I would like to thank the Millbrook Times for the opportunity to share with the community.
I sit on the Board of Directors with Kawartha Conservation and am amazed and delighted at the great efforts that conservation authorities take to protect our watershed.
CA’s last year participated in the 2015 Provincial Plan Review involving the Greenbelt Plan, Growth Plan and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan. Kawartha Conservation has made formal input to the province on needed revisions and enhancements to various policy provisions in these Plans to ensure greater protection for environmentally significant features and systems, while seeking renewed provincial investment in land securement and restoration and stewardship of significant landscapes.
Kawartha Conservation is creating a Climate Change Strategy to address the changing landscape of our watershed and the impacts from a changing climate on the quality and quantity of our water resources. The Strategy, which is being developed with a panel of external agency experts and stakeholders, will outline strategic actions that need to be taken to increase the resiliency of the watershed and communities in adapting to our climate. Actions will include, for example, programs that further safeguard people, property and communities from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion, as well as drought. Other actions will include enhancing natural heritage systems with a focus on connecting green spaces, and riparian and shoreline areas by planting trees and native plants. Collecting long-term monitoring data on key watershed and ecosystem characteristics is yet another area of activity necessary to tell us about the state or health of our watersheds and focus our efforts where they are need most.
Monitoring is a key program. There are 36 conservation authorities in Ontario, which share information cross-regionally giving us a holistic picture of our watershed. All conservation authorities have recently issued a Watershed Report Card for their respective watersheds which measure the state of surface water quality, forest conditions, wetland conditions and groundwater quality. This ongoing measuring helps us better understand stressors in our environment, such as high nutrient levels and how to respond.
Being a nature lover I welcome the educational sessions that are given at most meetings. Benthics monitoring looks at temperature sensitive bugs that live in water. These macroinvertebrates can alert researchers to changing water temperatures and pollution levels, which could lead to noticeable changes in other animal and plant life.
Storm water management is being done in innovative ways using low impact development technologies to better filter water and to prevent runoff thereby reducing nutrients and pollutants that end up in our rivers and lakes. The Authority’s Bluescaping program is educating property owners and business about ways to treat rain water on site rather than send it into storm sewers.
Cavan Monaghan is home to the headwaters of Pigeon River and Fleetwood Creek and has the benefit of impressive conservation areas nearby – at Pigeon Headwaters, Windy Ridge and Fleetwood Creek . These areas provide wonderful hiking and viewing opportunities while protecting very significant natural environments.
Challenges for the Conservation Authority involve its role and responsibilities in planning and permitting which involve the Authority in ensuring that development respects environmental considerations. Renewable energy projects including solar farms and industrial wind farms have been particularly controversial for residents.
A new pay and display machine for use of Ken-Reid conservation area is an effort to help mitigate financial pressures of up-keeping infrastructure without a further burden on the tax base.
Jordan Landry (Cavan Ward Councillor) and Rob Messervey (CAO of Kawartha Conservation)