NOTTAWASAGA VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
UTOPIA – In late April, the World Wildlife Fund-Canada (WWF-Canada) awarded the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) with $25,000 to support water quality and habitat restoration projects.
NVCA’s Healthy Waters Program is one of 11 projects across Canada to receive funding from the Loblaw Water Fund, which is managed by WWF-Canada. These projects look to improve freshwater ecosystem health across the country.
Locally, the Healthy Waters Program will engage more than 200 volunteers in restoring streamside forests and wetland habitat in the Nottawasaga Valley Watershed. This will include planting 20,000 native trees and shrubs.
Funding for On-the-Ground Projects
With the grant from WWF-Canada, NVCA will make funds available for on-the-ground projects to improve water quality and restore aquatic and wildlife habitat. Landowners, volunteer groups, and farmers are encouraged to apply.
“Ninety-six per cent of the Nottawasaga Valley watershed is privately owned,” explains Shannon Stephens, NVCA’s Healthy Waters Program Coordinator. “It’s only with the support and environmental stewardship of private landowners and volunteers that we can meet our water quality targets and restore fish and wildlife habitat.”
The available funds will cover 30-100 per cent of the cost of stewardship projects, to a maximum of $10,000 depending on project type. Eligible water quality projects include:
- tree planting
- clean water diversion from livestock yards
- livestock exclusion fencing from streams and wetlands
- planting streamside buffers between cropland and streams
- retrofitting farm tiles with controlled drainage boxes
- well decommissioning
- nutrient management planning
- habitat restoration: wetlands, forests, etc.
These projects, along with other initiatives, will help the Healthy Waters Program meet its 2020 goals of restoring 21.5 hectares of streamside and wetland forest; reducing phosphorous runoff to our lakes and rivers (which contributes to potentially toxic algae blooms that harm wildlife and limit recreational activities); and installing on-farm improvements like livestock restriction fencing and manure storage.
“Restoring ecosystems is expensive, but it’s an investment that pays dividends into the future,” adds Ms. Stephens. “We are grateful for the funding support of WWF-Canada and the Loblaw Water Fund. With this grant, generous donations from individuals and companies, and the support of government at all levels, we can make further strides towards clean and healthy waters and habitats.”
For more information on applying for funding or volunteering with the Healthy Waters Program, visit www.nvca.on.ca or contact NVCA at 705-424-1479.