for people to enjoy year round. Education and Outreach: LPRCA provides education and information to create and promote informed, engaged and supportive communities for a healthier watershed and to increase awareness and appreciation of the watershed’s natural and cultural heritage.

For Surface Water Quality • Implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce sediment and nutrient loading in the watershed. • Plant treed or grassed buffers along watercourses. • Contact LPRCA staff for best management practices for your on-line impoundments, such as bottom-draw conversion and establishing and maintaining sand traps. • In urban areas, implement best management practices such as minimizing the use of fertilizers and planting native trees and shrubs.

Where Are We?

Long Point Region

WATERSHED REPORT CARD 2013

We are one of 36 Conservation Authorities across Ontario under the umbrella organization of Conservation Ontario.

Why Report Cards?

Monitoring and reporting helps us understand our watershed and focus efforts where they are needed the most. This is the first report card for the Long Point Region watershed. It will be used as a starting point against which future report cards can be compared to identify trends in reported data. The 2013 Watershed Report Card utilizes data gathered between 2007 and 2011.

For Forests & Natural Areas • Plant trees to increase forest cover and connect woodlands. • Protect wetlands and where practical restore wetlands to meet the Environment Canada recommendation of 10% wetland cover for a healthy watershed. • Plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to enhance wildlife habitat and species diversity. • Learn to identify and control non-native invasive species.

What Does This Report Card Measure?

For Drinking Water • Practice and promote water conservation activities. • Select pervious surfaces for walkways and driveways to increase filtration through the soil and decrease surface runoff to storm drains. • Decommission unused wells and upgrade existing wells to prevent groundwater contamination. • Repair or replace faulty septic systems and ensure proper maintenance.

Surface Water Quality

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetland Cover

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a common river, lake or stream. No matter where you live, work or play, you are in a watershed. The things we do around our homes and in our neighbourhoods can affect the watershed we live in. Actions taking place at the top of a watershed affect those downstream.

Planning a project on your property? Call the Long Point Region Conservation Authority to find out more about best management practices on your property, learn about financial assistance programs or find out if a permit is required.

The Long Point Region (LPR) watershed is divided into six major subwatersheds: the Big Otter Creek, South Otter/Clear Creek, Big Creek, Dedrick/Young/Hay Creek, Lynn River/Black Creek and the Nanticoke/Sandusk/Stoney Creek. All of these subwatersheds drain directly into Lake Erie. Each subwatershed has unique features relative to their land base and land use that affect the grading of the watershed report card.

Long Point Region Conservation Authority 4 Elm Street, Tillsonburg, ON N4G 0C4 P: (519) 842-4242 • Toll Free: 1-888-231-5408 • F: (519) 842-7123 Email: conservation@lprca.on.ca www.lprca.on.ca

Long Point Region Conservation Authority

Long Point Region Conservation Authority has prepared this report card as a summary on the state of our forest conditions, surface water quality, wetlands and groundwater resources.

Grading A Excellent B Good C Fair D Poor F Very Poor

The standards used in this report card were developed by Conservation Authorities to ensure consistent reportings across the Province of Ontario and are intended to provide watershed residents with information to protect, enhance and improve the precious resources that surround us.

Cover Photo: E. Hartlen

Long Point Watershed Report Card  

Long Point Watershed Report Card

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