5. Stewardship and Protection
The RVCA and its partners are working to protect and enhance environmental conditions in the Middle Rideau Subwatershed. Figure 56 shows the location of all stewardship projects completed in the Hutton Creek catchment along with sites identified for potential shoreline restoration.
Rural Clean Water Projects
From 2009 to 2014, three septic system replacements were completed. Between 2003 and 2008, two well upgrades, two livestock fencing projects, two fuel storage and handling facilities, two education initiatives, one septic system replacement and one clean water diversion were carried out. Prior to 2003, seven livestock fencing projects, one manure storage facility and one milkhouse wastewater treatment facility were completed. Total value of all 22 projects is $178,001 with $103,625 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 56. From 2009 to 2014, 5,100 trees were planted at two sites. Between 2003 and 2008, 15,826 trees were planted at two sites and prior to 2003, 19,310 trees were planted at six sites, resulting in the reforestation of 20 hectares. Total value of all ten projects is $110,881 with $36,509 of that amount coming from various fundraising sources.
Through the RVCA Butternut Recovery Program, an additional 30 butternut trees were planted in the Hutton 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 Hutton Creek catchment covers 62 square kilometres with 20.6 square kilometres (or 33 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 16.6 sq. km. (or 27 percent) of the catchment. Of these wetlands, 11 sq. km (or 66 percent) are designated as provincially significant and included within the RVCA regulation limit. This leaves the remaining 5.6 sq. km (or 34 percent) of wetlands in the catchment outside the regulated area limit.
Of the 85.4 kilometres of stream in the catchment, regulation limit mapping has been plotted along 47.5 kilometers of streams (representing 56 percent of all streams in the catchment). Some of these regulated watercourses (39.6 km or 46 percent of all streams) flow through regulated wetlands; the remaining 8 km (or 17 percent) of regulated streams are located outside of those wetlands. Plotting of the regulation limit on the remaining 37.9 km (or 44 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 Hutton 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. 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.