The Community Stream Steward Program works alongside landowners, communities, youth, volunteers and other stewardship organizations to identify, plan and implement a wide variety of stream restoration projects and activities. If you are a Landowner who is interested in getting help with a stream project, please visit our landowner page for more information.
Big or small, each and every project plays an important role in protecting and preserving Ontario’s water resources, and the fish and wildlife dependent on these habitats for survival. Listed below are some of the different types of projects that can benefit the overall health of a stream. If you are interested in learning more about any of these restoration activities or think your property could benefit from any of these techniques please Contact Us free advice, technical assistance, and potential funding support.
Types of Projects
|Bank Stabilization||Stream Crossings for Livestock and Farm Equipment|
|Riparian Tree and Shrub Planting||Livestock Fencing and Alternate Watering|
|Fish Habitat Enhancement||Online Pond Decommissioning|
To learn more about the different types of projects we do, please visit our Project Profiles page.
Bank Stabilization Projects
Streams naturally undergo erosion at the outside bank of a meander, or bend, in the stream; however, sites where erosion is occurring at a faster than normal rate may be good candidates for stream bank stabilization projects. Erosion of stream banks puts the downstream habitat at risk because the fine sediments that have been eroded are deposited on the bed and banks of the channel and they can cover larger particles such as gravel and rocks that are important fish habitat. Serious erosion problems can also be a safety concern for landowners.
Depending on the characteristics of a site, there are several different types of stabilization techniques that could be used to help prevent further erosion. These include using soft techniques that involve native plant material, such as live stakes, brush layers and live cribwalls, or hard techniques that use rock and other man-made materials.
The land on either side of a stream is called the riparian zone, and it can have direct effects on the health of a stream. Vegetation along the edge of a stream helps shade the watercourse, keeping water tempertures low in hot summer months. Stream side vegetation also acts as a buffer for overland runoff, trapping fine sediments and excess nutrients before they can make their way into the water. The roots of woody vegetation help provide bank stability and can lower rates of stream bank erosion. Planting native trees and shrubs along the riparian zone will help improve the overall health of a watercourse and even benefit local wildlife as well.
All fish species have unique habitat requirements and unfortunately in many areas human activities have altered or impacted the stream streams fish rely on. A stream with excellent fish habitat would naturally meander over the landscape, with well defined sections of riffles and pools, have undercut, yet stable banks, healthy riparian vegetation, woody debris in the stream channel and have various types of stream bed materials.