by Katherine Watson, SNC
For many, the summer is a time for holidays, relaxation, and downtime; a time to get outdoors and explore the beauty of the local landscapes found across South Nation Conservation’s (SNC) 4,441 square‑kilometre jurisdiction in Eastern Ontario.
For SNC, it’s time to take advantage of the warm weather and monitor local streams and waterways to take a snapshot of watershed health and guide future development and stewardship projects.
This summer, SNC monitored the waterways and wetlands of the South Bear Brook Subwatershed in the City of Ottawa which comprises parts of the urban and rural east end of the City of Ottawa.
Staff collected water samples to identify important areas of groundwater input, assessed water quality, and collected information on fish species and aquatic habitat.
“Monitoring the health of our watershed’s natural resources allows us to better understand the issues facing the local environment,” says Katherine Watson, SNC’s Water Resources Specialist. “We use data to focus our actions where they are needed most and track progress over time.”
A portion of this baseline environmental monitoring is funded by the City and supports environmental planning review, stewardship programs, and habitat conservation. SNC also conducts ground and surface water quality sampling on behalf of the Province.
These long‑term monitoring programs help assess the health of the watershed and estimate the impact of land‑use changes over time.
SNC supports subwatershed planning through the development of catchment studies for selected areas across the jurisdiction. Data also contributes to Subwatershed Report Cards, reporting on local surface water and groundwater quality along with forest and wetland cover.
“We are looking forward to using this year’s monitoring data to make science‑based decisions that will protect and enhance the local environment,” added Watson.
For more information on SNC’s watershed monitoring programs visit: www.nation.on.ca/water/watershed‑monitoring.