5. Stewardship and Protection
The RVCA and its partners are working to protect and enhance environmental conditions in the Middle Rideau Subwatershed. Figure 57 shows the location of all stewardship projects completed in the Rideau Creek catchment along with sites identified for potential shoreline restoration.
Rural Clean Water Projects
From 2009 to 2014, one livestock fencing project was completed along with one well upgrade between 2003 and 2008. Total project value is $9,326 with $8,534 of that amount funded through grant dollars from the RVCA. No projects were carried out before 2003 in the catchment.
Tree Planting Projects
The location of RVCA Tree Planting Program projects is shown in Figure 57. Prior to 2003, 131,620 trees were planted at 19 sites resulting in the reforestation of 66 hectares. Total project value is $332,620 with $94,930 of that amount coming from various fundraising sources. No projects were carried out in the catchment between 2003 and 2014.
Through the RVCA Butternut Recovery Program, an additional 20 butternut trees were planted in the Rideau Creek catchment between 2009 and 2014, 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 Rideau Creek catchment covers 68 square kilometres with 19 square kilometres (or 28 percent) of the drainage area being within the regulation limit of Ontario Regulation 174/06 (Figure 58), giving protection to wetland areas and river or stream valleys that are affected by flooding and erosion hazards.
Wetlands occupy 22.7 sq. km. (or 33 percent) of the catchment. Of these wetlands, 12.2 sq. km (or 54 percent) are designated as provincially significant and included within the RVCA regulation limit. This leaves the remaining 10.4 sq. km. (or 46 percent) of wetlands in the catchment outside the regulated area limit.
Of the 95.8 kilometres of stream in the catchment, regulation limit mapping has been plotted along 40.6 kilometers of streams (representing 42 percent of all streams in the catchment). Some of these regulated watercourses (31.8 km or 33 percent of all streams) flow through regulated wetlands; the remaining 8.8 km (or 22 percent) of regulated streams are located outside of those wetlands. Plotting of the regulation limit on the remaining 55.3 km (or 58 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 Rideau 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.