With funding in hand, the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust kicks off an ambitious new project to preserve and protect a local Class A salmon & trout stream.
Collingwood, ON –It began last spring when the Kolapore Springs Fish Hatchery welcomed one and all to its Feast in the Forest, a celebration of good food, drink and music in a natural setting.
Every year, Kolapore Springs donates net proceeds from the Feast to a local charity. Last spring, Kolapore principal Sean Brady chose the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust as the recipient—and he wanted his donation to go somewhere specific: to create awareness and protection around Silver Creek. Kolapore Springs wants to make sure that Silver Creek remains a prime cold water trout/salmon stream.
The Watershed Trust built on this momentum to apply for—and win—an Ontario Trillium Grant. The Trust is pleased to announce the beginning of an initial 1-year project to preserve, protect and create awareness around the Silver Creek.
To spearhead the effort, the Trust has engaged Rebecca Ferguson, BES, as Project Manager. Rebecca was most recently a Watershed Monitoring Technician with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority. “I’m really looking forward to working with local landowners all along Silver Creek as well as the broader community,” says Ferguson. “Keeping our pristine land and waters safe for other species and the community is so important.”
Project ambitions include better preserving the privately owned land along Silver Creek from current and future development pressures, pesticide and erosion run-off, and livestock contamination. The Watershed Trust hopes to increase vegetation cover along the Creek in order to keep the water cool—key to its health as a trout/salmon stream—and to make it easier for fish to swim up the Creek to spawn.
About Silver Creek
Silver Creek flows down the Niagara Escarpment from the Lake of the Clouds near Grey Road 19, through the west part of the Town of Collingwood to its mouth at Georgian Bay within the Silver Creek Wetland. It is the stream that the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority has given the highest health rating of any southern Georgian Bay river or stream.
About The Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation
TheBlue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation (Watershed Trust), Ontario’s first watershed trust, was founded in 1994. During the past 20 years, the Watershed Trust has dedicated itself to the task of protecting the Silver Creek and its Wetland, one of the region's most valuable natural features. The Silver Creek Watershed offers $10.5 million worth of non-market ecological services to the province each year.
The mandate of the Watershed Trust is to “develop awareness and promote partnerships that are required in order to successfully implement watershed planning in the Blue Mountain watersheds”. It is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization supported by donations and fundraising. The organization exists in order to raise awareness of and protect watercourses in the Collingwood/Blue Mountains area including Silver, Townline, Batteaux and Black Ash Creeks; the Beaver and Pretty Rivers; and Indian Brook.
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Silver Creek Wetland headed for full & complete protection
The Silver Creek Wetland, the most important coastal wetland on southern Georgian Bay, now has the backing of both municipalities with jurisdiction over its area. The Collingwood Town Council and The Blue Mountains Council have both passed motions in support of a proposal to protect the Wetland in perpetuity.
“The Silver Creek Wetland – A Vision for the Future” Plan has been put forward to the Councils as well as the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) and the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA). This was presented to the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) in November. The Plan would transfer management of the Wetland and its sensitive portions—those that by law must remain unaltered—to the NVCA.
“The NVCA is the logical steward for this delicate ecosystem,” says Norman Wingrove, President of the Watershed Trust. “Without their monitoring and management, adjacent development will degrade the area, diminishing its ability to provide healthy habitat for birds, turtles, fish and mammals.”
Motions in principle put to the test
Now that concerned municipalities have signed on to the Plan, it’s just a matter of time to see how well it works. Don Kerr, Watershed Trust Director and spokesperson on this issue, is optimistic. “The next time a developer submits plans to build on property that includes protected Wetland area, we can expect Collingwood or TBM planning staff to encourage the re-deeding of that portion to the Conservation Authority,” he says. “With wetlands management out of their hands, they are free to talk up the Wetland, its trails, observation posts and tranquillity as a selling point to prospective homeowners.”
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) first evaluated the Wetland in 1985 as provincially significant. There was a re-evaluation in 1995 which confirmed the provincially significant designation and complexed (put three areas together as one wetland). The fear of encroachment, however, is real. The Wetland is located in the north-western corner of the Town of Collingwood and the north-eastern corner of The Blue Mountains, straddling Osler Bluff Road and Long Point Road where they approach Georgian Bay. The Wetland is a rich, bio-diverse area that improves water quality, provides habitat for hundreds of species of bird, reptile and mammal, and reduces erosion. It spans just over 165 hectares and has survived waves of proposed development since the 1980s.
Nature League was working with the Georgian Trails group in putting together three signs to be placed along the the Georgian Trail & to help celebrate the Trail's 25th Anniversary ( 2014).The Georgian Trail Association paid for the signs; the Nature League ( Gary /Lois Cauthers & Janet Howden) provided the Display information. The first of these signs is now in place. It is the "SILVER CREEK / WETLAND " sign & can be viewed next to the Silver Creek bridge about a 40 minute walk on the Georgian Trail west from Canadian Tire. The sign stresses the importance of the Silver Creek & the Silver Creek Wetland Complex. Have a look !!
The remaining two signs should be in place by the time you receive the Fall Newsletter : one will be installed next to the trail bridge in Thornbury. Its theme is ESCARPMENT / BAY & one " FLORA / FAUNA will be placed just east of Meaford on the Georgian Trail.
The signs fit the Nature League mandate of " promoting an awareness & appreciation of our natural surroundings ". The signs recognize the Nature League & by means of a QR code provide access to League information.
The Nature League is grateful to Richard Rood, Murray Knowles & the Georgian Cycle and Ski Trail Association for this wonderful opportunity.
As ever a difficult decision to take and generic levitra online decide some of their problems. I need to make this decision and do not shout about it.
The Silver Creek watershed has an area of approximately 2,700 hectares. The creek’s headwaters flow into Lake of the Clouds in Castle Glen. It then flows down the Niagara Escarpment and into East Black Bass Bay. This watershed suffers from few erosion problems thanks to its heavy forest cover, rock and gravel stream bed and has few areas where the creek runs through agricultural land uses. The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) has done a few stream bank rehabilitation and exclusion fencing projects in the lower section. Since this stream has a relatively high amount of ground water input, it has been designated as a cold water fish habitat by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Game fish such as brook trout, Chinook salmon and rainbow trout are abundant in Silver Creek. The NVCA’s 2000 Watershed Health Monitoring Summary lists Silver Creek as “unimpaired” and recommends protection.
The Silver Creek Wetland, or its proper name, Collingwood Shores Complex, at the mouth covers an area of approximately 166 hectares. This beautiful Provincially Significant Coastal Wetland consists of four small, individual wetlands both in The Blue Mountains and Collingwood along the Nottawasaga Bay shoreline. The Wetland provides a variety of important biological, social and hydrological functions. This large Wetland is one of the few remaining on Nottawasaga Bay and plays a vital role as a habitat and spawning ground for a diverse variety of birds, fish and plant species. Some are endangered or threatened; therefore their habitat must be protected.
In 1995, the Watershed Trust took up the cause of preserving the Wetland from the Nature League. In 2002, we were successful in convincing the Town of Collingwood to enact an Interim Control By-law (ICBL) to prevent a proposed golf course. The developer appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), but the Board supported the Town. After an unsuccessful appeal to the Divisional Court, the golf course proposal was withdrawn.
Unfortunately, the approval by the OMB of the Castle Glen Resort Community proposal cast an ominous shadow over this watershed. It would never be allowed under the present Niagara Escarpment Plan, but was permitted by the OMB in 2006. The proposed development resides in The Town of The Blue Mountains at the headwaters of Silver Creek. Ultimately, it could comprise 1,600 residential units including the existing Thunderhill subdivision of 75 units, 300 hotel or commercial accommodation units, a golf course and 5,000 square meters of related commercial space.
The Watershed Trust has developed a vision and a plan to preserve this Provincially Significant Wetland. We are working with the Town of Collingwood, The Blue Mountains and the Conservation Authorities to ensure the permanent protection of the Wetland.
We have also been monitoring the storm runoff efffects in Townline Creek and Silver Creek. Click here for our 2015 findings.
As perennially a difficult decision to take and generic levitra online decide some of their problems. I need to make this decision and do not shout about it.