3 years ago

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

In June 2007, as part of

In June 2007, as part of the sediment management strategy process, public information sessions were held during which the public provided their input on the sediment management options. Due to the interest expressed by citizens attending the Lyons Creek East Open House, a letter was sent to the community seeking volunteers to sit on a Community Liaison Committee (CLC). This Committee was then involved in the remediation planning process for Lyons Creek East. A schedule of monthly CLC meetings with topic presentations and discussion of specific agenda items was carried out from September 2007 until November 2008. Monitored Natural Recovery is the sediment management option recommended for implementation at Lyons Creek East. In November 2008, a facilitated public open house was held to provide information on this management option which is protective of the habitat and species in the Provincially Significant Wetland. Letters of support for Monitored Natural Recovery were received from the key agencies: City of Welland, EC, MOE, NPCA, MNR and Niagara Region. The Welland Riverkeepers, a local environmental organization, also supported the option. Monitored Natural Recovery requires both on-going long-term monitoring and the development of an administrative controls protocol. MOE and EC are developing longterm monitoring plans. Monitoring will ensure that PCB concentrations and ecological risks continue to decrease over time. Figure 10: Lyons Creek East Area of Undertaking for Administrative Controls An Administrative Controls Protocol is being drafted for Lyons Creek East to restrict human activities that could potentially disturb contaminated sediments. Certain activities will be restricted in zones 1 through 4 (refer to Figure 10), and the surrounding watershed. It was decided by the TAG that the area downstream of Zone 4 (the railway bridge) did not need administrative controls but sport fish contaminant monitoring will continue. The Administrative Controls Protocol is expected to be implemented in 2010. 28

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update 2.2.4 Biota/Habitat/Land Use 1995 Recommendations: #12: Prepare a natural heritage strategy for the Niagara River AOC. Regional Policy Plan Amendment 187 (RPPA 187) identified a Regional Core Natural Heritage System and put in place policies to maintain, restore and, where possible, enhance the long term ecological health, integrity and biodiversity of the System. The policies address the linkages among natural heritage features and ground and surface water resources. The Core Natural Heritage System consists of: a) Core Natural Areas (s provincially significant wetlands; provincially significant Life Science Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSIs); and significant habitat of threatened and endangered species, significant woodlands; significant wildlife habitat; significant habitat of species of concern; regionally significant Life Science ANSIs; other evaluated wetlands; significant valleylands; savannahs and tallgrass prairies; and alvars; and publicly owned conservation lands). b) Potential Natural Heritage Corridors connecting the Core Natural Areas. c) Greenbelt Natural Heritage and Water Resources Systems. d) Fish Habitat. The Core Natural Heritage System and associated policies are now being incorporated into the Official Plans of the local municipalities. Natural Heritage Areas Inventory: There are many Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) and other natural treasures found within the NPCA’s watershed. These areas support a rich diversity of natural features including significant habitats and geological formations, rare plants and animals, and important wildlife corridors. Through the years there has never been a comprehensive biological inventory of these areas. In light of that, a Natural Heritage Areas Inventory was recommended as a priority in the Niagara Water Strategy. Initiated in 2006, the NPCA, in collaboration with the Niagara Region, the Peninsula Field Naturalists Figure 11: A wetland in the Niagara River AOC Significant features in the Niagara River }} Most of the provincially significant plant species found in the Niagara River are associated with coastal wetlands. }} Fifty-nine species of fish that use coastal wetlands on a permanent or temporary basis have been reported for the Niagara River. Niagara River wetlands also provide yearround habitat for three provincially significant fish species: Lake Chubsucker (protected by federal species at risk legislation), Grass Pickerel and Black Bullhead. }} Coastal wetlands of the Niagara River also provide habitat for a wide range of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The only reported occurrence in Ontario for both the Northern Dusky Salamander and the Alleghany Mountain Dusky Salamander are found in seeps along the river }} Niagara River wetlands also provide important nesting habitat for the provincially significant Blackcrowned Night- Heron. 61 61 Canadian Wildlife Service & Ministry of Natural Resources. March 2003. The Ontario Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Atlas A Summary of Information (1983-1997). 29

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