Working with the community to restore vitality to Ottawa’s Little River
CARLETON PLACE, November 3, 2014 – Carp River Care is good news for the Carp River and its tributaries as they receive some much needed attention to improve the quality of water flowing past their banks.
Located in the City of Ottawa, within the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA), the Carp River and its tributaries, are part of a long term environmental management strategy. Carp River Care is the culmination of action plans, stewardship initiatives and community projects geared towards enhancing the quality of life in and around the Carp River.
“Carp River Care – Restoring Vitality to Ottawa’s Little River highlights the work that is being done by the conservation authority and other groups in the watershed to improve the river and its watershed.”said MVC. CRC stemmed from the original Carp River Action Plan and fundraising campaign that garnered nearly $100,000 in corporate and private donations and federal grants .
“It is an action plan, but it’s based on a lot people caring about the river and working together to make it better. We now have the funding, staff and volunteer resources to really make a difference along the river and we’ve completed quite a few projects this past year,” she said.
The foundation of the action plan is the Carp River Watershed/Subwatershed Study completed in 2004 by the City of Ottawa “to enhance or restore environmental quality in light of current and future demands on the resources”.
The Carp River watershed is entirely contained within Ottawa’s boundaries and outlets into the Ottawa River contributing to the primary source of the city’s drinking water.
The following restoration and rehabilitation measures were undertaken by MVCA and the community to make a positive difference in the overall health of the watershed.
The Carp River
Beginning in winter 2013, blockages were removed from two sites along the river to increase water flow and improve fish passage as part of a project which was jointly funded by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and MVCA.
In the spring of 2014, MVCA planted a total of 2,000 trees at five sites along the shoreline of the Carp River. The seedlings planted will grow and help stabilize the banks, provide habitat for fish and other wildlife, and contribute aesthetic value to properties along the river.
An assessment of the Carp River’s banks from Huntmar Road to Kinburn Side Road has been completed via canoe to determine and prioritize areas that can benefit from restoration work. Future plans for the carp river will take into account this assessment and include factors such as riparian planting to help prevent erosion and provide overhead cover, livestock exclusion to prevent pollution, removing more blockages to increase water flow, as well as, education and awareness for property owners and businesses along the river.
As part of the 2014 City Stream Watch Program MVCA staff and volunteers waded through the water of Huntley Creek (a Carp River tributary), for two weeks, to determine potential restoration opportunities. Future plans for the City Stream Watch Program involve coordinating next year’s survey locations to assess more of the tributaries to the Carp River and the Ottawa River within the MVCA jurisdiction, as well as, organizing stewardship activities based on the hot spots that have been identified to date.
Poole Creek is a tributary of the Carp River, its headwaters are located within the Village of Stittsville and its main channel is 8 km in length. Poole Creek is one of the few cold to cool-water streams within the Region of Ottawa-Carleton. It supports cold-cool water fish habitat and provides seasonal aquatic habitat. Because of its unique character, the creek has become a focus and a symbol for the community’s concern for the environment and the existing ecology.
The Upper Poole Creek Subwatershed Study (UPCSWS) completed in May 2000 and identified potential impacts of development pressure on the subwatershed. In November 2013, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority completed a literature review to assess any outstanding objectives of the UPCSWS and determine the most cost effective measures of implementing those objectives with limited funding.
Implementation of the projects began in the spring of 2015.
In June, MVCA partnered with Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to plant 150 shrubs along the shoreline in recognition of a $50,000 grant to the City Stream watch programs provided by both authorities. These shrub seedlings will grow to provide shade to the creek, to stabilize the stream bank and, in some cases, provide berries for wildlife.
Future restoration plans on Poole Creek include: implementing in-stream structures to enhance fish habitat, riparian plantings, and monitoring to predict areas of improvement. Current and upcoming monitoring activities include: loggers placed in two locations in Poole Creek that are collecting data to measure the impact of climate change on water temperature, and tracking changes in the brown trout population.
The volunteer efforts of The Friends of the Carp River, Boy Scouts of Canada, the Kinburn Community Association, the Ottawa Stewardship Council and the many individual volunteers were instrumental in getting these projects completed.
“Our increased monitoring effort in the Carp River Watershed is allowing us opportunities to talk with waterfront landowners as well as other community members who all have an interesting story to tell about what the watershed means to them and how we can work as a community to improve the river for everyone’s benefit,” said Kelly Stiles, MVCA Biologist.
Volunteers are always needed for both the stream survey work and the stewardship work. If you would like to volunteer with MVCA please click here.
Contact Kelly Stiles
MVCA Aquatic Biologist
613.253.0006 ext. 234