Lower Nott in poor health: NVCA
Although the quality of the water in Nottawasaga Bay is excellent, says NVCA CAO Wayne Wilson, the health of the lower Nottawasaga River is considered poor.
The NVCA – Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority – rates the health of the Nottawasaga watershed as part of its annual health check.
Wilson presented the finding of this year’s report to members of Wasaga Beach council on Oct. 22.
The lower Nottawasaga River flows from Angus, through the Minesing Wetlands, through Edenvale to Jack’s Lake, through Wasaga Beach and discharges into Georgian Bay. Several other watercourses, including the Mad River and Willow Creek, flow into the Nottawasaga.
The evaluation is based on a number of factors.
The river tested well for E. coli levels but scored ‘very poor’ because of high phosphorous levels and scored ‘poor’ on stream health, measured by the types of bugs that inhabit the streambed.
Wilson said the health of the river is impacted by upstream factors, including farming and urban influences.
He said the health of the river has improved over the years.
Wilson also presented the NVCA’s four-year strategic plan, outlining its plans to promote, protect and restore the watershed while educating and engaging with the public.
Wasaga Beach Councillor Nina Bifolchi is the chair of the NVCA board of directors.
“I will say that I am pleased with the direction we are heading in,” she said. “The board of directors this term are really focusing on looking at new partnerships and funding opportunities, enhancing customer service and reviewing our mandate to ensure we are respecting other agency roles but most of all there seems to be a new level of respect for landowners and the need to find a fair balance between the environment and their right to develop their property. We still have a way to go but I’m confident we will get there.”