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

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

Westport in Bloom - Tree Sale Beginning Early

Message from "Westport in Bloom":

Hello cottagers! Just in case you’re starting to dream wistfully about spring and ways to make your piece of Heaven even more beautiful, we wanted to let you know that Westport in Bloom’s 11th annual tree sale is in full swing right now. Once again our non-profit volunteer organization is offering about 30 varieties of high-quality shade trees, fruit trees, and flowering trees and shrubs, up to or over 8 feet tall, and all at great prices. Most come with bare roots bagged in plastic, and so are exceptionally easy to carry and plant. As usual, the trees will be delivered in late April, the perfect time for planting. Check out our listings at westportinbloom.com under Trees, and contact jauer@kingston.net to place your order. Every tree you plant increases the beauty and value of your property and contributes to the health of our children’s environment, and every penny we earn is spent making Westport even more beautiful.

Decision on Rideau Lakes Ward and Council Review

At the meeting held on January 3rd, TRL council approved changes to the size of council and the number of wards. These changes are based on the second option presented in the consultant's report. Changes include:

  • Council will be reduced from 10 members to 9. The new council structure will include 8 councillors and a mayor.

  • The number of wards will be reduced from 5 to 4. Newboro will be merged with North Crosby to form a new Ward called "North Crosby-Newboro". There was no action taken to modify any of the other wards.

  • The 8 councillors will continue to be elected by ward with 2 councillors representing each of the 4 wards.

  • The Mayor will continue to be elected at large.

The decision is subject to a 45-day Appeal Period to the Ontario Municipal Board, and will take affect for the 2018 municipal elections.

Full details are available on the Township of Rideau Lakes website.

Parks Canada delaying new management plan decision another year

Parks Canada has been working on a new management plan for the Rideau Canal for several years, and recently announced its target date for completion will be extended to March 2018. As part of setting a new long-term strategic vision for the canal, this delay will allow Parks Canada to conduct more public consultation than originally planned, including additional open houses and the release of a draft plan for public discussion. 

For details, click here to read a letter from John Festarini, the Associate Director for Ontario Waterways. And for reaction to this decision, click here to read a recent Ottawa Sun article.

Luxury boat rental company "Le Boat" to launch operations along Rideau Canal

Parks Canada announced today that the Le Boat company is planning to begin operations along the Rideau Canal in 2018. As we advised in a May 27th website update, the BRLA has been engaged with Parks Canada for the past year as this project has moved forward. We welcome today’s announcement believing it will bring significant economic benefits to the lake community and expect minimal impact to the quality of life we all enjoy on the Big Rideau Lake.  For those of you who remember the 3 Buoys Houseboat/Party boat fiasco in the 80’s, this is very different.

According to a Le Boat company press release, the details of this plan include:

  • An investment of CA$16 million in base infrastructure, along the length of the canal from Ottawa to Kingston.
  • Le Boat's base to be located on the Parks Canada grounds in Smiths Fall.
  • A fleet of 16 Horizon cruisers, which are low speed keel boats (10 kph maximum speed) with added handling and navigational features (bow thruster & GPS).
  • All boat renters required to complete an orientation course provided by the company before setting out.
  • The fleet planned to expand to at least 32 cruises over the next five years.
  • Booking will begin in spring 2017, with the boating season officially launching in May 2018 and running through October every year.

This venture is part of a collaboration to attract investors among Parks Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport as well as various municipal partners. The benefits Parks Canada see include increasing tourism to the Rideau Canal (both on land and on water), providing more opportunities for visitors without boats, increasing the number of international visitors, and encouraging economic development and support job creation along the Rideau Canal.

We will continue to monitor this development as talks continue, and will keep our members informed as we learn more. For the full text of the Le Boat announcement, click here. And for details about the Le Boat company, please see their website.

Parks Canada notice re: work at Narrows Lock

During the week of November 28th, 2016, Parks Canada will begin heritage masonry work at Narrows Lock 35 on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site. The repairs for this project will include stone replacement, grouting and repointing to ensure the continued structural integrity and functionality of the lock. 

Citizens can expect intermittent delays and nightly closures of County Road 14 at Narrows Swing Bridge between December 12th, 2016 and December 23rd, 2016. The alternate vehicle route around Upper Rideau Lake is North Shore Road to Highway 10 by traveling south on Highway 10 to Highway 42. Highway 42 will take you south-east into Crosby. Signage will be posted on County Road 14 communicating the delays and alternate routes. 

Click here for more details about this project and other ongoing work along the Rideau Canal.

CP Holiday Train rolling through Perth this weekend

CP's annual Holiday Train program is a rolling fundraising event that travels across Canada and the United States raising money, food and awareness for food banks and hunger issues, hosting free holiday concerts along the way.

Every pound of food and dollar raised at each stop stays with the local food bank to help feed those in need in that community. Since its launch in 1999, the program has raised more than $12 million and 3.9 million pounds of food for communities along CP’s routes in Canada and the northern U.S.

The train will be rolling through Perth on Sunday November 27th. The night starts at 6:40 pm with singing and carolling; the train is expected to pass through about 8:00 pm.

For additional information, visit http://www.cpr.ca/holiday-train, or follow  on Facebook (www.facebook.com/holidaytrain), Twitter (@CPHolidayTrain) or Instagram (@CPHolidayTrain).

Parks Canada Notice re: Work at Poonamalie Dam

Parks Canada Press Release - "During the week of November 7th, 2016, investigative drilling and surveying will take place at Poonamalie Lock 32 on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site. This investigative work will inform the design of the upcoming heritage stone masonry rehabilitation project scheduled to begin in fall 2017.

Parks Canada will be dewatering the lock to allow for a detailed inspection of the lock and surrounding area. Surveying will be completed to identify the surface features and the depth of the water at the site. Additionally, small vertical boreholes will be drilled just outside of the lock adjacent to the approach walls to determine the subsurface conditions. These inspections are integral to the development of the design and the scope of the upcoming construction work."