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Conservation Halton breaks ground at Drumquin Park to restore damaged stream

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MILTON - On Monday, June 18, 2018, Conservation Halton hosted a ground breaking ceremony to celebrate the initiation to transform a damaged portion of Sixteen Mile Creek at the Town of Milton’s Drumquin Park.  Phase One of the project will be completed over this summer and fall, which includes removing one instream barrier (a concrete weir), restoring 170 metres of damaged stream, creating three acres of forest and wetland ecosystems, and building habitat features for fish and wildlife.

Restoration of Sixteen Mile Creek at Drumquin Park will have numerous benefits for the community. The project is an investment in green infrastructure to promote water quality, wildlife habitat, and environmental resilience in the watershed and for the community. Once complete, this project will see the creek and floodplain returned to more of a natural state, providing a healthier watershed for water, wildlife, and Halton residents. “With the removal of the instream barrier, fish will be able to move unimpeded up and downstream for the first time in 60 years and the stagnant backwater will once again flow freely as intended,” said Nigel Finney, Greenspace Restoration and Conservation Project Manager.

The results of restoring the natural creek system will reverberate through the environment and through to the community. The design of the restoration project will see the stream and floodplain area rebuilt, which will result in a self-sustaining ecosystem. Phase One of the project has a budget of $750,000 and is fully funded from industry partners and in collaboration with Milton. Enbridge Pipelines Inc. and Union Gas are supporting the work to restore the habitat of Silver Shiner, a threatened fish species.  After completion, Conservation Halton staff will monitor project success through performance indicators related to water quality, water temperature, channel integrity, and the effectiveness of the fish habitats. These indicators are not only signs of a healthy environment for the watershed, but also signs of a healthy environment for us.

“From a community perspective, this restoration project is a significant investment in green infrastructure. By investing in projects like this, we are moving in the direction of more sustainable, more resilient communities,” said Hassaan Basit, Chief Administrative Officer of Conservation Halton.

 “Milton is known for its natural heritage, parks and proximity to the Niagara Escarpment.  It’s important that we continue to preserve and protect our green spaces for future generations to enjoy,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. “I thank Conservation Halton for their leadership and commitment on this restoration effort.”

The project is a partnership between Conservation Halton, the Town of Milton and industry sponsors, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. and Union Gas.  

About Drumquin Park Restoration Project

The two phased plan for Sixteen Mile Creek in Drumquin Park includes the removal of two weirs, which are barriers to water flow and passage of fish and wildlife. The flow of the creek will then be unrestricted and therefore improve the health of the creek by restoring natural flow. Another important part of this project is restoring the channel shape of Sixteen Mile Creek as it passes through Drumquin Park to a more natural width, depth, and path of flow. The restoration of the channel shape will contribute to restoring healthy habitat of deep pools and faster flowing water for fish as well as returning natural flow to Sixteen Mile Creek. This will help to stabilize the banks of the creek to reduce erosion and improve the stability of the system to withstand the impacts of climate change related to high flows and low water.

Phase Two is currently in the planning stages and Conservation Halton is looking for sponsors and partners to help make this phase a reality. This will include the removal of another instream barrier at Trafalgar Road at a tributary on Sixteen Mile Creek and forty metres of stream restoration.

During the planning stages for Phase One, Conservation Halton engaged the public through landowner mail-outs, surveys, and in person meetings. The Drumquin Park restoration project is a key part of Conservation Halton’s strategic plan, Metamorphosis 2020, in responsible management of natural resources. This project supports the plans of conserving and maintaining our natural heritage supporting the Greenbelt, the Region of Halton Natural Heritage System, and the Town of Milton Official Plan.

See Attached: Project Fact Sheet

FAQs

What is the construction schedule?

Construction of Phase One will occur from late June to late July 2018. During this time, a temporary diversion channel will be created in order to isolate the creek and complete the necessary earthworks in a dry channel. After the work is complete, the creek will be diverted back into the newly restored watercourse. Native plant material will be planted in the fall of 2018.

What is a weir and how was the creek damaged?

A weir is a small barrier that is built across a steam to raise the water level slightly on the upstream side. In the 1960’s a weir was installed at Drumquin Park on Sixteen Mile Creek likely to provide surface water in case of a fire. At this time the creek was also straightened and over widened. Today, the weir serves no function for the community.

When did planning the project begin?

Work began on developing the restoration concepts and designs in late 2015. Through 2016-17, detailed design was completed and all necessary permits, authorizations, and funding were obtained.

How is Phase One of the project funded?

Funding for Phase One is entirely supported by Enbridge Gas Pipelines Inc. and Union Gas as part of their commitment to enhance the habitat of the Silver Shiner, a threatened fish species. The project will benefit Silver Shiners by rehabilitating degraded habitat by means of restoring passage for fish passage, reducing sedimentation and erosion, and restoring habitat features such a deep pools.

How will this project impact the widening of Britannia Road?

All components of the project design have been developed to ensure there will be no adverse impacts on existing and future infrastructure. The project will benefit the Region of Halton’s bridge reconstruction project due to the significant reduction of the bankfull width of the channel and elimination of bypass channel erosion. This will reduce the constraints on the bridges design requirements.

For more information about the restoration project, please call Conservation Halton at 905.336.1158, email restoration@hrca.on.ca or visit www.conservationhalton.ca/drumquin-park-restoration

Conservation Halton is the community based environmental agency that protects, restores and manages the natural resources in its watershed. The organization has staff that includes ecologists, land use planners, engineers, foresters and educators, along with a network of volunteers, who are guided by a Board of Directors comprised of municipally elected and appointed citizens. Conservation Halton is recognized for its stewardship of creeks, forests and Niagara Escarpment lands through science based programs and services. 

 

Project Contact: 

Nigel Finney

Project Manager, Greenspace Restoration & Conservation

Telephone: 905-336-1158, x 2305

Cellphone: 905-208-1006

E-mail: nfinney@hrca.on.ca 

Media Contact:

Robin Ashton

Manager, Marketing Services

Telephone: 905-336-1158, x 2248

E-mail: rashton@hrca.on.ca

Website: www.conservationhalton.ca