Citizen scientists help obtain valuable information for creek health
July 28, 2017 Carleton Place, ON— Two creeks in the City of Ottawa are the focus of this year’s City Stream Watch program. Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) staff, summer students and volunteers have spent the month of July obtaining, recording and managing valuable information on the physical and biological characteristics of Upper Carp and Huntley Creeks.
“The goal of City Stream Watch is to ensure creeks and streams in the City of Ottawa are respected and valued natural features of the communities through which they flow,” said MVCA Biologist Kelly Stiles. “We’ve targeted 2.2 kilometres of Upper Carp Creek and 15 kilometres of Huntley Creek. The data collected will help identify any changes in the quality and quantity of water resources in the area over the long term and help target future stewardship efforts.”
Monitoring also allows for staff and volunteers to take note of other factors that affect the creeks, such as invasive species.
“We have noticed a lot of Himalayan balsam along Carp Creek, as well as poison parsnip. Huntley is much more diverse, but we’ve had instances of rusty crayfish, buckthorn, poison parsnip and purple loosestrife,” said MVCA summer student Robyn Chatwin-Davies. “Removal of invasive species is slated for later this summer including Himalayan balsam along Upper Carp Creek and dog-strangling vine along Shirley’s Brook.”
MVCA is part of the City Stream Watch Collaborative formed in 2014 that consists of dedicated environmental organizations, including Rideau Valley and South Nation Conservation Authorities and other interested groups. Logging 82 hours already this summer, volunteers are an integral part of the program’s success. To become a volunteer or for more information, contact Kelly Stiles at 613-253-0006 ext. 234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MVCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario. Formed in 1968, MVCA’s mandate is to manage the watershed’s resources in partnership with our eleven member municipalities and the Province of Ontario. For more information, visit www.mvc.on.ca, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
613-253-0006 ext. 234