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NVCA releases five-year check-up on the status of local waterways

May 4, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority has released its 2023 Subwatershed Health Checks report on the status of local waterways.

These reports offer information on the health of forests, wetlands, streams, and groundwater across the Nottawasaga Watershed from 2017 to 2021.

“Overall, we are seeing a loss of natural spaces, mainly due to land use changes,” said Ian Ockenden, acting watershed science supervisor at the NVCA. “Despite this downward trend, some parts of the watershed are seeing positive change thanks to watershed residents, farmers, municipalities, volunteers and other environmental champions who are committed to restoring our environment.”

The watershed health checks cover the entire Nottawasaga Watershed and all sub-watersheds in the NVCA jurisdiction. These geographic areas are smaller basins within the larger watershed. Water from each subwatershed contributes to streams connected to the main Nottawasaga River, which flows into Georgian Bay.

“The subwatershed health checks provide crucial information to anyone who lives, works, and plays in our watershed,” said Gail Little, chair of the NVCA. “They help us measure what worked and what didn’t work in development and policy planning, and also guide us to make better informed decisions for the future.”

To produce the health checks, NVCA’s Watershed Science team analyzed the most up-to-date sources available, such as aerial photos, maps, provincial groundwater and stream health data, and the type of insects that live in rivers in the watershed.

“A healthy watershed matters because it provides habitat for fish and wildlife, but it goes beyond that as well,” said Jonathan Scott, Vice Chair at NVCA. “Our watershed helps attract economic opportunities, such as tourism, and recreational opportunities such as fishing and hiking. Green spaces also contribute to beautiful and livable neighbourhoods. Our farmers depend on clean water for irrigation, healthy soils and pollinators to grow crops. Maintaining a healthy watershed is critical to our quality of life and the economy across our region.”


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