5.0 Long Lake Catchment: Stewardship and Water Resources Protection
The RVCA and its partners are working to protect and enhance environmental conditions in the Tay River Watershed. Figure 91 shows the location of all stewardship projects completed in the Long Lake catchment.
5.1 Rural Clean Water
The Rural Clean Water Program provides technical and financial assistance to farmers and other rural landowners, to aid in the implementation of projects that protect water quality. Funding is granted to those projects that support best management practices for application in the protection and improvement of surface and ground water resources. The program also supports climate change adaptation and low impact development projects as well as educating rural landowners about environmental stewardship of private property. Examples of supported projects include livestock exclusion fencing, controlled tile drainage, cover crops, erosion control, well related projects, and many more. For a list of eligible projects and to apply for funding, see Rural Clean Water.
In the Long Lake catchment from 2011 to 2016, one well upgrade was completed at a total value of $1,437 with $500 of that amount funded through grant dollars from the RVCA.
5.2 Private Land Forestry
Forest cover and tree planting continues to be one of the most widely supported strategies to improve our environment. The many benefits of forest cover include carbon sequestration, flood mitigation and water quality improvement as well as providing wildlife habitat.
Through the RVCA's Trees for Tomorrow Program (and its predecessors), 3,000 trees were planted at one site resulting in the reforestation of two hectares. Total project value is $4,938 with $4,090 of that amount coming from fundraising sources. For more information about the Program and landowner eligibility, please see the following: Tree Planting in the Rideau Valley Watershed and Trees for Tomorrow.
5.3 Shoreline Naturalization
Natural shoreline buffers rich in native plants are critically important to protecting the health of our lakes, rivers and streams. Shoreline vegetation protects water quality and aquatic habitat by intercepting potentially harmful contaminants such as nutrients, pollutants and sediment, regulating water temperatures, slowing runoff and providing important fish and wildlife habitat. Natural shorelines also help improve climate change resiliency by increasing flood storage and providing protection from erosion during extreme weather events.
As of the end of 2016, no shoreline projects had been carried out in the Long Lake catchment. Landowners may wish to take advantage of the RVCA's Shoreline Naturalization Program to assist them with the naturalization of their shorelines to see the benefits noted above (and more).
5.4 Fish and Wetland Habitat
The Long Lake Property Owners' Association has completed four walleye spawning bed enhancement projects since 2011: three on Long Lake and one on Drew's Creek. A fifth project was also completed by the Ministry of Natural Resources Stewardship Rangers Program in 2001/2002. Two of the spawning bed projects were funded under the MNR Community Fisheries and Wildlife Improvement Program.
5.5 Valley, Stream, Wetland and Hazard Lands
The Long Lake catchment covers 85.6 square kilometres and contains 18 square kilometres of wetland along with 177.9 kilometres of stream. None of these natural features are subject to the regulation limit of Ontario Regulation 174/06 (Figure 92) for the protection of wetland areas and river or stream valleys that are affected by flooding and erosion hazards.
For areas where no regulation limit exists, protection of the catchment’s watercourses is provided through the “alteration to waterways” provision of the regulation.
5.6 Vulnerable Drinking Water Areas
Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection program has mapped two small areas in this catchment, to the Center and southwest, as a Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas and all of the catchment as 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. There are no Well-Head Protection Areas in the catchment.
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, visit the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region website.