Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) planted a tree at MVCA headquarters to mark RBC Blue Water Day and to announce a new stream study that will start this summer thanks to a grant provided by the RBC Bluewater Project.
RBC Rideau Lakes & Valley Regional Vice Present, Glen Kelsey, as well as representatives from Almonte and Carleton Place Branches, MVCA General Manager Paul Lehman and MVCA staff were on hand to celebrate the event. “The lack of access to fresh clean water is considered to be one of the major threats to human health and to economic development around the world” stated Glen Kelsey. “That’s why RBC has been focusing its corporate giving efforts on making sustainable, meaningful and measurable impacts on water and the environment.” The RBC Blue Water Project which started in 2007 is a $50 million, 10-year global commitment to help protect fresh water.
RBC Blue Water has granted $4500 to support the “Caring for Your Creek” project, a new local initiative developed by MVCA to study the health of creeks and streams flowing into the Mississippi River. “We are very grateful to the RBC Blue Water Program for funding this project,” says Alyson Symon, MVCA Watershed Planner. “The project is modelled on a similar very successful “citizen science” based program that we already do on streams in Ottawa.” MVCA staff will guide volunteer “citizen scientists” who will be trained to help collect technical information on creek conditions and health. Volunteers will also participate in special stewardship initiatives that include shoreline planting, stream clean-up events to remove garbage and fish habitat improvement projects.
The project will begin this summer by studying Wolf Grove Creek, a stream that flows through rural areas west of Carleton Place and Almonte before it enters the Mississippi River in Almonte. A key feature of the project is the volunteer involvement. MVCA provides volunteers with training and equipment, including hip waders, so that they can get right into the stream with MVCA staff, helping to measure and record information about the stream. “It’s a great opportunity for people to learn more about their local waterways and to see these watercourses from a whole new perspective.” says Caleb Yee, MVCA Project Coordinator.
The information collected through the project will be used to identify opportunities for other special stewardship projects, such as shoreline planting, stream-bank stabilization and fish habitat projects that will enhance the creeks’ natural features. It is hoped that the “Caring for Your Creek” project will gather enough momentum this summer that it can be continued in future years on other local streams.
The “Caring for Your Creek” project will be looking for volunteers this summer to help with monitoring and assessing creeks in the Almonte and Carleton Place areas.