NBMCA’s Shoreline Planting Program kicks off its 4th year

Shoreline and stream bank property owners in local watersheds can help protect water quality by taking part in a free shoreline planting program offered by the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA).

Over the last three years 4.5 km of streambanks and shorelines were planted with 22,800 trees, shrubs and perennials through the Restore Your Shore program. Close to 100 property owners have participated in the program.

“This year our goal is to engage another 30 property owners.  We’ll work with people to develop a planting plan that not only helps prevent erosion and runoff but takes into consideration their preferences for aesthetics, access to their shoreline and maintaining their waterfront view,” said Reilly Henderson, NBMCA’s Stewardship Supervisor. 

“We’re particularly interested in reaching more rural, agricultural property owners in the Callander-Wasi watershed who may be experiencing erosion on their properties,” she added.

NBMCA has undertaken studies related to erosion and phosphorus levels in the Callander-Wasi watershed through the Drinking Water Source Protection Program.  Phosphorus contributes to the growth of cyanobacteria, known as blue-green algae.

“Our research and monitoring have shown an increase in phosphorus levels when there is an increase in turbidity (cloudiness in the water caused by small particles of soil and sediment) particularly following a rain event,” said Sue Miller, Manager of NBMCA’s Source Protection Program.

Phosphorus that is attached to soil particles can make its way into waterways through shoreline and streambank erosion which can occur after a significant rain event. Vegetated shorelines and streambanks can help manage erosion as well as enhance fish habitat.

Landowners who take part in the program are provided with free trees, shrubs and plants and will be asked for a commitment to maintain the plantings for five years.  There is also assistance available to do the planting. 

Interested shoreline and streambank property owners can contact Reilly Henderson at 705 474-5420 or email reilly.henderson@nbmca.ca or visit www.restoreyourshore.ca.

The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority was founded in 1972 by the Province of Ontario and its 10 member municipalities. A non-profit organization, the NBMCA works closely with the public to balance human needs with environmental needs throughout the region’s watershed. The NBMCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities who are members of Conservation Ontario.

You can follow NBMCA on facebook.com/NBMCA and twitter @theNBMCA.