UTOPIA, Ontario (October 6, 2020) – Thanks to the support of hundreds of volunteers, farmers, rural landowners and other charitable donations, the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) has some great news to share.
Last year, NVCA’s stewardship program received $138,777 from the Environmental Damages Fund to help fund habitat restoration and water quality protection projects between 2019 and 2022. This fund uses the fines collected from environmental violations to support projects that help improve the environment. Many other partners and donors also helped support NVCA’s stewardship and forestry programs.
The results are impressive. In 2019, projects completed under the fund:
- Restored over 51 ha of habitat in environmentally sensitive areas. Over ten years, the trees planted will sequester nearly 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), equivalent to taking 43 cars off the road. The native trees and plants will also shade creeks and stabilize bank erosion.
- Reduced 182 kg per year of phosphorus runoff to rivers and lakes. Too much phosphorus can cause potentially toxic algae blooms and fish kills. This amount of phosphorus could have grown up to 45 tonnes of algae!
- Reduced 115 tonnes per year of farmland top-soil erosion
- Over 10 km of streams and shorelines were enhanced
- Over 56 landowners participated in projects and free site visits
- Over 2,013 volunteers and students spent over 6,600 hours helping restore habitat
Eligible water quality projects include: decommissioning unused wells, fencing livestock out of streams and wetlands, erosion control structures and wetland creation to improve water quality. Dufferin County residents can also apply for the Dufferin Rural Water Quality Program. Project cost-share range from 30-100% to a maximum of $10,000 depending on project type.
The application is short and easy, and staff can help with any questions. Applications are accepted year round, but must be approved before projects begin. Stewardship staff are available for free site to discuss projects. Additionally, NVCA’s permit fee is waived for eligible projects that require permits,