Restoring and Enhancing Niagara’s Only Coldwater Resource: Twelve Mile Creek
Trout Unlimited Niagara Chapter
$32,000 (over 10 months)
Grant Stream: Resilient Greenbelt
Grant Approved: June 24, 2019
Supported by the Greenbelt Foundation, Trout Unlimited Canada–Niagara Chapter is working with local landowners to identify, assess, and remove sources of degradation to the habitat and water quality in the Upper Twelve Mile Creek watershed. Data collected along the Creek has helped illuminate serious problems in the watershed related to thermal pollution, and high levels of erosion and degradation. Urbanization has had adverse effects on the ecosystem, specifically the introduction of pollution and sedimentation. Trout Unlimited has hired staff and research students to develop and monitor the water quality, temperature, erosion, blockages, and the habitat and species diversity of the Creek. This information is then being interpreted and compared with historical data to identify and prioritize the most degraded areas.
Trout Unlimited Canada–Niagara Chapter is working with local landowners to improve water quality within Upper Twelve Mile Creek watershed's sensitive coldwater ecosystem.
Stakeholders directly involved in the health of the watershed are also being engaged, namely: Niagara Peninsula Authority (NPCA), Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), Short Hills Park (from Ontario Parks), various nature groups, and the municipalities of Thorold and Pelham. To restore the aquatic health of the Creek and improve the resiliency of the watershed, Trout Unlimited is educating local landowners through direct community engagement, one-on-one outreach, open houses, and community events, in addition to providing landowners with mentorship opportunities from experts and volunteers. Volunteers are assisting landowners with a variety of restoration projects. A digital mapping system, that includes online access, is being crafted to facilitate the creation and dissemination of ecological health indicators. This will also allow for the restoration of the aquatic habitat of the Creek, which in turn will help propagate at-risk native species of trout and other fish.