4.0 Jock River-Richmond Fen 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 41 shows the location of all stewardship projects completed in the Jock River-Richmond Fen catchment along with sites identified for potential shoreline restoration.
4.1 Rural Clean Water Projects
From 2004 to 2009, two well decommissionings and one crop residue project were finished and prior to 2004, two crop residue projects and one livestock fencing were completed. One of these projects was undertaken within the 30 metre riparian zone of the Jock River. No projects were undertaken between 2010 and 2015. Total value of all six projects is $10,023 with $6,017 of that amount funded through grant dollars from the RVCA.
4.2 Private Land Forestry Projects
The location of RVCA tree planting projects is shown in Figure 41. From 2010 to 2015, 1,000 trees were planted at one site. Between 2004 and 2009, 3,260 trees were planted at two sites and prior to 2004, 91,080 trees were planted at 16 sites, In total, 95,340 trees were planted resulting in the reforestation of 47 hectares. Three of these projects were completed within the 30 metre riparian zone of the Jock River. Total value of all 19 projects is $302,216 with $99,034 of that amount coming from fundraising sources.
4.3 Valley, Stream, Wetland and Hazard Lands
The Richmond Fen catchment covers 26 square kilometres with 14.7 square kilometres (or 57 percent) of the drainage area being within the regulation limit of Ontario Regulation 174/06 (Figure 42), giving protection to wetland areas and river or stream valleys that are affected by flooding and erosion hazards.
Wetlands occupy 12.9 sq. km. (or 49 percent) of the catchment. Of these wetlands, 12 sq. km (or 93 percent) are designated as provincially significant and included within the RVCA regulation limit. This leaves the remaining 0.9 sq. km (or seven percent) of wetlands in the catchment outside the regulated area limit.
Of the 42 kilometres of stream in the catchment, regulation limit mapping has been plotted along 30.2 kilometers of streams (representing 72 percent of all streams in the catchment). Some of these regulated watercourses (21.2 km or 51 percent of all streams) flow through regulated wetlands; the remaining 9 km (or 30 percent) of regulated streams are located outside of those wetlands. Plotting of the regulation limit on the remaining 11.8 km (or 28 percent) of streams requires identification of flood and erosion hazards and valley systems.
Within those areas of the Richmond Fen 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.
4.4 Vulnerable Drinking Water Areas
Portions of the Wellhead Protection Areas around the Munster municipal drinking water source and the Richmond (King’s Park) drinking water source are located within the Jock River-Richmond Fen drainage catchment. These areas are 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-Richmond Fen 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.
The lands immediately to the west and north of Munster Hamlet are also considered a Significant Groundwater Recharge Area. This means that there is a volume of water moving from the surface into the ground and groundwater serves either as a municipal drinking water source or supplies a coldwater ecosystem such as a brook trout stream. The Plan was not required to include policies to specifically address Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas.
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.