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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

The NPCA’s Natural

The NPCA’s Natural Heritage Areas Inventory will provide a snapshot of updated information based on a properly managed and systematic inventory process. The field inventory is expected to start in Spring/06 and it will probably take over one year to obtain a full inventory and establish a database. This activity could be included in the monitoring plan, with the Niagara Region and the NPCA as the lead agencies. Recommendations for monitoring and assessment needs have been made by technical reviewers in the delisting criteria & possible impairments review. 25. Implement a resident attitude monitoring program. As explained in the Stage 2 report, surveys were carried out by Environment Canada (1983) and RMON (1994). The NPCA has also carried out surveys from time to time. In the future, this type of assessment could be picked up through education programs, etc. No further action is required for this recommendation and accordingly it should be identified as completed as part of NWQPS. Stewardship & Education It is proposed that Recs. #26 & 27 should be combined to form a single Recommendation that focuses on areas of interest to the RAP. 26. Public education programs continue and new ones be developed as required. 27. Professional education programs continue and new ones be developed as required. Suggested Revised Recommendation: Develop and deliver education and community programs that address matters of interest to the RAP or that support RAP implementation. Action items could be included into the Niagara River RAP work plan. General 28. Provincial and federal governments develop an integrated ecosystem approach to management for its agencies. The Canada – U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement 178 (GLWQA) expresses the commitment of each country to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem. In 1987, the addition of Annex 2 incorporated the development and implementation of RAPs for AOCs. Following the revisions to the GLWQA, the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (COA) was revised to provide a more specific framework for restoring AOCs in Ontario (1994, 2002 and 2007 COAs). 179 178 International Joint Commission. Revised Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978 as amended by Protocol signed November 18, 1987. 179 Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem 2007. 120

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update This recommendation should be considered redundant. 29. Provincial and federal governments establish specific government funding programs for RAP Implementation. RAPs are implemented through both special programs (e.g., Great Lakes Sustainability Fund, Great Lakes Renewal Fund, Canada-Ontario Agreement) and regular operating budgets of senior government agencies. Regional and local governments also fund projects that support RAP implementation, notably upgrades to municipal wastewater infrastructure. The recommendation should be revised to encourage continued funding support from all government levels for RAP initiatives and to encourage infrastructure funding programs to place a priority on projects in Great Lakes AOCs. Suggested Revised Recommendation: All levels of government continue providing resources for RAP initiatives and make projects in Great Lakes AOCs a priority for infrastructure funding. 30. The Niagara River RAP endorse and encourage the process of multi-sectoral liaison committees as the vehicle to facilitate the satisfactory remediation of water quality in the Niagara River AOC. There is a history of community liaison committees (“Friends of..”) in the Niagara River AOC. They have functioned well at identifying and utilizing resources available to them and have the ability to involve the community. The former Niagara River RAP Public Advisory Committee was incorporated in 1998 and is currently known as the Niagara Restoration Council. The Friends of Fort Erie’s Creeks focuses on Frenchman Creek and Black Creek, and the Friends of the Welland River are now known as the Welland River Keepers. Each of these committees has documentation on their restoration accomplishments. Further details can be obtained from the NPCA. The Niagara Region in partnership with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and the Ministry of the Environment has developed a protection strategy for Niagara’s water. The Niagara Water Quality Protection Strategy (NWQPS) is a multi-stakeholder initiative founded on public and agency consultation. Completed in the fall of 2003, it is an initiative to provide safe water for drinking, swimming and fishing for today and for future generations. An important feature of the Strategy is building on programs and activities already being carried out across the region by local stakeholders. Implementation of the Strategy will be successful only with the co-operation and partnership of municipalities, government agencies, local interest groups and the residents of Niagara 180 . Six Direct Actions were identified in 2005 under the areas of Agricultural Best Management Practices, Combined Sewer Overflow Assessment, Monitoring Data Harmonization, Water Efficiency, Stormwater & Erosion, and Niagara Watershed Report Card. A 2006 Direct Action Program and a 10 year forecast are currently under review, as well as the NWQPS Implementation Framework. 180 Niagara Region and The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. February 2004. The Niagara Water Quality Protection Strategy. Water for Life in Niagara. 121

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