Duffins Creek Renewal Program
By Mary Finch, Project Biologist, Trout Unlimited Canada
Duffins Creek and its tributaries occupy 283km2 of land to the east
of Toronto. These watercourses cross through many landscapes including rugged spaces of the Oak Ridges Moraine, idyllic rural pastures, forested tracts and wetlands on their way to the north shore of Lake Ontario. Portions of the Town of Ajax, City of Pickering, Town ofMarkham, Town of Whitchurch-Stouville and Town of Uxbridge are all within Duffins Creek's footprint. Degraded water quality and decreased wildlife abundance have been noted and are signs that Duffins Creek is suffering. Duffins Creek needs our help now to help revive, protect and rejuvenate it for the future.
Increasing urban pressure, land use practices and climate change are putting the health of Duffins Creek at risk. Urban pressure is
changing the landscape and is altering the way water flows into the creek. Increased run-off of nutrients (e.g., phosphorus), pesticides, pathogens (e.g., e-coli) and sediment are flowing into Duffins Creek and threatening its supply of clean cold water. Alterations to creek and streamside areas due to ponds, small dams and removal of streamside vegetation have limited the ability of Duffins Creek to maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Unpredictable weather conditions as a result of climate change will further exacerbate the current conditions of Duffins Creek.
The Duffins Creek Renewal Program will revitalize Duffins Creek with cleaner water, improved water quality and a healthier ecosystem for animals, birds, fish and people. Work will focus throughout Duffins Creek's footprint and will focus on restoration, stewardship and public outreach activities. We are creating the legacy of a healthy Duffins Creek for current and future generations. Preliminary funding for the first year of this five-year program has been provided through the generosity of Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.
Goals and Objectives
Trout Unlimited Canada's Duffins Creek Renewal Program is a systematic creek revival and
enhancement initiative undertaken in partnership with Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. with the support of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The Duffins Creek Watershed Renewal program has three major objectives:
- Revitalize Duffins Creek with cleaner water, improved water quality and a healthier ecosystem for animals, birds, fish and people through the completion of rehabilitation projects. Projects such as tree planting, small dam removals and streamside improvements
will be completed.
- Engage, assist and support landowners in implementing stewardship projects that will benefit creek health and improve water quality. Through this component, Trout Unlimited Canada will provide workshops and site visits to help landowners design, identify and implement projects.
- Connect the public and local residents to Duffins Creek through education, outreach and engagement activities. Through activities such as family fun days, tree planting and hands-on workdays - appreciation, pride and enjoyment of Duffins Creek will be created and fostered.
If you wish to contribute to this project or for more information, please contact Mary Finch, Project Biologist via email or phone, 519-824-4120, Local 53020.
To follow the progress of the Duffins Creek Watershead Renewal Project please visit the Duffins Creek Blog.