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What Are We Doing?

What Can You Do?

Protecting Our Watershed

Be a Watershed Steward

Lower Trent Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency that works closely with municipal, provincial and federal government partners, landowners and community groups to conserve, restore and manage the natural resources of the Lower Trent Conservation watershed region.

If we all work together, we can make a difference. Imagine if the 71,000 people living in our watershed region all made wise environmental choices! Improving the health of the watershed requires us to think and act on ways to balance environmental concerns with everyday life. Here are some examples of good environmental stewardship activities you can do to enhance your property, protect your health, and protect our natural environment.

Our watershed region covers 2,121 square kilometres and includes 12 subwatersheds. They include the Trent River, which flows out of Rice Lake to the Bay of Quinte at Trenton, and eight main tributaries. The subwatersheds of Barnum House/Shelter Valley and Lake Iroquois Plain Tributaries are comprised of watercourses that flow directly into Lake Ontario. The Bay of Quinte subwatershed includes a number of small streams that drain to the Bay of Quinte. • Environmental Planning & Regulations: Land use planning input and administration of Ontario Regulation 163/06 (Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses) ensures development does not impact wetlands, shorelines or waterways. • Environmental Monitoring & Reporting: Data collected through a number of water monitoring activities are used to evaluate and report on existing conditions within the watershed and help establish targets for protection and rehabilitation activities. • Flood Forecasting & Protection Works: Water level notifications and flood control structures (e.g. dam, flood walls, berms, overflow channels) help to protect life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion. • Education, Outreach & Stewardship: Hands-on learning opportunities, advice and financial assistance educate the public about conservation and the environment. • Conservation Lands: Seventeen properties totalling 1,500 hectares protect important natural ecosystems and provide outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities.

At Home ...

• Maintain your septic system to prevent leakage of nutrients and E. coli into the ground. • Use phosphate free products inside and outside your home (e.g. detergents, fertilizers). • Conserve water by installing water saving devices on your taps and showerheads – install a low flow toilet. • Leave a 30 metre buffer of natural vegetation along shorelines to filter runoff and provide wildlife habitat.

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

Lower Trent Region

WATERSHED

Report Card 2013 What Does This Report Card Measure?

At Work ...

• Use paper that contains recycled content or is produced using sustainable forest management practices. • Set up a green bin in the lunch room or cafeteria for composting food waste. • Use sand or other environmentally friendly products on walkways and parking areas during the winter. Surface Water Quality

At Play ...

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetlands

Why Measure?

• Sign up for our “Volunteers for Conservation” Program – over the past 5 years, close to 2,300 volunteer hours have helped us plant trees, remove invasive species, and naturalize shorelines. • Wash your boat’s hull before moving to another lake and don’t release live bait. • Be cautious when fueling your boat and obey speed signs in low wake, erosion sensitive areas.

Measuring helps us better understand our watershed. It helps us to focus our efforts where they are most needed and track progress. It also helps us to identify healthy and ecologically important areas that require protection or enhancement.

On the Land ...

• Plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to enhance wildlife habitat and species diversity. • Decommission unused wells – old wells can provide a path for contamination to groundwater supplies. • On the farm, implement nutrient management practices and fence livestock out of watercourses to prevent nutrient runoff.

What Is A Watershed? A watershed is an area of land drained by a river or stream. Similar to the branch of a tree, creeks empty into streams, which then empty into larger streams, eventually forming one main trunk.

Planning a project on your property? Call us or visit our website to find out more about environmentally friendly suggestions for your property, learn about financial assistance programs, or find out if a permit is required.

Within this system, everything is connected to everything else. In other words, actions which take place at the top of the system affect those downstream.

Lower Trent Conservation P: (613) 394-4829 F: (613) 394-5226 E: information@ltc.on.ca www.ltc.on.ca Lower Trent Conservation has prepared this report card as a summary on the state of our forests, wetlands, surface water, 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 reporting 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: A. Bennett


What Are We Doing?

What Can You Do?

Protecting Our Watershed

Be a Watershed Steward

Lower Trent Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency that works closely with municipal, provincial and federal government partners, landowners and community groups to conserve, restore and manage the natural resources of the Lower Trent Conservation watershed region.

If we all work together, we can make a difference. Imagine if the 71,000 people living in our watershed region all made wise environmental choices! Improving the health of the watershed requires us to think and act on ways to balance environmental concerns with everyday life. Here are some examples of good environmental stewardship activities you can do to enhance your property, protect your health, and protect our natural environment.

Our watershed region covers 2,121 square kilometres and includes 12 subwatersheds. They include the Trent River, which flows out of Rice Lake to the Bay of Quinte at Trenton, and eight main tributaries. The subwatersheds of Barnum House/Shelter Valley and Lake Iroquois Plain Tributaries are comprised of watercourses that flow directly into Lake Ontario. The Bay of Quinte subwatershed includes a number of small streams that drain to the Bay of Quinte. • Environmental Planning & Regulations: Land use planning input and administration of Ontario Regulation 163/06 (Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses) ensures development does not impact wetlands, shorelines or waterways. • Environmental Monitoring & Reporting: Data collected through a number of water monitoring activities are used to evaluate and report on existing conditions within the watershed and help establish targets for protection and rehabilitation activities. • Flood Forecasting & Protection Works: Water level notifications and flood control structures (e.g. dam, flood walls, berms, overflow channels) help to protect life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion. • Education, Outreach & Stewardship: Hands-on learning opportunities, advice and financial assistance educate the public about conservation and the environment. • Conservation Lands: Seventeen properties totalling 1,500 hectares protect important natural ecosystems and provide outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities.

At Home ...

• Maintain your septic system to prevent leakage of nutrients and E. coli into the ground. • Use phosphate free products inside and outside your home (e.g. detergents, fertilizers). • Conserve water by installing water saving devices on your taps and showerheads – install a low flow toilet. • Leave a 30 metre buffer of natural vegetation along shorelines to filter runoff and provide wildlife habitat.

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

Lower Trent Region

WATERSHED

Report Card 2013 What Does This Report Card Measure?

At Work ...

• Use paper that contains recycled content or is produced using sustainable forest management practices. • Set up a green bin in the lunch room or cafeteria for composting food waste. • Use sand or other environmentally friendly products on walkways and parking areas during the winter. Surface Water Quality

At Play ...

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetlands

Why Measure?

• Sign up for our “Volunteers for Conservation” Program – over the past 5 years, close to 2,300 volunteer hours have helped us plant trees, remove invasive species, and naturalize shorelines. • Wash your boat’s hull before moving to another lake and don’t release live bait. • Be cautious when fueling your boat and obey speed signs in low wake, erosion sensitive areas.

Measuring helps us better understand our watershed. It helps us to focus our efforts where they are most needed and track progress. It also helps us to identify healthy and ecologically important areas that require protection or enhancement.

On the Land ...

• Plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to enhance wildlife habitat and species diversity. • Decommission unused wells – old wells can provide a path for contamination to groundwater supplies. • On the farm, implement nutrient management practices and fence livestock out of watercourses to prevent nutrient runoff.

What Is A Watershed? A watershed is an area of land drained by a river or stream. Similar to the branch of a tree, creeks empty into streams, which then empty into larger streams, eventually forming one main trunk.

Planning a project on your property? Call us or visit our website to find out more about environmentally friendly suggestions for your property, learn about financial assistance programs, or find out if a permit is required.

Within this system, everything is connected to everything else. In other words, actions which take place at the top of the system affect those downstream.

Lower Trent Conservation P: (613) 394-4829 F: (613) 394-5226 E: information@ltc.on.ca www.ltc.on.ca Lower Trent Conservation has prepared this report card as a summary on the state of our forests, wetlands, surface water, 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 reporting 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: A. Bennett


What Are We Doing?

What Can You Do?

Protecting Our Watershed

Be a Watershed Steward

Lower Trent Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency that works closely with municipal, provincial and federal government partners, landowners and community groups to conserve, restore and manage the natural resources of the Lower Trent Conservation watershed region.

If we all work together, we can make a difference. Imagine if the 71,000 people living in our watershed region all made wise environmental choices! Improving the health of the watershed requires us to think and act on ways to balance environmental concerns with everyday life. Here are some examples of good environmental stewardship activities you can do to enhance your property, protect your health, and protect our natural environment.

Our watershed region covers 2,121 square kilometres and includes 12 subwatersheds. They include the Trent River, which flows out of Rice Lake to the Bay of Quinte at Trenton, and eight main tributaries. The subwatersheds of Barnum House/Shelter Valley and Lake Iroquois Plain Tributaries are comprised of watercourses that flow directly into Lake Ontario. The Bay of Quinte subwatershed includes a number of small streams that drain to the Bay of Quinte. • Environmental Planning & Regulations: Land use planning input and administration of Ontario Regulation 163/06 (Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses) ensures development does not impact wetlands, shorelines or waterways. • Environmental Monitoring & Reporting: Data collected through a number of water monitoring activities are used to evaluate and report on existing conditions within the watershed and help establish targets for protection and rehabilitation activities. • Flood Forecasting & Protection Works: Water level notifications and flood control structures (e.g. dam, flood walls, berms, overflow channels) help to protect life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion. • Education, Outreach & Stewardship: Hands-on learning opportunities, advice and financial assistance educate the public about conservation and the environment. • Conservation Lands: Seventeen properties totalling 1,500 hectares protect important natural ecosystems and provide outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities.

At Home ...

• Maintain your septic system to prevent leakage of nutrients and E. coli into the ground. • Use phosphate free products inside and outside your home (e.g. detergents, fertilizers). • Conserve water by installing water saving devices on your taps and showerheads – install a low flow toilet. • Leave a 30 metre buffer of natural vegetation along shorelines to filter runoff and provide wildlife habitat.

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

Lower Trent Region

WATERSHED

Report Card 2013 What Does This Report Card Measure?

At Work ...

• Use paper that contains recycled content or is produced using sustainable forest management practices. • Set up a green bin in the lunch room or cafeteria for composting food waste. • Use sand or other environmentally friendly products on walkways and parking areas during the winter. Surface Water Quality

At Play ...

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetlands

Why Measure?

• Sign up for our “Volunteers for Conservation” Program – over the past 5 years, close to 2,300 volunteer hours have helped us plant trees, remove invasive species, and naturalize shorelines. • Wash your boat’s hull before moving to another lake and don’t release live bait. • Be cautious when fueling your boat and obey speed signs in low wake, erosion sensitive areas.

Measuring helps us better understand our watershed. It helps us to focus our efforts where they are most needed and track progress. It also helps us to identify healthy and ecologically important areas that require protection or enhancement.

On the Land ...

• Plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to enhance wildlife habitat and species diversity. • Decommission unused wells – old wells can provide a path for contamination to groundwater supplies. • On the farm, implement nutrient management practices and fence livestock out of watercourses to prevent nutrient runoff.

What Is A Watershed? A watershed is an area of land drained by a river or stream. Similar to the branch of a tree, creeks empty into streams, which then empty into larger streams, eventually forming one main trunk.

Planning a project on your property? Call us or visit our website to find out more about environmentally friendly suggestions for your property, learn about financial assistance programs, or find out if a permit is required.

Within this system, everything is connected to everything else. In other words, actions which take place at the top of the system affect those downstream.

Lower Trent Conservation P: (613) 394-4829 F: (613) 394-5226 E: information@ltc.on.ca www.ltc.on.ca Lower Trent Conservation has prepared this report card as a summary on the state of our forests, wetlands, surface water, 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 reporting 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: A. Bennett


Forest Conditions

Trees play a significant role in our watersheds. Healthy forests clean the air and water, prevent flooding and erosion, provide homes for wildlife, and make up our parks and natural areas for all to enjoy. The forest landscape in southern Ontario has seen a dramatic change over the last 200 years. Sadly, forest cover has been reduced from 90% to 5% in some parts of Ontario. Data Source: Southern Ontario Land Resource Information System. Ministry of Natural Resources.

Three parameters were used to assess the quality of forest conditions. Forest cover is the total area of forested land. Forest interior, required by some wildlife species for survival, is the wooded area that is more than 100 metres from a forest’s edge. The forested riparian zone is the amount of forest within 30 metres of a watercourse. Overall, about 35% of the watershed region is forested, 8% is forest interior and 37% of the riparian area is forested. Trout Creek subwatershed rated poorly for forest conditions as the area is predominately agricultural. Excellent forest conditions are found in the Rawdon Creek subwatershed – almost half the area is forested, 14% is considered forest interior and 54% of the riparian zone is forested. Reforestation efforts are needed to help increase the extent and size of wooded areas, restore connections between small pockets of forested areas, and re-vegetate riparian zones.

The Great Lakes Connection

What we do in our local watersheds – where we all live and work – impacts the health and sustainability of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Surface Water Quality

Groundwater Quality

Our streams and rivers form the circulatory system of our watersheds. They are complex and dynamic. Healthy streams and rivers are necessary for wildlife survival and for healthy human communities – for drinking water, recreation and agriculture.

Most rain and snow is absorbed into the ground and stored in spaces between particles of soil, or in crevices and cracks in bedrock. Underground areas where large quantities of water are found are called aquifers. Groundwater moves very slowly. If it becomes contaminated, it is often impossible to restore. Fifty-three percent of people living within the watershed region rely on groundwater for their source of drinking water.

Data Source: Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network & Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment. 2007-2011.

Surface water quality is evaluated by using three parameters. Phosphorus is a nutrient which occurs naturally in the environment. Runoff containing untreated sewage and excess fertilizer increases concentrations in local waterways. High concentrations of phosphorus cause excessive algae growth, which lowers water oxygen levels and impairs aquatic life. Benthic invertebrates are small aquatic organisms living in stream beds. Some species are tolerant of organic pollution while others are not. For this reason, the presence of certain species is a good indicator of water quality and stream health. E. coli is a bacteria found in human and animal waste. Its presence in water indicates contamination that could be harmful to human health. Due to limited data for phosphorus and E. coli, subwatersheds were only graded using benthic data1 from 40 monitoring sites. Additionally, a site grade was calculated for phosphorus concentrations2 at nine monitoring stations. Based on this, water quality across the region ranges from fair to excellent. Caution must be exercised when reviewing the findings as both impaired and unimpaired individual sites can exist within a healthy creek system or subwatershed. Surface water quality is strongly influenced by human activities and can vary throughout the system depending on local conditions.

The Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh water

Lower Trent Conservation will review its monitoring programs to establish a more comprehensive assessment of surface water quality in the watershed region.

98% of Ontarians live in the Great Lakes basin

Note: Grades calculated based on 20031 and 20112 Watershed Report Card Guidelines by Conservation Ontario.

9.2 M Canadians get their drinking water from the Great Lakes

Through our ongoing watershed management programs and partnerships, Lower Trent Conservation is helping to protect the Great Lakes. We are also a key partner in the implementation of the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan, a program working towards the rehabilitation of one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern, or pollution hot-spots.

Base maps: Copyright Queen’s Printer

Data Source: Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment. 2007-2011.

Groundwater quality was evaluated by using nitrogen and chloride data. Nitrates and nitrites are forms of nitrogen that come from a variety of sources including industrial and residential wastewater, fertilizers and failing septic beds. High concentrations of nitrates and nitrites can make water unsafe for human consumption, especially for young children. Chloride, a form of salt, can enter groundwater from human use (e.g. snow control on roads, discharges from water softeners). High concentrations of chloride in water are harmful to the environment. Groundwater wells have not been graded because of the lack of consistent, long term data. However, available data for two monitoring wells, located in shallow aquifers and vulnerable to surface runoff, show elevated levels of chloride, nitrates and nitrites which exceed the Ontario Drinking Water Standards. The Oak Ridges Moraine, a predominant glacial landform stretching from the Niagara Escarpment to Rice Lake, is a significant hydrological feature within the watershed region. Its sand and gravel layers act like a sponge, holding water in deep aquifers and releasing it to feed the headwaters of 65 rivers and streams. It is sometimes referred to as southern Ontario’s rain barrel as it provides drinking water to 250,000 people. Lower Trent Conservation will continue to collect groundwater data and undertake analyses to develop a better understanding of our groundwater resources and long term trends.

Wetland Cover

Wetlands are essential for a healthy environment. Wetland plants, like cattails, filter pollutants from water. They store water during floods and release it during dry periods. Wetlands also provide an important home for numerous wildlife species. Unfortunately, many of southern Ontario’s wetlands have been altered or destroyed by filling, clearing or draining activities.

Data Source: Ministry of Natural Resources & Lower Trent Conservation

The extent of wetland cover was determined using aerial photography. Wetlands cover 10% of the watershed region, the minimum target for wetland habitat recommended by Environment Canada (Report: How Much Habitat is Enough? at www.ec.gc.ca). Historically, there were more wetlands across the landscape, but many have been destroyed and drained for development and agriculture. Murray Marsh, located along the Trent River, is the largest wetland in the region. It is significant for its impressive size, immense flood storage capacity, and high diversity of habitats and species of wildlife. Close to half the total area of the Marsh is protected through the combined ownership of Lower Trent Conservation and the Ministry of Natural Resources. With amendments to the Conservation Authority regulations in 2006, the remaining wetlands within the watershed region are protected.

Climate Change

Climate change is a sustained shift in long term weather patterns. Most climate scientists agree that climate change is taking place and that it will intensify over time. Rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more frequent severe weather, and more extreme rainfall events will result in: • • • • •

threats to water quality and levels more drought conditions increased flood and erosion problems lower river flows and warmed surface waters changes to biodiversity

As Lower Trent Conservation increases its understanding of climate change and local impacts, we will share that knowledge and information with our partners – municipalities, agencies, and the public. Together, we need to develop new policies, programs and practices to help mitigate climate change and adapt to it.


Forest Conditions

Trees play a significant role in our watersheds. Healthy forests clean the air and water, prevent flooding and erosion, provide homes for wildlife, and make up our parks and natural areas for all to enjoy. The forest landscape in southern Ontario has seen a dramatic change over the last 200 years. Sadly, forest cover has been reduced from 90% to 5% in some parts of Ontario. Data Source: Southern Ontario Land Resource Information System. Ministry of Natural Resources.

Three parameters were used to assess the quality of forest conditions. Forest cover is the total area of forested land. Forest interior, required by some wildlife species for survival, is the wooded area that is more than 100 metres from a forest’s edge. The forested riparian zone is the amount of forest within 30 metres of a watercourse. Overall, about 35% of the watershed region is forested, 8% is forest interior and 37% of the riparian area is forested. Trout Creek subwatershed rated poorly for forest conditions as the area is predominately agricultural. Excellent forest conditions are found in the Rawdon Creek subwatershed – almost half the area is forested, 14% is considered forest interior and 54% of the riparian zone is forested. Reforestation efforts are needed to help increase the extent and size of wooded areas, restore connections between small pockets of forested areas, and re-vegetate riparian zones.

The Great Lakes Connection

What we do in our local watersheds – where we all live and work – impacts the health and sustainability of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Surface Water Quality

Groundwater Quality

Our streams and rivers form the circulatory system of our watersheds. They are complex and dynamic. Healthy streams and rivers are necessary for wildlife survival and for healthy human communities – for drinking water, recreation and agriculture.

Most rain and snow is absorbed into the ground and stored in spaces between particles of soil, or in crevices and cracks in bedrock. Underground areas where large quantities of water are found are called aquifers. Groundwater moves very slowly. If it becomes contaminated, it is often impossible to restore. Fifty-three percent of people living within the watershed region rely on groundwater for their source of drinking water.

Data Source: Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network & Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment. 2007-2011.

Surface water quality is evaluated by using three parameters. Phosphorus is a nutrient which occurs naturally in the environment. Runoff containing untreated sewage and excess fertilizer increases concentrations in local waterways. High concentrations of phosphorus cause excessive algae growth, which lowers water oxygen levels and impairs aquatic life. Benthic invertebrates are small aquatic organisms living in stream beds. Some species are tolerant of organic pollution while others are not. For this reason, the presence of certain species is a good indicator of water quality and stream health. E. coli is a bacteria found in human and animal waste. Its presence in water indicates contamination that could be harmful to human health. Due to limited data for phosphorus and E. coli, subwatersheds were only graded using benthic data1 from 40 monitoring sites. Additionally, a site grade was calculated for phosphorus concentrations2 at nine monitoring stations. Based on this, water quality across the region ranges from fair to excellent. Caution must be exercised when reviewing the findings as both impaired and unimpaired individual sites can exist within a healthy creek system or subwatershed. Surface water quality is strongly influenced by human activities and can vary throughout the system depending on local conditions.

The Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh water

Lower Trent Conservation will review its monitoring programs to establish a more comprehensive assessment of surface water quality in the watershed region.

98% of Ontarians live in the Great Lakes basin

Note: Grades calculated based on 20031 and 20112 Watershed Report Card Guidelines by Conservation Ontario.

9.2 M Canadians get their drinking water from the Great Lakes

Through our ongoing watershed management programs and partnerships, Lower Trent Conservation is helping to protect the Great Lakes. We are also a key partner in the implementation of the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan, a program working towards the rehabilitation of one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern, or pollution hot-spots.

Base maps: Copyright Queen’s Printer

Data Source: Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment. 2007-2011.

Groundwater quality was evaluated by using nitrogen and chloride data. Nitrates and nitrites are forms of nitrogen that come from a variety of sources including industrial and residential wastewater, fertilizers and failing septic beds. High concentrations of nitrates and nitrites can make water unsafe for human consumption, especially for young children. Chloride, a form of salt, can enter groundwater from human use (e.g. snow control on roads, discharges from water softeners). High concentrations of chloride in water are harmful to the environment. Groundwater wells have not been graded because of the lack of consistent, long term data. However, available data for two monitoring wells, located in shallow aquifers and vulnerable to surface runoff, show elevated levels of chloride, nitrates and nitrites which exceed the Ontario Drinking Water Standards. The Oak Ridges Moraine, a predominant glacial landform stretching from the Niagara Escarpment to Rice Lake, is a significant hydrological feature within the watershed region. Its sand and gravel layers act like a sponge, holding water in deep aquifers and releasing it to feed the headwaters of 65 rivers and streams. It is sometimes referred to as southern Ontario’s rain barrel as it provides drinking water to 250,000 people. Lower Trent Conservation will continue to collect groundwater data and undertake analyses to develop a better understanding of our groundwater resources and long term trends.

Wetland Cover

Wetlands are essential for a healthy environment. Wetland plants, like cattails, filter pollutants from water. They store water during floods and release it during dry periods. Wetlands also provide an important home for numerous wildlife species. Unfortunately, many of southern Ontario’s wetlands have been altered or destroyed by filling, clearing or draining activities.

Data Source: Ministry of Natural Resources & Lower Trent Conservation

The extent of wetland cover was determined using aerial photography. Wetlands cover 10% of the watershed region, the minimum target for wetland habitat recommended by Environment Canada (Report: How Much Habitat is Enough? at www.ec.gc.ca). Historically, there were more wetlands across the landscape, but many have been destroyed and drained for development and agriculture. Murray Marsh, located along the Trent River, is the largest wetland in the region. It is significant for its impressive size, immense flood storage capacity, and high diversity of habitats and species of wildlife. Close to half the total area of the Marsh is protected through the combined ownership of Lower Trent Conservation and the Ministry of Natural Resources. With amendments to the Conservation Authority regulations in 2006, the remaining wetlands within the watershed region are protected.

Climate Change

Climate change is a sustained shift in long term weather patterns. Most climate scientists agree that climate change is taking place and that it will intensify over time. Rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more frequent severe weather, and more extreme rainfall events will result in: • • • • •

threats to water quality and levels more drought conditions increased flood and erosion problems lower river flows and warmed surface waters changes to biodiversity

As Lower Trent Conservation increases its understanding of climate change and local impacts, we will share that knowledge and information with our partners – municipalities, agencies, and the public. Together, we need to develop new policies, programs and practices to help mitigate climate change and adapt to it.


What Are We Doing?

What Can You Do?

Protecting Our Watershed

Be a Watershed Steward

Lower Trent Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency that works closely with municipal, provincial and federal government partners, landowners and community groups to conserve, restore and manage the natural resources of the Lower Trent Conservation watershed region.

If we all work together, we can make a difference. Imagine if the 71,000 people living in our watershed region all made wise environmental choices! Improving the health of the watershed requires us to think and act on ways to balance environmental concerns with everyday life. Here are some examples of good environmental stewardship activities you can do to enhance your property, protect your health, and protect our natural environment.

Our watershed region covers 2,121 square kilometres and includes 12 subwatersheds. They include the Trent River, which flows out of Rice Lake to the Bay of Quinte at Trenton, and eight main tributaries. The subwatersheds of Barnum House/Shelter Valley and Lake Iroquois Plain Tributaries are comprised of watercourses that flow directly into Lake Ontario. The Bay of Quinte subwatershed includes a number of small streams that drain to the Bay of Quinte. • Environmental Planning & Regulations: Land use planning input and administration of Ontario Regulation 163/06 (Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses) ensures development does not impact wetlands, shorelines or waterways. • Environmental Monitoring & Reporting: Data collected through a number of water monitoring activities are used to evaluate and report on existing conditions within the watershed and help establish targets for protection and rehabilitation activities. • Flood Forecasting & Protection Works: Water level notifications and flood control structures (e.g. dam, flood walls, berms, overflow channels) help to protect life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion. • Education, Outreach & Stewardship: Hands-on learning opportunities, advice and financial assistance educate the public about conservation and the environment. • Conservation Lands: Seventeen properties totalling 1,500 hectares protect important natural ecosystems and provide outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities.

At Home ...

• Maintain your septic system to prevent leakage of nutrients and E. coli into the ground. • Use phosphate free products inside and outside your home (e.g. detergents, fertilizers). • Conserve water by installing water saving devices on your taps and showerheads – install a low flow toilet. • Leave a 30 metre buffer of natural vegetation along shorelines to filter runoff and provide wildlife habitat.

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

Lower Trent Region

WATERSHED

Report Card 2013 What Does This Report Card Measure?

At Work ...

• Use paper that contains recycled content or is produced using sustainable forest management practices. • Set up a green bin in the lunch room or cafeteria for composting food waste. • Use sand or other environmentally friendly products on walkways and parking areas during the winter. Surface Water Quality

At Play ...

Forest Conditions

Groundwater Quality

Wetlands

Why Measure?

• Sign up for our “Volunteers for Conservation” Program – over the past 5 years, close to 2,300 volunteer hours have helped us plant trees, remove invasive species, and naturalize shorelines. • Wash your boat’s hull before moving to another lake and don’t release live bait. • Be cautious when fueling your boat and obey speed signs in low wake, erosion sensitive areas.

Measuring helps us better understand our watershed. It helps us to focus our efforts where they are most needed and track progress. It also helps us to identify healthy and ecologically important areas that require protection or enhancement.

On the Land ...

• Plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to enhance wildlife habitat and species diversity. • Decommission unused wells – old wells can provide a path for contamination to groundwater supplies. • On the farm, implement nutrient management practices and fence livestock out of watercourses to prevent nutrient runoff.

What Is A Watershed? A watershed is an area of land drained by a river or stream. Similar to the branch of a tree, creeks empty into streams, which then empty into larger streams, eventually forming one main trunk.

Planning a project on your property? Call us or visit our website to find out more about environmentally friendly suggestions for your property, learn about financial assistance programs, or find out if a permit is required.

Within this system, everything is connected to everything else. In other words, actions which take place at the top of the system affect those downstream.

Lower Trent Conservation P: (613) 394-4829 F: (613) 394-5226 E: information@ltc.on.ca www.ltc.on.ca Lower Trent Conservation has prepared this report card as a summary on the state of our forests, wetlands, surface water, 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 reporting 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: A. Bennett

Lower Trent Region Watershed Report Card  

Lower Trent Region Watershed Report Card

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