Good Stewardship News from Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

This news has just arrived from Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA):

Last year, NVCA’s stewardship program received $138,777 from the Environmental Damages Fund to help fund habitat restoration and water quality protection projects between 2019 and 2022. This fund uses the fines collected from environmental violations to support projects that help improve the environment. Many other partners and donors also helped support NVCA’s stewardship and forestry programs.

The results are impressive. In 2019, projects completed under the fund:

  • Restored over 51 ha of habitat in environmentally sensitive areas. Over ten years, the trees planted will sequester nearly 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), equivalent to taking 43 cars off the road. The native trees and plants will also shade creeks and stabilize bank erosion.
  • Reduced 182 kg per year of phosphorus runoff to rivers and lakes. Too much phosphorus can cause potentially toxic algae blooms and fish kills. This amount of phosphorus could have grown up to 45 tonnes of algae!
  • Reduced 115 tonnes per year of farmland top-soil erosion
  • Over 10 km of streams and shorelines were enhanced
  • Over 56 landowners participated in projects and free site visits
  • Over 2,013 volunteers and students spent over 6,600 hours helping restore habitat

“We’re looking for more landowners, farmers and volunteers to help continue and expand on these successes,” said Shannon Stephens, NVCA’s Healthy Water Program Coordinator. “Residents in the Nottawasaga Valley watershed (eligibility map) can apply for financial and technical assistance to help plant trees, restore habitat, reduce agricultural runoff, and protect our rivers, lakes and drinking water sources.”

Eligible water quality projects include: decommissioning unused wells, fencing livestock out of streams and wetlands, erosion control structures and wetland creation to improve water quality. Dufferin County residents can also apply for the Dufferin Rural Water Quality Program. Project cost-share range from 30-100% to a maximum of $10,000 depending on project type.

The application is short and easy, and staff can help with any questions. Applications are accepted year round, but must be approved before projects begin. Stewardship staff are available for free site to discuss projects. Additionally, NVCA’s permit fee is waived for eligible projects that require permits,

Multi-species cover crop on a Dufferin farm. Cover crops help protect soil over the winter from erosion and reduce runoff. They also help build healthy, productive soils and are resilient to both drought and flood.

For more information about NVCA’s Healthy Waters Program, please refer to the program brochure, or contact Shannon Stephens at 705-424-1479 ext 239 or sstephens@nvca.on.ca

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