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5.0 Jock River-Ashton Dwyer Hill Catchment: Stewardship and Water Resources Protection

The RVCA and its partners are working to protect and enhance environmental conditions in the Jock River Subwatershed. Figure 56 shows the location of all stewardship projects completed in the Jock River-Ashton Dwyer Hill catchment along with sites identified for potential shoreline restoration.

5.1 Rural Clean Water Projects

From 2010 to 2015, three precision farming and two manure storage/wastewater runoff projects were completed along with one well upgrade, one milkhouse wastewater treatment facility, one windbreak planting and one fragile land retirement. Between 2004 and 2009, two livestock fencing and two crop residue projects were finished along with two septic system replacements, one well decommissioning, one well upgrade and one nutrient management plan. Prior to 2004, four crop residue and three livestock fencing projects, three precision farming, two milkhouse wastewater treatment facilities, one septic system replacement and one manure storage/wastewater runoff project were completed. Total value of all 32 projects is $506,613 with $91,900 of that amount funded through grant dollars from the RVCA.

Figure xx Stewardship and potential restoration locations
Figure 56 Stewardship site locations 
 

5.2 Private Land Forestry Projects

The location of RVCA tree planting projects is shown in Figure 56. From 2010 to 2015, 24,450 trees were planted at six sites. Between 2004 and 2009, 23,057 trees were planted at 10 sites and prior to 2004, 200,460 trees were  planted at 31 sites, In total, 245,967 trees were planted resulting in the reforestation of 123 hectares. Three of these projects were completed within the 30 metre riparian zone of the Jock River and its tributaries. Total project value of all 47 projects is $695,523 with $262,014 of that amount coming from fundraising sources.

Through the RVCA Butternut Recovery Program, an additional 70 butternut trees were planted in the Jock River-Ashton Dwyer Hill catchment (Figure 56) between 2004 and 2015, as part of efforts to introduce healthy seedlings from tolerant butternuts into various locations across Eastern Ontario.

5.3 Shoreline Naturalization Projects

With the assistance of the RVCA’s Shoreline Naturalization Program, 190 trees and shrubs were planted at a total project value of $1,582.

5.4 Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Projects

Figure 56 shows the location of all Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program (ODWSP) projects in the Jock River-Ashton Dwyer Hill catchment. Between 2010 and 2015, two fuel handling and storage facilities and one septic system repair/replacement were completed. Total project value is $28,810 with $9,291 of that amount funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

5.5 Valley, Stream, Wetland and Hazard Lands

The Ashton-Dwyer Hill catchment covers 81 square kilometres with 17.3 square kilometres (or 21 percent) of the drainage area being within the regulation limit of Ontario Regulation 174/06 (Figure 57), giving protection to wetland areas and river or stream valleys that are affected by flooding and erosion hazards.

Wetlands occupy 17.1 sq. km. (or 21 percent) of the catchment. Of these wetlands, 8.3 sq. km (or 49 percent) are designated as provincially significant and included within the RVCA regulation limit. This leaves the remaining 8.8 sq. km (or 51 percent) of wetlands in the catchment outside the regulated area limit.

Of the 153.3 kilometres of stream in the catchment, regulation limit mapping has been plotted along 56.9 kilometers of streams (representing 37 percent of all streams in the catchment). Some of these regulated watercourses (30.1 km or 20 percent of all streams) flow through regulated wetlands; the remaining 26.8 km (or 47 percent) of regulated streams are located outside of those wetlands. Plotting of the regulation limit on the remaining 96.4 km (or 63 percent) of streams requires identification of flood and erosion hazards and valley systems.

Within those areas of the Ashton-Dwyer Hill catchment subject to the regulation (limit), efforts (have been made and) continue through RVCA planning and regulations input and review to manage the impact of development (and other land management practices) in areas where “natural hazards” are associated with rivers, streams, valley lands and wetlands. For areas beyond the regulation limit, protection of the catchment’s watercourses is only provided through the “alteration to waterways” provision of the regulation.

Figure xx RVCA regulation limits
Figure 57 RVCA regulation limits

5.6 Vulnerable Drinking Water Areas

A portion of the Wellhead Protection Area around the Munster municipal drinking water source is located within the Jock River-Ashton Dwyer Hill drainage catchment. This area is subject to mandatory policies in the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan developed under the Clean Water Act. These policies specifically regulate land uses and activities that are considered drinking water threats, thereby reducing the risk of contamination of the municipal drinking water source.

The Jock River-Ashton Dwyer Hill drainage catchment is also considered to have a Highly Vulnerable Aquifer. This means that the nature of the overburden (thin soils, fractured bedrock) does not provide a high level of protection for the underlying groundwater making the aquifer more vulnerable to contaminants released on the surface. The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan includes policies that focus on the protection of groundwater region-wide due to the fact that most of the region, which encompasses the Mississippi and Rideau watersheds, is considered Highly Vulnerable Aquifer.

For detailed maps and policies that have been developed to protect drinking water sources, please go to the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region website at www.mrsourcewater.ca to view the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan.