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Lower Welland River Characterization Report - Niagara Peninsula ...

Lower Welland River Characterization Report - Niagara Peninsula ...

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Lower Welland River Study Area Characterization Report beyond the wetland boundary (e.g. nesting habitats, foraging areas). These areas can also act as buffers, protecting the wetland and its functionality. Opportunities for the establishment of corridor connections between fragmented areas are also identified. Such linkages not only provide shelter to facilitate in the movement of wildlife between natural areas, but they also promote seed dispersal and biodiversity in the watershed. The Restoration Strategy identifies core natural areas that should act as building blocks in which to connect and restore gaps in the surrounding landscape. When the planning process is initiated to implement a restoration project in the study area, prairies and meadows should be given consideration and incorporated in habitat creation as they play an important role in creating habitat diversity and foraging areas for wildlife. Conclusion As indicted earlier, the primary intent of this report is to present a complete watershed characterization of the Lower Welland River that provides a comprehensive description and inventory of the watershed and its resources that can be used by NPCA staff and respective stakeholders to assist in land use management and planning decisions. Like many watersheds in the NPCA‟s jurisdiction, the Lower Welland River supports a unique environmental character. As the report outlines, the Lower Welland River is home to old growth forest; 13 provincially and nationally listed Species at Risk, 5 of which have been listed as endangered; and the Niagara River is an internationally designated Important Bird Area. The nearly two centuries of anthropogenic modifications relating to the Welland Canal and hydro operations has resulted in unique environmental challenges with regards to flow reversals and flow modifications and efforts to reduce these impacts is ongoing. Since designation in 1987 as an Area of Concern by the International Joint Commission, a lot of positive work has been completed in the Welland River watershed, and respective partners and stakeholders continue to work towards the goal of delisting the Niagara River from the list of Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes basin. One of the 6 remaining key actions includes “Restoring and protecting fish and wildlife habitat, including unique habitats rarely found in other parts of the Great Lakes basin, and reducing the impacts of hydroelectric operations at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station on the river upstream of the Chippawa Power Canal” (NPCA 2010f). Accordingly, a continued collaboration of all vested stakeholders is required to continue to address the unique challenges in the Lower Welland River watershed and to continue the work towards the preservation, conservation and restoration of the watershed‟s ecosystem. 68

Lower Welland River Study Area Characterization Report Resources AECOM. 2010. Stormwater Management Policies and Guidelines. Prepared for the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority AquaResource. 2009. Water Availability Study for the South Niagara Falls and Lower Welland River Watershed Plan Areas Niagara Peninsula Source Protection Area Bentrup G. 2008. Conservation Buffers: Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors, and Greenways. USDA; National Agroforestry Centre. Bert Miller Nature Club, 2004. Old Growth Forest Survey of Eastern Niagara Peninsula. Prepared for The Ontario Trillium Foundation Biggar. E.B. 1920. Hydro-Electric Development in Ontario: A History of Water-power Administration under the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario. Bird Studies Canada. No Date. Niagara River Corridor Important Bird Area Site Summary. Accessed online at: www.bsc-eoc.org British Columbia Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Protection Division. 2001. British Columbia Approved Water Quality Guidelines (Criteria). British Columbia, Canada Cambell, Jayme. 2011. Hydrogeologist. Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. 2007. Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life. Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. 2005. Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Agricultural Water Uses. Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines. Chapman L.J. and D.F. Putnam. 1984. The Physiography of Southern Ontario, Third Edition. Ministry of Natural Resources City of Niagara Falls. 2009. City of Niagara Falls Official Plan. City of Thorold. 2010. Official Plan of the City of Thorold Planning Area; Office Consolidation May 2010. de Loë, R. and A. Berg. 2006. Mainstreaming Climate Change in Drinking Water Source Protection Planning in Ontario. Pollution Probe. Department of Fisheries and Oceans. 1999. The Fisheries Act. Accessed online: http://www.dfompo.gc.ca/oceans-habitat/habitat/policies-politique/act-acte_e.asp Dillion Consulting. 2010. The Corporation of the City of Welland Official Plan. Prepared by the City of Welland. Environment Canada. 2004. How Much Habitat is Enough?, Second Edition. Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada. 69

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