Province of Ontario invests $125,000 to restore and enhance wetlands in the Nottawasaga Watershed

 In News

The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) is receiving $125,000 to restore and enhance eight wetlands in the Nottawasaga Watershed through the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program.

Similar to the rest of Southern Ontario, approximately 70 per cent of wetlands have been lost in the Nottawasaga Watershed. Dubbed ‘Return of the Wetlands’, this project will restore and enhance 2.55 hectares of wetland habitat, providing linkages between larger existing wetland blocks, and controlling invasive species that threaten shoreline wetland ecosystems.

“For decades, NVCA has worked to restore rivers and wetlands in the Nottawasaga Watershed,” said Fred Dobbs, Manager of Stewardship Services at NVCA. “Thanks to this grant from the province, we are able to work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, South Simcoe Streams Network, local environmental associations, rural landowners and corporate partners. Wetland restoration projects help improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat and flood resiliency across the watershed.”

More than 300 volunteers will be actively engaged as part of this initiative, through the planting of 5,000 native trees, shrubs and wetland plants and the removal of invasive Phragmites (common reed).

“It’s great to see conservation leaders working together to help enhance and restore wetlands, preventing flooding and improving water quality,” said Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Our government is proud to work with partners like the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority who are engaging with hundreds of volunteers to plant thousands of new native trees and remove invasive species to protect wetland ecosystems and support a healthy and prosperous Ontario.”

In 2020, Ontario introduced the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program. Over the past five years, the program has invested $31 million in funding to restore and enhance wetlands across the province.

NVCA’s Watershed Science team is also taking water samples from rivers and streams for the Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network. This program was established by the province in 1964 and is celebrating its 60th anniversary on June 10, 2024.

The data collected from this monitoring network and other NVCA monitoring initiatives allows staff to develop a better understanding of the condition health of the watershed. The information also helps identify priority restoration sites and provides information on impacts and changes after restoration and enhancement projects are complete.

Wetlands provide many benefits such as reducing the risk of flooding and drought, improving water quality and providing recreation opportunities and important fish and wildlife habitats. In addition, wetlands create resiliency against the impacts of climate change and stormwater.

Photo: Nicole Cox (NVCA Board Member), Christopher Baines (NVCA Board Member), Jonathan Scott (NVCA Vice Chair), Andrea Khanjin (Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks), Doug Hevenor (CAO of NVCA) stands beside a newly planted tree in the Minesing Wetlands.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment