Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

First Source Protection Committee Meeting for Mississippi-Rideau

Media Release

December 6, 2007


The first official meeting of the newly-formed Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Committee (SPC) will be held on Monday, December 17 at the Baxter Conservation Area near Kars.  The 15-members of the Committee and Chair Janet Stavinga will be on hand to “meet and greet” the public from 6 – 7 pm followed by the first SPC business meeting starting at 7 pm.  The meeting is open to the public and everyone is very welcome to attend.

The SPC represents the major municipal, business and interest group sectors in the huge area of the Mississippi and Rideau valley watersheds.   They are charged with guiding and supporting the source protection planning process over the next five years of research, technical study, public consultation and development of municipal drinking water source protection plans.

Representing all watershed municipalities are Scott Bryce (Clerk/Treasurer, Village of Westport), Alex Cullen and Christine Leadman (Councillors, City of Ottawa), Paul Knowles (CAO, Carleton Place), and Eleanor Renaud (Councillor, Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley).   Representing economic sectors are Richard Fraser (agriculture), Peter McLaren (agriculture), Domenic Idone (aggregates), Beverly Millar (small business) and Jim Riopelle (golf courses).  Representing public interests are George Braithwaite (rural general public), Carol Dillon (Friends of the Tay Watershed), Patricia Larkin (non-governmental organizations), Randy Malcolm (Algonquins of Ontario) and Mary Trudeau (Ottawa Riverkeeper).

The formation of the local Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Committee is a result of the Clean Water Act (CWA) which was passed by the Ontario Legislature in December, 2006.  The CWA is part of Ontario’s response to the Walkerton tragedy of 2000.  The CWA prescribes a process of watershed-based research, analysis and actions rooted in good science, public participation and sustained effort for keeping Ontario’s sources of drinking water safe.  The province is divided into 19 Source Protection Regions for purposes of source water protection.   Each of these 19 regions has a Source Protection Committee directing the production of Source Protection Plans to protect primarily municipal drinking water sources in their area.  The Mississippi-Rideau is one of those 19 regions.

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For more information:   (on Tuesday Dec 11 please)

Sommer Casgrain-Robertson

Communications Specialist

Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region

613-692-3571 ext 1147 or 1-800-267-3504 ext 1147

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Climate Change Awareness: Lake and River Water Temperature Monitoring

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
December 2006 
Cliff Bennet Project Co-ordinator

Report on results of Lake and River Water-Temperature Monitoring in the Mississippi Watershed:

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists carried out a lake and river temperature monitoring program over the August 2006 long weekend as an `Open Doors to Nature Project’in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Ontario Nature (Federation of Ontario Naturalists). A short report outlining the objectives and results was prepared by Paul Egginton, MVFN.

At the end of December 2006, all of the raw data plus copies of the report were deposited at the offices of Mississippi Valley Conservation in Lanark, and are available for viewing there. The report is also posted here. A final report with additional peripheral data important for putting the survey findings into perspective, will also be posted.

By all counts this project was a great success. We measured our patient’s temperature (the Mississippi Watershed) and found it to be, on the basis of nearly 675 surface-readings (and nearly 1400 readings in all), on average, about 26.4 C. Many scientists are warning that air temperatures will continue to rise. Lake and river temperatures will surely follow and there may be significant impacts on the Mississippi Watershed.

To help us adapt to such change it will be very useful to know whether mid-summer water temperatures do increase in future and at what rate. Our report suggests that there is more work to be done. However, MVFN wishes to sincerely thank all those who encouraged, supported and took part in this water-temperature monitoring effort. Special thanks to Susan Lee of Mississippi Valley Conservation who contributed greatly by providing logistical support for this project.

PDF Icon2007 Report on results of Mississippi Watershed water-temperature monitoring (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required)

PDF IconGraphs and Figures (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required)


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Wetlands: the vital link between land and water, with Aquatic Ecologist Brian Potter at next MVFN lecture

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
October 6, 2006

by Pauline Donaldson

Wetlands: the vital link between land and water, with Aquatic Ecologist Brian Potter at next MVFN lecture

On Thursday October 19th the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists welcome Brian Potter, as our guest speaker for “Wetlands in our Watershed”, the second in a series of 7 lectures on “The Mississippi Valley Watershed”. Brian Potter is an Aquatic Ecologist and graduate of the University of Guelph . His career with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources includes work in fisheries assessment, conservation and planning, and other areas dating back to 1982. Specializing in the ecology of wetlands, Potter currently works in the Biodiversity Section of the Fish and Wildlife Branch. He was a member of the review team for the Natural Heritage Reference Manual, a key reference used to interpret provincial policies on wetlands, forests etc. which guide municipal planning decisions in Ontario .

Wetlands are some of the most productive habitats on Earth; not just land or water but a unique combination of both. Many of us are aware that we live amidst some important wetlands such as the ‘Class 1′ wetlands of Mississippi Lake, Kerr Lake, Clayton/Taylor, the Wolf Grove area, or Pakenham Mountain. However, few of us understand the significance of wetlands and why some are assigned a ‘class’. Wetlands, be they swamp, bog or other, are extremely important in providing habitat but they also play a vital role in flood control, groundwater recharge and several other key functions. As a biologist and major contributor to the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System, Brian Potter can give the audience an overview of the different kinds of wetlands, their role in the ‘bigger picture’ of wetland and watershed health overall, and tell us how they are threatened. This will likely shed some light on the reasoning behind the various regulations which apply to wetlands such as the Drainage Act, wetland buffers etc, and on what we and our municipalities can do to better preserve wetlands for the future.

The presentation by Brian Potter takes place Thursday, October 19th at 7:30 pm at the Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin St., Almonte. All are welcome; MVFN members and children under 16 receive free admission and for others a fee of $5 applies. MVFN memberships can also be purchased at the door. Host for the evening will be MVFN’s past president Mike Macpherson. Following the presentation refreshments are available. For more information on this lecture and others in the series, please contact MVFN Program Chair Joyce Clinton at 613-257-4879, or email  or check the MVFN website at

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