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Grants support collaborative river restoration projects

October 14, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

A funding recognition and river restoration tour took place on Friday, October 8, along the banks of the Nottawasaga River in Adjala, between Loretto and Alliston.

The event, hosted by Nottawasaga Futures and the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, was an opportunity for invested partners to see the progress achieved along the river, utilizing funds provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bass Pro Shops Cabelas Outdoor Fund, Patagonia-Tides Foundation and Takla Foundation.

In 2020, Nottawasaga Community Futures Development Corporation (also known as Nottawasaga Futures) received a three-year $510,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) towards the Connecting Communities and Creeks Project.

The project is being delivered under its South Simcoe Streams Network Program and collaborating on the project are the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) and Dufferin–Simcoe Land Stewardship Network.

This OTF funded project is part of a broader Nottawasaga River Restoration Program coordinated by the NVCA. 

By using scientific fish community, stream health and water temperature data, NVCA biologists are able to identify transition zones where water quality and aquatic habitat conditions were declining, such as at this restoration site.

These transition areas represent high priority locations for fish habitat enhancement, stream bank stabilization and water quality improvement.

A team consisting of members of the NVCA, Streams Network and volunteers, were able to improve trout habitat and reduce erosion.

Heavy Machinery was used to stabilize river banks using natural woody material, transplantation of sod and trees along the stream’s edge and realignment of the river into close proximity to a forested area. Overall, the summer stream restoration projects completed on two properties added cover habitats and stabilized a total of 570m of eroding banks as well as establishing a new 70m long trout and salmon spawning channel.

An alternate watering system was also installed to allow cattle to be pastured out of the river. Wetland habitats were created as part of the river restoration works in order to provide a mecca for turtles and amphibians, while reducing phosphate and nitrogen inputs to the river.

During the site tour, participants were given the chance to see spawning Chinook salmon and bald eagles.

A videographer was also on site during the tour, documenting the restoration works as part of a tourism video promoting the linkages between healthy restored rivers and strong recreational fisheries that enhance local economies in Simcoe County.

“We have generated strong momentum working with landowners and variety of other partners for completing water quality and fish habitat improvement projects,” said Fred Dobbs of the NVCA. 

“The Nottawasaga River is one of the largest tributaries of Georgian Bay and provides clean water for local communities from Orangeville to Wasaga Beach. Thanks to funders like the OTF, we are able to do restoration work that positively impacts our communities where we work and play,” said Silvia Pedrazzi of Nottawasaga Futures.  

The South Simcoe Streams Network is hosting two “call for volunteer” events: Saturday, October 16 from 9 a.m. – 12 noon and Tuesday, October 19 from 3:30 – 6 p.m. To register, visit Location will be sent to attendees directly.

Participants will be planting trees and shrubs along the Nottawasaga River and Sheldon Creek, south-west of Alliston.

For more information about the river restoration project, contact Silvia Pedrazzi, Environment Liaison for South Simcoe Streams Network, Nottawasaga Futures, by email at or call 705-440-9129. Or contact Fred Dobbs, NVCA’s Manager of Stewardship Services at or call 705-424-1479.



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