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6. Challenges/Issues

Water Quality

  • Surface water quality along Dales Creek is “Fair” over two reporting periods (2003-2008 and 2009-2014) as determined by surface water chemistry data. Frequent exceedances of total Kjeldahl nitrogen and occasional exceedances of total phosphorous, E.coli, aluminum, copper and iron contributed to the rating
  • Instream (biological) water quality conditions at the Dales Creek sample location range from “Poor” to “Good” from 2003 to 2014 (using a grading scheme developed by Ontario Conservation Authorities in Ontario for benthic invertebrates) with an overall benthic invertebrate water quality rating of “Poor” to “Good” determined for this period

Shorelines

  • Emerald ash borer poses a significant threat to the ecology of the subwatershed, given the prominence of ash trees along shorelines and in riparian and wetland areas. Many tree stands are predominantly ash and with their anticipated loss, it is unclear what will replace them and the overall effect of their collective demise on the physical and natural functions/values they provide for erosion, water quality and fish and wildlife habitat protection

Land Cover

  • The catchment contains 250 ha of unevaluated wetland (occupying six percent of its total area) that provides many important social, hydrological, biological and ecological functions/services. Although not under imminent threat from development activity, they do remain vulnerable to drainage and land clearing activities in the absence of any regulatory and planning controls that would otherwise protect them