4 years ago

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Liaison with

Liaison with Niagara Region (Niagara 2031: Regional Growth Management Strategy): Niagara 2031 is a major Regional planning initiative examining where and how Niagara should grow over the period to 2031. It provides a strategic approach to linking land use, infrastructure and capital investment to meet the Region’s environmental, public health, social, cultural, financial and economic goals. Niagara 2031 also addresses Provincial requirements for compliance with the Provincial Policy Statement, the Places to Grow Act and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. In February 2009 Regional Council adopted Option D, the Preferred Growth Management Option. Option D met Provincial policy objectives for containment of sprawl, intensification within existing built up areas, and higher Greenfield development densities. It demonstrated that growth could be accommodated within existing urban areas, even at the somewhat higher levels of population and employment forecast. It also met the Region’s strategic objectives to shift a larger proportion of future growth to south Niagara. 67 Liaison with MNR (Niagara River Watershed Fish Community Assessment): In addition to the comprehensive update of wetland evaluations, the MNR has been conducting a comprehensive fisheries assessment within the AOC to: }} Assess fish community response to habitat improvements in watershed (i.e., fish barrier removal, wetland and shoreline enhancement projects, walleye restoration); }} Test fish community indices and their sensitivity to identified BUI (Impaired fish and wildlife habitat and populations). There are 3 specific impairment areas, Habitat quality and quantity, connectivity and Water quality and quantity; }} Assess changes in distribution and abundance of native rare species in AOC so that current distribution is maintained or enhanced; }} Collect fish samples for ongoing sport fish contamination monitoring (MOE). The overall goal of this assessment is to improve the fish community structure and abundance in the AOC, by assessing the fish community’s response toward several targeted habitat improvements. A draft report is currently accessible and will be updated as new information becomes available. H) Implementation activity: Produce an annual progress report summarizing progress toward identifying and improving habitat features along the Niagara River. Progress reporting is made to EC through the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund 68 (GLSF) in all of the projects which receive funding in the Niagara River AOC. 67 Niagara’s Growth Management Strategy. Niagara 2031- A Strategy for a healthy, sustainable future. November 2006. 68 32

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update 2.2.5 Human Health 1995 Recommendations: #17: Develop a Niagara River Fish Consumption Advisory. Status of progress: In Ontario, sport fish consumption advisories are developed through the Sport Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program, which is conducted by MOE. Every other year the Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish gives consumption advice for sport and game fish found at more than 1,700 locations in the province. The advisories are based on human health protection guidelines developed by Health Canada. 69 For the Niagara River AOC, advisories to limit consumption of sport fish continue because of contamination by toxic substances. In the Guide, there are consumption advisories for the Upper and Lower Niagara River, the Welland River, and Lyons Creek. Did You Know? The Ministry of the Environment’s sport fish consumption guidelines lists the contaminants for which the fish are tested. In the Welland River watershed, carp and channel catfish are tested for PCBs, mercury and dioxins/furans/ dioxin-like PCBs. Numerous species of fish are tested for PCBs and dioxins/furans/dioxin-like PCBs in the Niagara River. The lower Niagara River is the main focus of fish consumption advisories. 71 71 Ministry of the Environment. Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish. 2009-2010 edition. Throughout 2004 – 2005, the NPCA and MOE conducted an outreach program to provide information about the Ontario Sport Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program to schools (grades K – 12) and special interest groups in the AOC. This successful program involved providing resource materials, such as fact sheets in various languages, to nearly 10,000 citizens 70. Status of progress: An assessment of the consumption of wildlife was completed as part of Fish and Wildlife Consumption BUI in this report (see Section 3.4). It should be noted that there are currently no published guidelines for the consumption of wildlife (unlike the fish consumption guidelines produced by MOE). 69 Ontario Ministry of the Environment. 2009. Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish 2009- 2010. 70 Information provided by Brianne Wilson, Restoration Technician, NPCA. 33

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