ABCA will use grant money to improve water quality and protect habitat

(Blackburn News file photo)

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority has received 175-thousand dollars from Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the second year of a four-year agreement to improve water quality in the Ausable River.

ABCA Conservation Lands and Stewardship Manager, Kate Monk, explains the Ausable River is home to many species.

“In the Ausable watershed and the Ausable River itself, we’ve got 26 species of fresh water mussels and 85 species of fish and that makes the Ausable River one of the most diverse watershed for aquatic species and some of them are endangered or threatened.”

Monk says the funding will be used to support property owners in projects that will preserve habitat for species in the watershed. Monk says the goal is to keep sediment out of the water courses.

“The goal is to keep sediment out of the water courses, so landowners can do projects like cover crops or erosion control or plant trees along river banks, create wetlands and they will help the quality of water in the Ausable River.”

Monk points out sediment draining into the river destroys habitat in the river so if they can keep the sediment on the land, it help farmers as well as aquatic species.