RVCA: Dealing with Damaged Shorelines

Public Service Announcement from Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

Recent high waters have caused erosion damage and damage to shoreline structures, particularly east of Cumberland along the Ottawa River and in the upper reaches (Tay Valley Watershed) of the Rideau Valley Watershed.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) recognizes that some of the remedies for damage may need more than just a minor “tweak”.

This is a reminder to all landowners to check with your local Conservation Authority to see if approval is required prior to doing any “clean-up” work along your shoreline (e.g., shoreline stabilization or repair to shore works, erosion control, dock construction, etc.).  There are also restrictions to when you can undertake in-water work and possibly other approval agencies that require consulting depending on where you are in the watershed (e.g., Parks Canada and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests).

The best thing to do is contact your local Conservation Authority to see if there are any restrictions or approval requirements. In the Rideau Watershed, call the RVCA’s Resource Specialists at 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1128 and 1132. You can also visit the RVCA website at www.rvca.ca and look for the “After the Flood” link. Be sure to read the document entitled Guidelines for Shore Works in the Rideau Valley Watershed to help you with your project. In cases of severe erosion, funding may be available through Rural Clean Water Grants. RVCA Resource Specialists can guide you towards next steps required to make application to receive funding. Information on these grants is also available on the RVCA website.

The riparian zone (the area along the shores of our creeks, rivers and lakes) is an important area for wildlife and water quality. Trees and shrubs along the riparian zone provide a vegetative buffer that provides shelter and food for wildlife while intercepting upland nutrients. Trees and shrubs also provide valuable erosion protection.  They are extremely resilient. Don’t be too quick to remove shoreline plants. Instead, give damaged plants the opportunity to respond with natural regrowth. Corrective pruning may suffice. If you are interested in naturalizing your shoreline, contact the RVCA for details on their Shoreline Naturalization Program or visit the website.

Waterfront property owners will want to remove any fallen branches and debris from their shoreline to ensure the unaltered and uninterrupted flow of water. Be sure not to dispose of garbage, debris or sandbags in the river. Check with your local municipality for local disposal options.

Start to Canal Navigation Season Delayed

High water levels and flows caused by extreme amounts of precipitation have resulted in unsafe boating conditions across both waterways. For safety reasons, Parks Canada has delayed the start of the 2017 navigation season for the Rideau Canal and the Trent Severn Waterway by one week to Friday May 26, 2017.

Until May 26, 2017, the Rideau Canal and the Trent Severn Waterway are closed to all boat traffic and all forms of water-based activities are discouraged. This closure most importantly protect boater safety, and will help to prevent further shoreline erosion and property damage experienced by local residents and businesses. During this week, Parks Canada will continue to diligently make adjustments to water flows in order to restore safe conditions in preparation for the navigation season.

The public are welcome to continue to enjoy the canals' lock stations, which will be fully open to land-based visitors effective May 19, 2017 and lock staff will be on hand to welcome them.

All visitors are encouraged to always exercise caution around water but especially now with the current elevated water levels and flows.

For more information about the Rideau Canal, visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/rideau, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @RideauCanalNHS.

For the most current boater specific information, please follow us on twitter: Rideau Canal: @RideauBoatInfo@RideauInfoNav

Antique Boat Show set for Westport this summer

The41st MCBC Antique Boat Show will be held at Westport on Saturday August 12th, 2017 from 10am to 4pm. Overnight security will be provided on the Friday night preceding the show for those members who choose to arrive early. More details and the registration packages will be available by May 30th.  

Volunteers to help out either before or during the show are always welcome. Please contact Chris Lucas if interested - (613) 623-8407 or watercar822@gmail.com.

Looking for a summer job at the lake?

Recreation Employment Opportunity

The Big Rideau Lake Association is seeking a Camp Counsellor to be part of a youth staff team running a Day Camp programme for kids 4 to 12 years old, at Cow Island on Big Rideau Lake.   The 2017 Day Camp will run for 5 weeks starting July 3rd from 9-12 a.m. Monday to Friday. 

Requirements include:

  • Minimum age – 16 years
  • Competent swimmer  
  • Experience, skill and enthusiasm for working with children of various ages
  • Swimming qualifications preferred: NLS Bronze Medallion qualification (or higher)
  • First Aid and CPR is an asset

Staff will be responsible for:

  • Running the daily programme and assisting with planning
  • Collecting and accounting for registration and tuck shop sales

Camp counsellors will be paid $10.60 per hour for 4 hours shift (8:30-12:30) each day.  An adult camp coordinator will be involved to assist with programme planning and support. 

Applicants are invited to submit a cover letter and resume to recreation@bigrideaulakeassociation.com.

RVCA Launches Strategic Plan

A renewed vision for a thriving watershed will guide the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) during the coming years. The RVCA board of directors unveiled its new strategic plan at its board meeting held March 23. The plan builds upon the Conservation Authority’s past 50 years of success and will guide it towards a sustainable future.

RVCA Chair Lyle Pederson and General Manager Sommer Casgrain-Robertson are excited that the plan, entitled Conserving Our Watershed, Ensuring Our Future, charts a course to 2020. “We’ve worked hard to develop a set of strategies and plans that identify clear priorities for RVCA to undertake that are locally relevant,” said Chair Pederson. “These actions will benefit our local municipalities by protecting and restoring the value of our watershed.”

The RVCA’s renewed vision is for a thriving watershed with clean abundant water, natural shorelines, rich forests and wetlands, diverse habitat and sustainable land use that is valued and protected by all.

Four pillars guide program priorities to accomplish this vision:

  1. Develop and share watershed knowledge that advances decision making and leads to on-the-ground action
  2. Protect, restore and enhance watershed health and safeguard people and property from natural hazards
  3. Increase watershed awareness and appreciation and inspire action in others
  4. Operate a sustainable, well-managed, service-driven organization fueled by engaged employees

“All of our strategic priorities are also underpinned by five core values,” added General Manager Sommer Casgrain-Robertson. “Collaboration, balance, knowledge, integrity and excellence shape all that we do and how we do it as we serve the Rideau watershed and the people who live in it”.

This strategic plan is just one of several products that guide the ongoing work and conservation efforts of the RVCA. The 2016 RVCA Annual Report, 2017 Budget and Work Plan along with information sheets for each of our member municipalities show the past, present and future of Conservation Authority efforts.

To see the full strategic plan or any of these products, visit our website at www.rvca.ca (under “publications”) or call 1-800-267-3504 to have a copy mailed. 

Honouring Doug Good's Legacy

Doug Good passed away on Friday March 10, 2017, as the result of a tragic accident on Big Rideau Lake. 

Doug's obituary has now been published and his funeral arrangements have been made - http://scotlandfuneralhome.com/book-of-memories/2879963/Good-Doug/obituary.php.

"Doug Good of Portland in his 70th year. Beloved husband of Chris Quattrocchi. Dear father of Frank (Debby) of Osgoode and Lisa at home. Dear brother of Frances (Barry) Ross of Toronto. Fondly remembered by grandchildren, Laena and Mason Good, as well as niece and nephew, Alison and Kevin Ross. Predeceased by his parents, Thelma and Chet Good. 

The family will receive friends at the SCOTLAND FUNERAL HOME, 27 Main Street, Elgin on Sunday from 1-3 and 6-8. Memorial Service in Portland United Church on Monday morning at 11 o'clock. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations made to the Brockville Association of Community Living or the charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family."

Doug Good was a lifelong and ardent supporter of the Rideau Lakes community. To honour Doug's life and his commitment to the Big Rideau Lake and surrounding community, the BRLA is in the process of creating a Good Family Memorial Reserve Fund. This fund will support our shoal markers program, something very near and dear to Doug's heart; we will provide more details about this fund next week.

We have truly lost a great friend. 

Tragic Loss to Rideau Lakes community

To All BRLA Members and Friends

It is with sadness that we advise you that we lost two BRLA members this weekend, Doug Good and Mike Carty, in a tragic accident on Big Rideau Lake.

Doug and Mike’s passion for and commitment to their lake, community, friends and neighbours is surely a cornerstone of their continuing legacy.

We will follow up to give you final funeral arrangements when they become available.

We have lost two great friends.

Brian Hawkins, President