Why is action needed?
Major clean-up efforts in the Niagara River Areas of Concern (AOC) over the past 50 years have reduced levels of pollution and toxic chemicals. Cleaning up AOCs contributes to the environmental, social and economic well-being of local communities. A cleaner Niagara River will strengthen local economies through increased tourism, recreation and commerce. It will heighten international awareness of the river’s global contribution to biodiversity and its role in building stronger, healthier and more resilient communities.
Addressing the remaining environmental issues facing the Niagara River requires the commitment and cooperation of all levels of governments, municipalities, industries, and concerned citizens–like YOU!
What actions can I take?
What you do at your home can have an impact on local waterbody because no matter where you live, you are a part of a watershed. A watershed is an area of land over which precipitation (i.e., rain or snow) drains, defined by topography (high and low areas) and eventually forming some type of watercourse, such as a creek.
With its unique resources, the Niagara River is one of the most complex watersheds in North America. The Welland River, bisected by the Welland Canal is the largest tributary on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. Traversed by the Niagara Escarpment, the Niagara River watershed has truly unique climatic and biotic zones that are unlike anywhere else in North America. You can learn more about the Niagara River’s ecology here.
Everyone living in the Niagara River watershed can play a part in helping to build and maintain a sustainable environmental legacy. Your own property is where caring for the environment can start. You can make a difference in improving local water quality and biodiversity by planting native flowers and trees on your property, taking your car to a car-wash rather than doing it on your driveway, limiting the use of fertilizers on your lawn, never pouring chemicals down stormwater drains or household drains, and not feeding the wildlife at local parks and beaches, just to name a few!
A Landowner Stewardship Guide was developed for residents living in the Niagara Region to provide information about the watershed and provide options for better environmental decision-making. The ways in which activities on your property are managed play a role in determining local water and habitat quality.
While no one person can solve all of the issues within our watershed, a community working together can make a big impact.
How else can I get involved?
There are many community and municipal groups engaged in cleaning up the Niagara River Area of Concern. The current successes of the Niagara River RAP would not be possible without the cooperation of all government agencies, municipalities, industries, and the active involvement of the concerned citizens, like you.
You can make a difference by attending local environmental events such as community plantings, or participate in the RAP Committee to participate. Contact us for more information.