City Stream Watch program targets urban watercourses for monitoring
The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority is part of the City Stream Watch collaborative formed in 2014. The group includes 10 agencies monitoring City of Ottawa streams.
These agencies include:
- Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
- South Nation Conservation Authority
- City of Ottawa
- Heron Park Community Association
- Ottawa Flyfishers Society
- Rideau Roundtable
- National Defense HQ – Fish and Game Club
- Ottawa Stewardship Council
- National Capital Commission
The goal of the City Stream Watch program is to obtain, record, and manage valuable information on the physical and biological characteristics of creeks and streams in the City of Ottawa, while ensuring that they are respected and valued natural features of the communities through which they flow.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]The program relies on and encourages the interest and commitment of volunteers from the community, guided by an experienced coordinator, to learn and conduct macro stream assessments in the local waterways, and then assist in stream clean-ups and stream rehabilitation projects on sites the assessment highlighted.[/quote]
The City Stream Watch program uses stream characterization protocols originally developed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Rideau Valley Conservation Authority began using it in 2002 and has since altered the protocol to facilitate its use by community volunteers and shared it with their neighboring Conservation Authorities. Development of the protocol was essential, as volunteer groups consist of people with a variety of educational backgrounds and experiences.
With intent to standardize monitoring methods across the City of Ottawa, MVCA began using the City Stream Watch program in 2013. With the help of a handful of keen volunteers we were able to test the protocol on Upper Carp Creek in Glen Cairn, and on Poole Creek in Stittsville.
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