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Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN Table 16: Lake Erie 3 Subwatershed Restoration Strategy Restoration Opportunities Recommended Restoration Strategies Riparian Wetland Upland and Ecological Linkages 1. the eastern branch in this subwatershed commences in Wainfleet/Eagle Marsh Drain Wetland complex, and then flows through scrubland with little to no buffer before outletting into the abandoned quarries. Priority for this branch should be the maintenance of existing riparian and the enhancement and/or establishment of riparian buffers in areas with little to no buffers to protect and enhance the integrity of the water quality from upstream area before outletting into the quarries which have been designated as critical fish habitat riparian buffers will help to reduce sediment and protect and enhance water quality and fish habitat as well create corridors that will connect fragmented natural areas providing cover for wildlife the eastern branch is in part managed as municipal drain, therefore establishment of riparian corridors should consider future maintenance activities (refer to engineers report and drainage BMP practice recommendations) the branch that connects the abandoned quarries to Lake Erie flows along the road with little to no buffer, therefore priority should be placed on establishment of buffer to reduce wetland suitability mapping indicates high suitability for enhancement surrounding Wainfleet/Eagle Marsh Drain PSW Wetland Complex protect existing wetlands (e.g., create a buffer of trees and shrubs between the wetlands and the agricultural activities) create wetlands in areas where the wetness index and soil drainage permit(e.g., high restoration suitability exists north of Gord Harry Conservation Trail) very high suitability exists for enhancement of Wainfleet/Eagle Marsh Drain PSW Wetland Complex creating a Critical Function Zone (CFZ). This will provide for a variety of critical functions for wetlandassociated fauna (e.g. nesting habitat) opportunity exists for infilling some of the gaps creating a larger interior and creating linkages between natural areas resulting in a larger contiguous natural area which would increase the areas‟ ability to support a larger diversity of flora and fauna 172

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN sediment and contaminant loads from adjacent road before outletting to Lake Erie All restoration measures should where possible, benefit Species at Risk and provincially rare species Carolinian and native species should be used for all projects Project Opportunities Recommended Action for Public and Private Lands NPCA Lake Erie North 1. Quarrie Road (LE3Ma): This section of the watercourse has been channelized and lacks any Shore Geomorphic depositional features along the stream bed which indicates little flow diversity within the channel Bank instability Assessment Study (NPCA is present in the form of bare soil extending up the bank, as well as slumping. The buffer zone along the left 2009b) bank is small due to the proximity of the road and therefore results in little canopy cover and habitat. There are some small coniferous trees in the buffer that will provide cover in the future when they get bigger. A failed culvert exists at Lakeshore Road. There is an area where vegetative debris is being thrown onto the bank. This debris will eventually end up in stream which can cause debris jams and impact water quality. The water that flows through this channel is pumped out from the old quarry. Dense aquatic vegetation, duckweed, and algae were noted during a site visit in 2008. Recommendations for this field site include planting deep rooted vegetation along the banks and stabilize the soil. The presence of bank slumping usually indicates that vegetative roots are too shallow to stabilize the bank. Increasing the variety and diversity of native plant species within the buffer zone will provide cover and habitat for fish, insects, and invertebrates along the watercourse. Water quality should continue to be monitored in this watershed. Due to the impact on water quality it is advised that landowners stop throwing vegetated debris over the bank. The failed culvert should be replaced with a properly sized culvert. Naturalizing Drains and Drain Best Management Practices Promote Good Shoreline Stewardship Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) Program Ecological Linkages between Natural Areas In addition to having an impact on aquatic and riparian habitat, drain maintenance has the potential to become quite costly through repeated maintenance activities. Naturalizing drains can potentially lengthen the time between maintenance events by reducing the amount of sediment entering and remaining in the drain. Best Management Practices for drain maintenance should be developed in consultation with, but not limited to, the following agencies; OMAFRA, DFO, MNR, Conservation Ontario, OFA, DSAO, CFFO, and the agricultural community to reduce ecological impacts to aquatic systems and to prevent sediment from returning to the drain. Any future maintenance of this watercourse should be done in accordance with Best Management Practices for drains. To review examples of current BMP mitigation measures, refer to Appendix I. Work with partnering stakeholders to promote shoreline that have been maintained naturally or restored to find a balance between natural processes and shoreline protection measures. Niagara Region and municipalities should work together to expand Niagara Region‟s IRVM Program. IRVM integrates the use of native vegetation with appropriate management techniques to produce a cost-effective, environmentally sound management alternative for roadside weed and erosion control while providing numerous ecological benefits (e.g. buffer strips). Focus of program expansion should be directed to main roads and roads in areas with a high shallow intrinsic susceptibility. Opportunity potential is present for creating ecological linkages between natural areas creating larger contiguous natural features. Such areas have the potential to enhance movement of flora and fauna between natural areas as well as provide habitat and ecological diversity for a wide range of species. 173

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