For Immediate Release
Fisheries and Oceans Canada contributes to improving habitat for species at risk in the Nottawasaga River watershed
UTOPIA, Ontario (March 23, 2021) – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has provided $165,000.00 over three years to the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) to help restore habitat for two species at risk in the Nottawasaga River Watershed - lake sturgeon and northern brook lamprey. Degradation of habitat and water pollution have contributed to declines in populations for these fish.
“Our Government is proud to work in partnership with NVCA to protect Canada's at-risk species and the habitats they call home," said the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. “Through the Habitat Stewardship Program for Aquatic Species at Risk, we are working together to restore the sturgeon and northern brook lamprey populations in the Nottawasaga River Watershed. Every act of conservation we take is critical to preserving Canada's natural environment for generations to come"
“Spawning habitats for these species at risk are impacted by soil released from eroding river banks and surrounding land" explained Fred Dobbs, Manager of Stewardship Services at NVCA. “Excess soil particles can clog up the pores in spawning gravel, eliminating the flow of water which provides oxygen and removes waste products from the fertilized eggs. Urban and agricultural areas also contribute phosphorus to the spawning grounds. Phosphorus promotes excess algae growth on the gravel which can reduce oxygen concentrations for incubating eggs."
The funding also allowed NVCA stewardship staff and partners such as Nottawasaga Futures, the South Simcoe Streams Committee and Nottawasaga Steelheaders to initiate a multi-year project to stabilize soil and reduce sediment and nutrient inputs to the Nottawasaga River.
This work also includes a floodplain construction component where low flat shelves are excavated adjacent to the river and revegetated. These floodplains reduce erosion by allowing floodwaters to spread out and slow down, like removing your thumb from the end of the garden hose. The floodplains also reduce flooding for adjacent landowners as well as providing habitat for a range of amphibians and birds.
Rural landowners are key partners in this initiative designed to improve habitat for species at risk, and have played a strong role in helping to complete projects in years 1 and 2. NVCA staff are currently developing a work plan for the 2021 field season and encourages landowners on the Nottawasaga River and Sheldon Creek to call Fred Dobbs at (705) 309-0522 if they are interested in participating in the river restoration program.
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About NVCA: The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority is a public agency dedicated to the preservation of a healthy environment through specialized programs to protect, conserve and enhance our water, wetlands, forests and lands.
Media contact: Maria Leung, Communications Coordinator 705-424-1479 ext.254, email@example.com