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.


Lyse Prendergast
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


Lyse Prendergast
Special Flood Notice from FOCA

Message from Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations - Flood watches or warnings have been issued by the Surface Water Monitoring Centre of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for most of south-central Ontario, with rain expected in many parts of cottage country over the next few days. Access current information by clicking here.


Lyse Prendergast