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Federal funding supports five healthy Bay of Quinte projects

Five projects to continue restoration and protection of water quality and ecosystem health in the Bay of Quinte received $593,440 in federal government funding through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative.

“In the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan (BQRAP), the main environmental issue identified for the bay has always been the amount of phosphorus entering it from both rural and urban sources,” said Sarah Midlane-Jones, Communications for BQRAP. “These projects will help reduce phosphorus inputs, identify sources of phosphorus, and monitor the effects of phosphorus on the ecosystem.”

The Lower Trent Conservation Authority received $186,000 over three years to implement stewardship projects to address urban and rural sources of phosphorus entering the Bay of Quinte. Midlane-Jones said this project will engage local partners and landowners in reducing phosphorus runoff from their properties by using best management practices including livestock fencing, buffer plantings, shoreline rehabilitation, rain gardens and naturalizing areas with native plants.

Quinte Conservation received funding for two projects.

“First, the funding will allow for continued monitoring of water quality and coastal wetlands. The project supports environmental monitoring to determine whether degradation of fish and wildlife populations, loss of fish and wildlife habitat, beach closings, restrictions on drinking water, and undesirable algae have been reduced through the implementation of remedial actions in the Bay of Quinte. This project received $151,500 over two years.

Additionally, the Deseronto Millpond Stormwater Implementation Project will receive $13,940 over one year.

“This project will engage the Town of Deseronto and Quinte Conservation in studies required to support the construction of a retrofit stormwater project, to reduce phosphorus input to the Bay,” said Midlane-Jones.

The University of Toronto partners with the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan to provide scientific expertise in the areas of phosphorus and sediment modelling and analysis.

“They received funding for two projects. One project will receive funding of $134,000 over three years, to determine the sources of phosphorus from the Napanee River, Wilton Creek and their catchments that are affecting water quality and ecosystem health in the Bay of Quinte,” she said. “Local conservation authorities will use the results of the project to engage landowners in applying best management practices to reduce phosphorus runoff.”

A second project is to develop a model to assess best management practices, in the Wilton Creek and Hay Bay watersheds, and determine which will be most effective in reducing phosphorus runoff. It will receive $108,000 over three years.

“All these projects will ensure processes are in place to keep the Bay of Quinte a healthy and vibrant ecosystem. As the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan gets closer to meeting its restoration goals, it is vitally important to have monitoring plans and assessment strategies in place to make sure that Bay doesn’t backslide to conditions that required a Remedial Action Plan in the first place,” she said.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced $8.95 million in Great Lakes Protection Initiative funding over four years for 36 local on-the-ground projects. The initiative supports projects across the Great Lakes basin, which are to help restore areas of concern, prevent toxic and nuisance algae, reduce the release of harmful chemicals, engage the public through citizen science, and engage Indigenous Peoples.

The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan is in partnership locally with Lower Trent Conservation and Quinte Conservation.

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