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7. Opportunities/Actions

Water Quality

  • Implement agricultural and residential best management practices to improve and maintain nutrient concentrations, E. coli counts and metal concentrations on Irish Creek by restricting livestock access to the creek, limiting the use of fertilizers and pesticide applications and improving or maintaining a shoreline buffer
  • Continue to offer the suite of water quality improvement projects provided by the Rideau Valley Rural Clean Water Program to landowners
  • Continue to protect Irish Creek and its tributaries through implementation of municipal and agency land use planning and development policies and practices

Shorelines/Headwaters

  • Continue to promote the Rideau Valley Shoreline Naturalization and Tree Planting Programs to landowners
  • RVCA and its partners (Townships of Elizabethtown-Kitley and Rideau Lakes, Village of Merrickville-Wolford) are to continue educating landowners about the value and importance of headwater drainage features, natural shorelines and waterfront property best management practices with respect to shoreline use and development, septic system installation and maintenance and shoreline vegetation retention and enhancement
  • Protect the riparian buffer along the shoreline of Irish Creek and other catchment streams (headwaters) during the development approvals process through adherence to and enforcement of municipal land-use policies and zoning standards
  • Target shoreline restoration at sites identified in this report (shown as “Other riparian land cover” in Figure 10 and “Potential Riparian/Shoreline Restoration” in Figure 49) and explore other restoration and enhancement opportunities along Irish Creek and its tributaries

Development

  • Collectively work with approval authorities (Townships of Elizabethtown-Kitley and Rideau Lakes, Village of Merrickville-Wolford, Conservation Authority) to consistently implement current land use planning and development policies for water quality and shoreline protection adjacent to Irish Creek and other catchment streams (e.g., a minimum 30 metre development setback from water)
  • Explore ways and means to more effectively enforce and implement conditions of land-use planning and development approval to achieve net environmental gains (particularly with respect to rehabilitating or protecting naturally vegetated shorelines and water quality)
  • Municipalities and agencies are encouraged to strengthen natural heritage and water resources official plan policies and zoning provisions (water setbacks, frontage and naturalized shorelines and wetland protection) where deemed appropriate
  • Utilize RVCA subwatershed and catchment reports to help develop/revise official plan policies to protect surface water resources and the natural environment (including woodlands, wetlands and shoreline cover)
  • Consider establishing RVCA regulations limits to protect additional wetlands

Water Levels

  • Repair the ongoing Bellamy Lake Dam water seepage problem that could threaten its structural integrity and the maintenance of water levels on Bellamy Lake needed to sustain existing recreational uses and its fish and wildlife habitat during periods of drought

Middle Rideau Catchments