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Get into Action!


Riverside property.
A zone of natural vegetation along the riverbank preserves habitat for animals and prevents erosion.

Get into Action to Help Preserve the River

Sometimes it is enough to modify certain practices or do simple things to help to preserve and improve the biodiversity of the Rideau River. Learn here what you can do for this river or any of the rivers near your home.

Preserve the Shoreline and Its Vegetation
Natural, healthy banks are teeming with life. To help to preserve this biodiversity:

Bullet. Leave or replant at least a 3 m-wide buffer of vegetation, such as cattails and other native plants, shrubs and trees. This provides habitat for animals and other plants, and minimizes shoreline erosion from rain runoff and boat wakes.
Bullet. Let natural debris such as driftwood and fallen trees accumulate as much as possible. It provides shelter for animals and rest areas for turtles.
Bullet. Slow your boat in narrow channels in order to minimize waves and shoreline erosion.
Preserve Native Species
Red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans.
Aquarium pets, like this red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) should not be released into the river.
Bullet. Protect wetlands and weedy spots along the shore. These are some of the best spots for animals to live.
Bullet. Wash and dry your boat and other water-recreation equipment to avoid transferring zebra mussels to other water bodies or further upstream.
Bullet. Empty bait buckets and drain livewells on land before leaving the vicinity of the water body to prevent transfer of organisms from one water body to another.
Bullet. Don't dump aquarium species of plants, invertebrates, fish, amphibians or reptiles into the river. These exotic species compete with and threaten the survival of native species. Instead, find them a new aquarium home or bring them to a pet store.
Bullet. Don't remove wildlife from the river. Take only the shells of dead animals, and practice catch-and-release fishing. Remember, permits are required for the removal of amphibians and reptiles from the river.
Preserve Water Quality
Bullet. Reduce the amount of chemicals you use in your garden, and keep soap and other sources of phosphates out of the water. Rain washes these fertilizers and pesticides into storm drains that run directly into the river. Fertilizers cause explosive plant and algae growth in the river.
Cows drinking in the Rideau River.
To preserve the riverbanks and the quality of the water, keep cattle away from the river.
Bullet. Protect wetlands and weedy spots along the shore. These areas act as natural water filters.
Bullet. Keep domestic animals and cattle far from the river. This will preserve both the water quality and the riverbanks.
Bullet. Regularly pump out your septic tank.
Bullet. Do not pour soapy water, oil or paint into storm drains. They lead directly to the river, so the fluids are not treated.
Yes, Your Actions Count!
The Rideau River Canal Waterway is similar to the historically important Trent-Severn Waterway, which links Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay on Lake Huron over a distance of 386 km.

During the early 1990s, the Trent-Severn Waterway suffered from several serious problems. Among them was excessive algae growth that resulted from excess fertilizers. This situation was similar to that found along the Rideau River during the Project.

Happily, with the collaboration of governments, environmental groups and citizens, vast improvements have since been made to the Trent-Severn. Through cooperation, the team tackled the improvement of water treatment, reduction of agricultural pollution, tree-planting, shoreline rehabilitation, ecosystem monitoring and public awareness campaigns.

All of this hard work has paid off: algae growth has been reduced, wildlife is more abundant, and of course we humans can enjoy the Trent-Severn Waterway a lot more!


A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Canadian Museum of Nature, Paul Hamilton, Jean Lauriault