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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thousands for Environment

Regional | by Rick Stow  

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority gets 700 thousand dollars for stormwater study.


Big money for the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority to carry out a study with international implications.

700 thousand dollars is coming to the Authority to develop a rural stormwater management model.

Chris Bentley -- the MPP for London West -- was the stand-in for Ontario Environment Minister Jim Bradley on Tuesday at the A-B-C-A offices in Exeter, where he announced funding for the research project.

Bentley tells us the money comes from a 17 million dollar, three-year provincial initiative.

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority has identified a critical gap in our stormwater management knowledge and put a team of 22 partners together to carry out the study, affecting Lake Huron's southeast shore from Sarnia to Tobermory.

A-B-C-A Board Chair Jim Ginn tells us that five subwatershed "stations" will be involved in the collection of run-off data over a two-year period.

Involved are the Pine River Watershed, as well as the Garvey-Glenn Watershed in the Maitland Valley, North and Main Bayfield and the Lambton Shores Watersheds.

Chris Bentley says the grant came after intense competition.

He says the knowledge gained addresses a critical gap.

A-B-C-A Board Chair Jim Ginn says farmers are keen to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

The Huron Federation of Agriculture is one of the 22 partners in the initiative.

Ginn says the research into run-off will indicate where additional wetlands may be needed.

Chris Bentley says the Authority's project will benefit all of Ontario-- and possibly have impacts beyond our borders.

The area involved in the eight-county study coincides with the "Healthy Lake Huron Clean Water, Clean Beaches" program involving the feds, Ontario, several county governments and Health Units, five Conservation Authorities and the Lake Huron Binational Partnership.

 

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