5. Stewardship and Protection
The RVCA and its partners are working to protect and enhance environmental conditions in the Middle Rideau Subwatershed. Figure 58 shows the location of all stewardship projects completed in the Black Creek catchment along with sites identified for potential shoreline restoration.
Rural Clean Water Projects
From 2009 to 2014, two well upgrades, one septic system replacement and one wastewater runoff project were completed. Between 2003 and 2008, six well upgrades, three well decommissionings, one well replacement and one fuel storage and handling facility were completed. Prior to 2003, one livestock fencing project and one manure storage facility were completed. Total value of all 17 projects is $69,105 with $42,133 of that amount funded through grant dollars from the RVCA.
Tree Planting Projects
The location of RVCA Tree Planting Program projects is shown in Figure 58. From 2009 to 2014, 41.880 trees were planted at five sites. Between 2003 and 2008, 13,170 trees were planted at five sites and prior to 2003, 49,810 trees were planted at ten sites, resulting in the reforestation of 56 hectares. Total value of all 20 projects is $299,751 with $80,886 of that amount coming from various fundraising sources.
Through the RVCA Butternut Recovery Program, an additional 60 butternut trees were planted in the Black Creek catchment between 2003 and 2008, as part of efforts to introduce healthy seedlings from tolerant butternuts into various locations across Eastern Ontario.
Valley, Stream, Wetland and Hazard Land Regulation
The Black Creek catchment covers 131 square kilometres with 30 square kilometres (or 23 percent) of the drainage area being within the regulation limit of Ontario Regulation 174/06 (Figure 59), giving protection to wetland areas and river or stream valleys that are affected by flooding and erosion hazards.
Wetlands occupy 46.5 sq. km. (or 36 percent) of the catchment. Of these wetlands, 17.4 sq. km (or 37 percent) are designated as provincially significant and included within the RVCA regulation limit. This leaves the remaining 29.1 sq. km (or 63 percent) of wetlands in the catchment outside the regulated area limit.
Of the 190.1 kilometres of stream in the catchment, regulation limit mapping has been plotted along 50 kilometers of streams (representing 26 percent of all streams in the catchment). Some of these regulated watercourses (32.7 km or 17 percent of all streams) flow through regulated wetlands; the remaining 17.3 km (or 35 percent) of regulated streams are located outside of those wetlands. Plotting of the regulation limit on the remaining 140.1 km (or 74 percent) of streams requires identification of flood and erosion hazards and valley systems.
Within the regulation limit, “development” and “site alteration” require RVCA permission. The “alteration to waterways” provision of Ontario Regulation 174/06 applies to all watercourses.
Vulnerable Drinking Water Areas
The Black Creek drainage catchment is 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 area around the headwaters of Black Creek is 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 stream ecosystem. 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.