People, Aquatic Plants and Healthy Lakes:
Finding the Balance in Eastern Ontario’s Lake Country Project
What is this project?
The People, Aquatic Plants and Healthy Lakes: Finding the Balance in Eastern Ontario’s Lake Country was a two year project that was created to develop a better understanding about the local causes of algae and aquatic plant growth in Eastern Ontario Lakes and Rivers. Working with academic institutions, community groups and environmental organizations, we used the knowledge gained from the research to develop educational materials and workshops that educated and promoted ways to help reduce the amount of algal blooms and excessive aquatic plants growth.
What did this project complete?
- Sampled and analyzed 20 sediment cores to investigate total phosphorous, zebra mussels and climate change and how they are influencing algae and aquatic plant growth
- Provided educational workshops
- Created an algae and aquatic plant manual
- Promoted stewardship projects to help improve lake and river health
- Developed an algae and aquatic plant tracking website and app. For long term use it has been transferred from Citizen Water Watch over to Water Rangers. https://waterrangers.ca/en/
Who was involved in the project?
This project was formed by a collaborative group consisting of: Friends of the Tay Watershed, Carleton University, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.
The collaborative group was successful in achieving a two year grant of $149, 500 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Why did it get started?
There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of algal blooms and excessive aquatic plant growth on many waterbodies in Eastern Ontario. In 2010 and 2011 a study was conducted to determine what type of algae was blooming on the local lakes. A majority of the samples were found to be filamentous green algae. A conclusion from this study was that future research was needed to help identify possible influences of the increased growth of algal blooms.
In 2013, a survey was created to get a better understanding of what waterbody users are noticing on their lake or river and if they would like to see research done. The majority of respondents noted an increase in algae and aquatic plants as well wanting research conducted.
After reviewing the survey results, the collaborative group applied for a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and was successful
In the summer of 2013, the Algae and Aquatic Plant Survey for Eastern Ontario Lakes and Rivers was created by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) in an effort to address growing concerns from waterbody users about algae and aquatic plant growth. The survey asked waterbody users to fill out the survey so that the RVCA could have a better understanding of their concerns. The survey was closed at the end of the summer and the RVCA reviewed the results. There were 291 responses to the survey. A majority of respondents indicated that they have noticed an increase in algae and aquatic plant growth and would like to see research done. The RVCA joined a collaborative group to pursue funding on issues that were raised in the survey. On April 2, 2014 the collaborative was successful in receiving a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
To see a summary of the survey results click here