Videos show projects by community

Farmers, rural landowners share their best management practices in new videos about working together to manage stormwater runoff

Videos show landowner projects keeping soil on the land and sediment out of creeks, rivers, and Lake Huron; community groups doing watershed plans; and children planting dune grasses

Healthy Lake Huron has released three online videos to share some of the good work local groups, farmers and other landowners, community partners, and students are doing in a largely rural area that stretches from Sarnia to Tobermory. The local people in the videos are working together, along the shoreline, to better manage runoff during storm events and to keep sediment out of creeks, rivers, and Lake Huron.

The videos were produced as part of the Rural Stormwater Management Model Project and can be viewed at ruralstormwater.com and by clicking on ‘Videos’ or by going to this link: Videos about landowners and community protecting Lake Huron

“These videos were only possible thanks to the landowners who took part, the local groups and people doing great things in the community, schools and students, parents and guardians, staff, the videographers, and the members of the Healthy Lake Huron partnership,” said Tim Cumming, Communications Specialist with Ausable Bayfield Conservation and Healthy Lake Huron’s Rural Stormwater Management Model (RSWMM) Project. “It is very powerful to hear local people share their personal stories and we hope their work and their vision will give other residents ideas of some things they can do to protect and improve water quality in their local creek or river.”

The main video is about ten minutes in length. It is called Working Together for Clean Water, Clean Beaches. The video features landowners and conservation staff from five priority areas along the Lake Huron shoreline. Property owners in the video talk about projects they are doing to keep soil on the land and to keep bacteria, chemicals, and sediment out of watercourses. The video covers five sentinel watersheds along Lake Huron’s southeastern shore, including the Lambton Shores, Main Bayfield, Bayfield North (Gullies), Garvey Creek – Glenn Drain (North Shore), and Pine River watersheds.

The second video is only two and a half minutes long and it features students from Lucknow Central Public School planting dune grasses along the shore through a project by the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation.

The third video is about three minutes in length. It is shot at Bannockburn Conservation Area and it focuses on the work the community around the Bayfield River is doing to create the new Main Bayfield Watershed Plan and put the plan into action.

Healthy Lake Huron: Clean Water, Clean Beaches is developing a new Rural Stormwater Management Model. The project is funded by a grant from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s Showcasing Water Innovation Program and in-kind contributions from other partners. Healthy Lake Huron is a partnership of federal and provincial ministries, county and local government, public health and conservation agencies, landowners and community groups, and other partners working to protect and improve water quality in Lake Huron. For more information visit healthylakehuron.ca and ruralstormwater.com.


Background on the Rural Stormwater Management Model Project:

Healthy Lake Huron’s Rural Stormwater Management Model (RSWMM) Project has already improved long-term monitoring of water quality, quantity, and weather through installation of five new or upgraded monitoring stations in drainage areas along Lake Huron’s southeastern shoreline. The project is also creating a new computer model to better understand the impacts when water runs off land during a storm event and to mitigate or eliminate those impacts. A new computer model would help municipalities and field staff to work with landowners. The model would also show which projects would work best to manage stormwater runoff, water quantity and quality from a watershed perspective, the ideal scale for projects, and the best locations to place them for the best results. The model, when completed, can also help landowners and funders to decide where limited stewardship dollars can be invested for the most benefit.

Urban areas already use computer models to manage stormwater runoff but no single model currently exists with all the features needed to understand and manage stormwater runoff effectively in rural areas like Lake Huron’s southeastern shoreline. That’s why Healthy Lake Huron identified the need for this project. For more information, visit ruralstormwater.com and healthylakehuron.ca. “The model will be a new tool to give people more detailed information about how their projects can reduce the impact of runoff during storm events,” said Alec Scott, manager of the RSWMM project. “When people can see the benefits created by a wetland, or berm, or natural barrier, or a planting project, or a change in cropping practices, they may be more likely to consider doing that project, or adopting that practice, on their property.”

Two firms are working together, with Healthy Lake Huron, to create the model: Computational Hydraulics International (CHI) and Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR). The model will build upon the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Stormwater Management Model (SWMM) and the PCSWMM software which is a powerful support package for SWMM modeling. The new model will combine urban modeling features with rural features such as agricultural best management practices; understanding of changes from season to season or even within a season (such as changes in crop cover); modeling of roads, ditches, and culverts; slope and terrain types; dynamic travel of water running over land; tracking of key pollutants (sediment, phosphorous and nitrogen); and other features.

 

 

 

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