Hamilton 350 Committee

CA Watch Notes: March 2023

HCA – March 2nd – Richard

Invasive species program plan (2023) to be adapted. 2 technicians are contract but as invasive species problems increase budgets may change that. M. Wilson suggested partnering with nurseries in line with HCA invasive species strategies so they don’t make them available for sale. – carried.

Bill 23 means HCA is no longer able to comment on items prohibited by Bill 23 or switching it to non-mandatory so they can’t look at the watershed as a whole. This builds on old work. This may not affect finances as inspectors will be on site for some actions but will take some time to access. Natural heritage sites will be examined by the municipality.

THAT staff be permitted to fund the archaeological consultant fee along with all associated costs for Aboriginal engagement from the East Mountain Wetland reserve. One of the wetlands created will be smaller but should still hold water back so it doesn’t impact lower Stoney Creek. The quote for the first site ranges from a best case of $215,000 with an upset limit of $476,000. Given this cost, proceeding with the Stage 4 work for this site will not be pursued and staff will wo10.5.

Watershed Conditions Report – Jonathan Bastien – Page 45 No significant flooding but there was some high wave action nearing thresholds. work with Water’s Edge to revise the design of the wetland to avoid this site and maintain the required 10-10.5. Watershed Conditions Report – Jonathan Bastien – Page 45 No significant flooding but there was some high wave action nearing thresholds.

10.6. Conservation Areas Experiences – Gord Costie – Page 51 Craig Cassar asked about the effect of Climate Change on Westfield maple syrup season.

CVC board meeting – March 10th 2023 – Sue

Watershed knowledge dept. overview/reported. CVC 52 full time staff with 500 years of experience. Partnerships important. Most of this depts. work done on behalf of municipality partners. Watershed knowledge plan created to assess Data – maps/models/training/flood mapping/erosion concerns.

Natural heritage and wildlife strategy developed for municipalities. Climate change and water – storm water science and inspections of water quality monitoring/model developed. Algae problems and spills. Long term to study – years of data collected.

How can individuals and agencies get help – CVC has tools to help. Reduce use of home salt etc.

Launch date March 22, 2023 – world water day. social media campaign – webinar April 4th

Unprecedented time of climate uncertainty – need to adapt.
In last decade 200% increase in use of parks by public. Need for all CAs to keep parks and trails growing and updated. Investment in parks needed.

Provincial funding cut by half in 2022.

Conservation Halton – notes by Aislyn and David

The meeting was chaired by Hassaan Basit CAO. There were 25 attendees, exclusive of observers.

No mention of Bill 23 or any comments or questions on the letters sent by both Don and Marie in the Other Business section. It was right at the end before a bio break which may explain that but I also suspect they had not read the emails either.

The majority of the meeting was spent on three presentations where they talked:

  1. about progress on the Crawford education centre and boardwalk and the Kelso Rec centre (Chalet) under Developer contribution reserve projects
  2. Natural hazard mapping progress which emphasized the collaboration between munc., CA, and ministry of forestry and natural resources and minimized the role that CA have in the management of urban flooding (they are concerned with riverine flooding) but also individual property owners drive conservation of the source itself (don’t want to mess with the natural processes unless a problem is submitted?) BUT While river flooding is within CH jurisdiction municipal flooding is not. Mapping continues. More sadly, flood emergency response is done by the Ministry of Natural Resources (meaning conservation boards can only report). Natural channels left to owners of surrounding land.
  3. Watershed report card – the surface water quality 6 of 11 areas chemical concentrations were above the goal cap

They also recognized the role that forestry has on reducing contamination and helps create healthier watershed areas… but say they are working hard to even catch up to the human impact so hard to move the needle in the opposite direction.

They also had a lot of action items that were small scale developments or renovations which apparently is common around now. They were all passed without questions hopefully the ecological impact assessment is done at an earlier point in this process but I don’t know anything about it?

Grants are another success story: including $980,000 from the feds and $350,00 from the province for wetlands (go figure).

Overall, CH seems to be diminishing into a provider of outside recreation services.

GRCA – March 24th – Carolanne

Grand River Watershed Report Card Presentation, FYI.

Correspondence was received by Don Mclean et al, on the importance of wetlands.

A Permit Application #148/23 was presented to remove a small wetland in Cambridge, 0.1 ha, historically contaminated, and replace it with a 1.19 created wetland which includes a salamander breeding pool, and assurance is given this will not be a stormwater pond. Apparently an encampment in the past, owned by a developer, a residential subdivision planned. It carried.

Lastly was the presentation on the GR watershed, that is worth watching, highlighting Forest conditions, Wetland conditions, Ground water quality and Surface water quality. It maps chloride, nitrate and phosphorus levels in the watershed, causes where levels are higher such as road salts, water softening, and over fertilization, and solutions in road salt programs and green tree legacy programs. It was informative.

NPCA – March 24th – Marie

  • Good news – The Niagara Beach has been closed for many years but has now been granted official re-designation and will be open this summer. The Niagara River has been monitored and undergoing remediation for many years. The Beach re-opening is the result of support from the US, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities. Tremendous Environmental Milestone!! Niagara-on-the Lake (NOTL) was a key partner to protect and restore water quality in the Niagara River. Remedial action started in 1987 but the real activity began in 2015 with and investment of $1M in remedial work, not counting staff. Eventually, want to de-list the entire Niagara River
  • Update on program, Trees for All: phenomenal uptake by the communities; has been extended for another month; 300 hectares have been identified for planting; will look for grants in June
  • Restoration Team is also looking at wetlands, striving for the 30% goal (30 x 30)

They are working on Conservation Areas Land Inventory and Strategy Initiation, laying the framework for when and how CA lands are updated in the next 10 – 15 years. All plans need to be updated.

Operational Asset Management Plans for Flood Infrastructure: they already have a good asset management plan so they will build on it.