FRIENDS of the TAY WATERSHED
P.O. Box 2065
57 Foster Street
Perth, ON, K7H 3M9
Present (See Glossary of acronyms at end of minutes):
A2A - Emily Conger, A2A
A2A - Ayaka Kimoto (WWOOTER)
BMA/CCAMU - Marilyn Crawford
BMA/CCAMU - Wolfe Erlichman
Christie Lake Assn. - Orion Clark
Community Stewardship Council of Lanark County - Jeff Ward
Susan Brandum, REAL/LLGreen
Jim Humphrey – Little Silver & Rainbow Lakes Assn.
Karen Hunt – Otty Lake Assn.
Barb King – O’Brien Lake
Joe Slater – GBCLA
GBCLA - Taro Alps
LLG Health Unit - Marty Moir
MNR - Christie Curley
OMYA Canada Inc. - Drew Lampman
Ottawa Riverkeeper - Delphine Hassle
Otty Lake Assn. - Murray Hunt
Pike Lake Assn. - Bart Poulter
Resident – Gillian Scobie
Queens University - Kent Novakowski
Queens University - Titia Praamsmas
Queens University - Sarah Lenay
Queens University - Shawn Trimper
RVCA, - Lynn Preston
RVCA – Andrea Klymko
RVCA, RCWP - Martha Bradburn
SWP Program - Sommer Casgrain-Robertson
1. Welcome and Introductions
The meeting was opened with a welcome to the participants, a review of the meeting program, and a brief discussion of the purpose and objectives of this fourth update of the Tay Watershed Management Plan. David Taylor noted that these Plan reviews are now being undertaken every two years. It was emphasized that the purpose is to document the activities and programs underway in the watershed but, equally important, to pin-point areas where additional work might be required.
The information developed in the meeting will be recorded and included in the minutes (that is, this current document), and added to the “Gap Analysis” document. The “Gap Analysis” document will be circulated to the participants.
2. Background to Watershed Plan - and RVCA’s Recent and Planned Activities
Lynn Preston provided a review of the background to the Plan, its development over three and a half years from 1997, its publication in 2002, and the three previous update meetings held in 2003, 2004, and 2006. She noted that of all the watershed plans the RVCA has been involved in, the Tay plan is, by far, the most successful in terms of implementation. The secret to that success is the commitment and dedication by the Friends of the Tay Watershed Association and its leadership. As well, the dedication demonstrated by the community will ensure the long term health of the Tay river watershed and its environs. As agency resources continue to dwindle, the importance of groups such as FoTW cannot be overstated as it takes the initiative of the residents of an area to effectively become the stewards of their local environment.
Lynn presented an updated “Gap Analysis” document, which lists the watershed activities that have been undertaken in 2006/7 and are planned for 2008, based on recent information provided by the RVCA, MNR and FoTW.
In reviewing the RVCA programs, Lynn noted particularly:
- The annual monitoring reports that RVCA produces and will release in 2008 (Recommendation #2);
- RVCA’s ongoing input to municipal OPs and development proposals (Recommendation #3);
- RVCA’s Watershed Information System is in place on website – and need to receive data from all sources (Recommendation #4);
- RVCA has considerably expanded its water monitoring program and continues its Watershed Watch Program – and a need for coordination of all effort, a need for more volunteer monitoring, and provided a list of specific factors needing attention (Recommendation #6);
- RVCA continues several programs, including tree planting and RCW Program – and a need for coordination of stewardship programs and MAPLE funding (Recommendation #9);
- RVCA has completed hydrologic modeling of the Tay and Mike 11 modeling up to Glen Tay (Recommendation #10);
- RVCA will undertake groundwater quality monitoring – and a need for publishing such data (Recommendation #11);
- RVCA carried out desktop shoreline classification of the Tay, and will establish wetland monitoring sites and discuss creating natural heritage system network – and need for ecological land classification in ‘shed (Recommendation #15);
- RVCA is looking for ongoing funding for lake management planning (Recommendation #20);
- RVCA uses volunteer monitoring in Watershed Watch etc. and is working on a strategy for expanding it (Recommendation #22);
- A dam inventory is underway (province-wide) – need for updated review of condition (Recommendation #23);
- RVCA completed air photo coverage of river and updated flood info., and plans new mapping for Glen Tay to Christie Lake (Recommendation #24).
Question: What is the status of the floodplain mapping that was to be done upstream from Glen Tay?
A. It is being updated using aerial photographs.
Question: is there duplication in ecological land classification work?
A. In eastern Ontario, the MNR and RVCA are working together to provide classification of the land forms.
3. FoTW Recent and Planned Activities
(See Handout #2).
Carol Dillon reviewed the paper produced by FoTW on the association’s activities and programs undertaken in 2006/7 and planned for 2008.
In particular, Carol highlighted seven activities undertaken or planned by the FoTW:
Recommendation 1 Distribute & promote the TWM Plan.
Two years ago, the FoTW promoted awareness of the Plan through the publication of the first Tay Watershed Times tabloid. It was distributed throughout the watershed to both permanent and seasonal residents. This year, the FoTW are beginning a new version of the Tay Times with a source protection theme and are seeking alternate sources funding to do so.
Recommendation 2 Develop a Communications Network/Strategy
Beginning in 2007, the Friends have organized a speaking series called Perspectives on Water. The first two speakers were Paula Sherman who provided a First Nations perspective on water and Jamie Fortune from Ducks Unlimited. The third in the series has been confirmed for September 24th/08 and Maude Barlow -- well known Canadian water activist and author-- has agreed to be the speaker. This series helps people to think about water, its value, and its role in our lives.
Recommendation 4 Create an Information Depository
For the past two years, the FoTW have been working to have data from the OMYA intake included in the federal Environment Canada's HYDAT data base. Joe Slater of the FoTW organization has spearheaded this endeavour. The inclusion of this data required some policy changes at Environment Canada, but success is on the horizon.
Recommendation 5 Distribute educational materials to all stakeholders
For 5 years, the FoTW have been hosting a very successful Watershed Discovery Evening. The evening includes approximately 30 exhibitors on water and environmental topics, a speaker, and environmental awards. The success of these evenings has grown with the years and the association is very proud of the contribution they have made in the field of public education.
Recommendation 8 Support the FoTW through capacity building
In 2006, a member of the community donated a hand crafted, cedar-strip canoe/kayak to the FoTW which was raffled to raise funds for watershed projects. The Wee Lassie drew people to the FoTW booth and enabled getting the watershed message to more people. The raffle gave the FoTW financial stability for the first time and has enabled the Association to take on more projects such as sponsoring students for the Eastern Ontario Water Festival (Rec 21)
Recommendations 10&11 Technical studies - water budget, groundwater, aquifer studies
The FoTW, as a community group, can assist with and promote technical studies. For example, the FoTW invited Kent Novakowski from Queen's University to be the keynote speaker at the TWMP Implementation meeting to provide a forum for the research he is conducting in the Tay watershed.
Recommendation 20 Undertake lake management plans
There are 46 lakes in the Tay watershed, and the success of any stewardship plan for the watershed relies to a large extent on the success of lake management plans. The FoTW has played a coordinating role in the lake management program and there is a growing number of lakes in the lake management program.
4. Comments from Stakeholders
In opening this discussion, David Taylor noted that, in addition to the stakeholders’ comments on recent and planned watershed activities, their perception of the needs and challenges facing the watershed were requested. It was pointed out that at the last Stakeholder Meeting, in 2006, some of the major issues raised included: increased development, including new homes and cottages and winterizing of cottages; the need for more information on surface and groundwater, including source water protection; funding; more information on water budgets and hydrologic modeling; climate change; need for more communication and coordination between stakeholders; and, perhaps, attitudes.
Emily Conger, A2A
The Algonquin to Adirondack (A2A) area is home to the greatest biodiversity in Canada, contains five major forest groups, and touches on the interests and mandates of a large number of organizations, many of which are supporting the A2A. A2A has several parks but parks alone do not meet the needs of the area – for one thing, wildlife does not respect park boundaries. The A2A and FoTW are in contact and will be cooperating.
Question: Chris Stone asked if there is contact with
the Frontenac Biodiversity area (Answer: "Yes, A2A is cooperating with
them") and proposed that FoTW also develop cooperation with this
Marilyn Crawford, BMA/CCAMU
BMA; The BMA aims to develop support from lake and other associations (currently 19 plus six others) and advise politicians, including the MNDM and its Minister, the media and other organizations on the parts of the Mining Act that require updating to the 21st century – through presentations, articles and other publicity. Amongst other things are commenting on the EBR posting on surface rights changes in the Act. Plan to continue all of these activities through 2008.
CCAMU: Since this organization was formed, it has provided information on the uranium issue, and their events, including the Citizens Inquiry, fund-raising projects, petitions, municipal resolutions (17 to date), etc. through their website and contact with the media, MNDM, supportive groups and communities.
Taro Alps, GBCLA
Amongst the issues they have been facing are the problem of lots without waterfront access, severances, lot sizes (most are two acres now), and public boat launch sites. With the publication of their Management Plan, attention has moved to offshoot activities including fisheries. South Frontenac have committed to septic re-inspections, but, being voluntary, is less effective.
Comment: Kent Novakowski mentioned that Tiny Twp. near Georgian Bay has a mandatory septic re-inspection program in shoreline areas.
The Ontario Building Code will apparently soon be including re-inspections.
Bart Poulter, Pike Lake
This association’ state of the lake report is expected out later this year. As well, Pike Lake is undertaking a shoreline classification survey to identify the health of the shoreline.
Delphine Hassle, Ottawa Riverkeeper
Their organization has widespread support now, with members as far away as Montreal. The Ottawa watershed covers an area twice the size of New Brunswick. Delphine suggested that lake and other associations might wish to request information on the numerous tools that are available from Ottawa Riverkeeper. For example, for shoreline assistance, they can provide not only information but also direct advice and contact. They have provided assistance in the mining issue through organizing linkages between groups in Ontario and Quebec. FoTW is a member of the OR organization.
Karen Hunt, Otty Lake, Networking Group and FoTW Board
The Networking Group now has 25 lake associations participating. Karen extended her thanks to the FoTW for their continued support and for initiating the Lake Management Planning program.
Joe Slater, GBCLA and FoTW Board
Considerable progress has been made in adding Tay watershed data to the HYDAT data bank, which is available online, including ten years of data at three stations on the Tay. Data is available from 1912 to 1986 at Bob’s Lake dam; water level data for Christie Lake has been extended another 65 years; additional data has been added from Parks Canada; and OMYA’s intake data all will be included in Environment Canada’s dbase.
Sue Brandum, REAL and LLGreen
The Well Aware Program is continuing in 2008, for the seventh year. The program provides free assessments of private wells, and, this year, for the first time, will offer a workshop for individuals and organizations that provide information to others on well care.
Martha Bradburn, RVCA RCWP
Martha outlined the types of activities eligible for funding through the program These include septics, wells, groundwater protection, and shoreline protection.
5. Kent Novakowski, Queens University, “What recent research is telling us about groundwater in the Tay River watershed”
Dr. Novakowski provided the main presentation of the morning with this review of the results to date on this study, on the Tay upstream from Glen Tay. The objectives are to:
· Develop a detailed groundwater monitoring network in a typical watershed underlain by shallow bedrock,
· Develop a large-scale groundwater flow model that accurately depicts the flow system at the watershed scale,
· Investigate groundwater recharge and discharge using a variety of techniques, and
· Explore the potential impact of nutrient management and farming activities on the groundwater quality in the aquifer.
Selected slides from the presentation have been placed on the FoTW website (click here to access), providing more detail on the objectives and results of this research, and further information on this important project may be obtained from Dr. Novakowski. (Click here for project website.)
In summary, interim observations conclude that: there is much less recharge from precipitation than in equivalent porous aquifers (2-3% vs 20-30% of precipitation); hence it is very susceptible to climate change; there is a need to upscale the results to the full watershed; such aquifers are very sensitive to agricultural impacts; and there is a need for more research on mechanisms for bacterial transport in the bedrock fractures.
The FoTW plan to follow this study.
6. Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, SWP
Sommer presented the highlights of the work on Source Water Protection in the Mississippi Valley and Rideau watersheds to date. The SP committee has been formed and is currently preparing Terms of Reference for the SWP plan. A number of public meetings will be held in the near future to solicit comments on the ToR. Next step is to characterize the watersheds and produce reports for both the Mississippi and Rideau watersheds.
7. Closing remarks
In reviewing the meeting, the observation was made that progress had been made in many of the areas of need that were raised at the 2006 meeting (listed under Item Four, above). Examples include: the increased take-up of lake planning by area lakes, which has produced both more control and information on area lakes, and increased cooperation with and support from municipalities; the advent of the SWP Program and its many initiatives; groundwater research by Queens U.; data availability under Hydat; increased environmental funding in certain programs (albeit too small to be effective); the development of a strong movement to update the Mining Act (despite the Provincial Government’s slow reaction); and possibly improved awareness of water and its needs – although perhaps there remains a shortfall in attitudes.
The comments and discussion items at the meeting will be incorporated, by Lynn, into the ‘Gap Analysis’ document as a record of the recent and current activities and areas where more action is required, in the watershed. Thanks were extended to Lynn, for all of her help organizing the meeting, and especially for updating this list.
Thanks were expressed to the participants for their support, to Lanark County for the use of the Council Chambers and to the Board members who helped with presentations and organization.
The meeting adjourned at 12:30.
2. Tay River Watershed Plan - Implementation Activities - Gap Analysis - updated to May 5, 2008, prepared by Lynn Preston
3. Friends of the Tay Watershed - Activities in Support of Tay watershed Management Plan (TWMP) Carried out in 2007 and Planned for 2008 - Updated to May 6/08 - prepared by David Taylor
Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection
Algonquin to Adirondack (A2A)
A2A - Algonquin to Adirondacks Assn. MOE - Ministry of the Environment
AOBG - Art of Being Green NCC - National Capital Commission (Ottawa)
BMA - Bedford Mining Alert REAL - Rideau Environmental Action league
CCAMU – Citizens Coalition Against Mining Uranium
CEP - Community Environmental Program RCWP – Rural Clean Water Program
FoTW - Friends of the Tay Watershed Assn. RVCA - Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
FSC - Frontenac Stewardship Council SWP - Source Water Protection
GBCLA – Greater Bobs & Crow Lakes Assn. TVT - Tay Valley Township
LMP - Lake Management Planning Program TWMP - Tay Watershed Management Plan
LSC - Lanark Stewardship Council (MNR) WDE - Watershed Discovery Evening
MAPLE – Mutual Association for the WIS - RVCA Watershed Information System
Preservation of Lake Environment in Ontario
MNR - Ministry of Natural Resources