Reconnecting Canada

 

Culverts can have significant impacts on streams in different ways, including the degradation of water quality, creating barriers to the migration of fish and other animals, and altering stream flows.

 

Program Summary

Reconnecting Canada is a multi-year conservation program run by Trout Unlimited Canada with the goal of reconnecting rivers and streams severed by culverts. The program was initiated in 2015 with the goal to reconnect a million miles of waterways across the country. Culverts can have significant impacts on streams in different ways, including the degradation of water quality, creating barriers to the migration of fish and other animals, and altering stream flows.  Public awareness of this issue is considered low, therefore raising awareness and inspiring action will be a key driver in the implementation of the Reconnecting Canada program. The successful implementation of the Reconnecting Canada Education and Outreach program will require partnership with communities, conservation organizations, industry, and various levels of government. Communities and volunteers can play a key role in this program by taking part in culvert assessments and data gathering and partnering on the implementation of streamcrossing remediation projects.

Conservation Objectives

The conservation objectives of this program are derived from TUC’s National Conservation Agenda (NCA) which guides the organization’s programing. The following four themes outline TUC’s priorities:

Water Quality

  • Return the historical quality of Canada’s freshwater ecosystems impacted by poor practices of culvert installation and maintenance over time
  • Reduce higher rates of erosion and sediment load in rivers resulting from culverts

Water Quantity

  • Restore natural flow regime where it has been impacted by culverts

Freshwater Habitats

  • Restore degraded freshwater ecosystems to as natural a state as possible
  • Prevent future habitat degradation through the use of best management practices on the installation of new stream crossings

Fish Communities

  • Increase the amount of habitat available to aquatic freshwater species
  • Provide access to a variety of habitats required for reproduction, feeding, and overwintering
Reconnecting Dickies Creek

Reconnecting Dickies Creek

Written by Lesley Peterson, Director of Conservation Like many communities in Ontario, the town of Lucknow owes part of its history to the establishment of a mill pond. The Mill Pond Dam in Lucknow, ON was first built in 1856 to support an adjacent wool mill and...

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Cold, Clean, Complex, Culverted?

Cold, Clean, Complex, Culverted?

Cold, Clean, Complex, Culverted? By Lili-Maude Craig, Fisheries Technician Culverts can effectively convey water below a roadway; however, they are not always suitable passageways for stream inhabitants, especially when inadequately sized. Undersized culverts funnel...

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Girardi Creek Habitat Restoration

Girardi Creek Habitat Restoration

Girardi Creek is a small mountain stream located just west of Coleman, in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. It originates from snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains and tumbles down a steep mountain valley before meeting the Crowsnest River, downstream of Crowsnest Lake. Girardi...

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Not Just Another Dam Project

Not Just Another Dam Project

Not Just Another Dam Project By Lili-Maude Craig, Fisheries Technician Beavers have been removed from much of their historical range in North America, and the consequences of their absence are apparent in arid landscapes like those found in southern Alberta. These...

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