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Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan :: Healthy Bay, Healthy Community

Water Soldier

Water Soldier has been marching its way down the Trent River since 2008, when it was found near the hamlet of Trent River. Now, it has been found in the Bay of Quinte.  This invasive species could have devastating consequence for the Bay’s ecosystem, fishery, and recreational activities. Potentially, causing hefty financial implications for municipalities and tourism operators.

Water soldier is a cold tolerant invasive perennial aquatic plant that is native to Europe and northwest Asia. Water soldier is a submerged aquatic plant which has 40cm long sword shape leaves with serrated edges that are sharp enough to cut swimmers or anyone handling the plant. It becomes buoyant during the summer months forming dense mats of floating vegetation that choke out native species and are so thick that some boats can’t move through the mats. As the leaves mature, they become waterlogged and the plant sinks below the surface. The mature plants produce offsets, like a household spider plant.

The Bay of Quinte is prime habitat as the plant grows in standing or slow flowing waterbodies up to depths of five metres. This plant will have a major impact on the ecosystem, because of the dense mats of floating vegetation it creates. As well, it has the potential to alter surrounding water chemistry, which may harm phytoplankton (the base of the food chain) and other aquatic organisms.

What has been done to stop the spread of this invader? Since 2008, a number of research, control and management strategies have been undertaken to better understand the biology and management of this invasive plant. In 2014, federal and provincial agencies and other organizations implemented a control program, using a herbicide. Due to the size of the infestation, control efforts have focused on addressing the source populations and preventing further downstream dispersal of the plants.

What can you do to help stop the spread? Boaters can learn to identify the plants and avoid infested areas, reduce boat speeds so the wake doesn’t dislodge plants and offsets, and inspect their boat, trailer, and equipment to ensure they don’t move the plant to another waterbody. Shoreline property owners on the Bay of Quinte are asked to report any sightings of Water Soldier to 1-800-563-7711 or visit EDDMapS Ontario, or search for the Invasive Species in Ontario project on iNaturalist.orgto report a sighting.

You can find out more about water soldier at http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/aquatic-plants/water-soldier/.

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Tweet for Osprey

The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan (BQRAP) is looking for volunteer citizen scientists to help locate and monitor Osprey and Eagle nests around the Bay of Quinte. The goal is to establish a long-term monitoring program to ensure the Osprey and Eagle populations remain healthy and abundant. Last year, the environmental challenges related to fish/wildlife populations and habitat were classified as restored, meaning all the scientific criteria outlined in the BQRAP were met. Now, the focus changes to ensuring conditions don’t deteriorate. One way the public can become involved in the continued protection and restoration of the Bay is by participating as citizen scientists.

This year, we have simplified the monitoring process, all people have to do is take a photo at the nesting site with their Smartphone and email it in. The only techy part is to make sure the location settings on the Smartphone are turned on. In the email, add details like: whether the nest is active or not, number of adult birds, number of fledglings, and the arrival and departure dates, if you know them.  Send the photo and info in an email to - osprey@bqrap.ca. Now, you are a citizen scientist! Visit the nest site throughout the season and provide updates on the birds. The nest location will be added to the tracking map on the BQRAP web site and the photos will be posted for everyone to enjoy.

Why monitor Ospreys and Eagles? They are considered indicators of water quality health as their diets mostly consist of fish. Changes in the number of nesting pairs and number of chicks produced and fledged can reflect changes in aquatic ecosystem health.

Once, the widespread use of DDT brought these great raptors to the brink of extinction. But with a ban, in the 1970s, on this toxic pesticide and the efforts of federal and provincial governments, conservation authorities, groups, and individuals the Ospreys have made a dramatic comeback. Only, in the past 3 years have Eagles returned to the Bay of Quinte. Each year, a new nest site was established. Hopefully, this trend continues with another nest in 2019. 

 “The return of these top predators to the Bay of Quinte and their successful nesting is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. Collecting data on how the Ospreys/Eagles are doing, will assist us with ensuring the Bay doesn’t return to the conditions that required a Remedial Action Plan in the first place”. - Sarah Midlane-Jones, BQRAP Communications.

Or contact: Sarah Midlane-Jones, Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan, 613-394-3915 ext. 214, smidlanejones@bqrap.ca

Christine Jennings, Quinte Conservation, 613-968-3434 ext. 106, cjennings@quinteconservation.ca  

Visit the nest sites throughout the season and post comments and photos of the birds for everyone to enjoy.

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Osprey Fact Sheet
 

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Lake Ontario/Bay of Quinte - Current Water Levels

BQRAP Annual Report 2020

Healthy Soils Check-up Program - Farmers you could be eligible for FREE soil testing. More Info...

Landowner Stewardship Programs - Check out all the funding programs Here.....

Septic Stewardship Program... More Info  Find out if you are eligible for a free septic tank pump out and up to 80% cost sharing for minor repairs.

A Summer of Science on the Bay. Follow as we highlight our partner agencies' summer monitoring.

1. Quinte Conservation

2. Environment and Climate Change Canada (EC)

3. Coastal Wetland Monitoring

4. EC and Canadian Centre for Inland Waters

5. Fisheries and Oceans Canada

6. Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Blue-Green Algae ...  More Info

Water Soldier - Find out about the impacts of this invasive plant on the Bay of Quinte 

Project Quinte 2017 Report
A multi-agency research and monitoring program for the Bay of Quinte

Ontario's Great Lakes Strategy - More here

Great Lakes Protection Act Here

Quinte Area Bird Report The Quinte Area Bird Report is updated weekly. Read more....