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Quinte Conservation Concerned about Farmers Losing Valuable Soil

Potter's Creek
Sediment flowing into Potter's Creek and the Bay of Quinte after a rainfall

Quinte Conservation wants to help farmers along Potter’s Creek who may be losing valuable soil to erosion. Environmental Technician Christine Jennings says, “Much of the land along Potter’s Creek is being used for agriculture. When the land is farmed right to the creek’s edge this increases the risk of erosion and farmers can lose valuable top soil.”

Jennings says, “The way to avoid this problem is for farmers to create a buffer strip of vegetation between the land being actively farmed and the water’s edge. Having a buffer acts as a filter for the surface water that runs off the land into our waterways. It also holds sediment and soils in place preventing it from washing away. We are launching a new program to help farmers deal with this problem.”

Quinte Conservation is introducing a voluntary pilot project designed to financially compensate agricultural landowners who farm next to Potter’s Creek. Funding will be provided as an incentive to leave flood prone areas and the creek’s edge in a natural condition. Quinte Conservation is proposing to lease the land immediately adjacent to Potter’s Creek and take it out of tillage and crop production in order to protect the valuable soil resource. Staff will be available to assist the landowners through the process of establishing a buffer and will find out if funding is possible to plant native trees and shrubs.

Jennings adds, “Potter’s Creek has been identified as a contributor to phosphorus and nutrient loadings into the Bay of Quinte. We are interested in reducing phosphorus and nutrient loading as they directly contribute to the growth of algae particularly, harmful blue-green algae blooms. The sedimentation that is visibly evident during rain and spring runoff events is harmful to fish. Landowners with agricultural property bordering Potter’s Creek can play a key role in the reduction of phosphorus, nutrient loading and erosion leading to a healthier environment for the entire community.”

Quinte Conservation staff will be sending out information on the new program to agricultural landowners and will also be visiting them with information. This project was undertaken with the financial support of Environment Canada.

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. It provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership. Quinte Conservation’s main goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony.

For more information:
Jennifer May-Anderson
Jennifer May-Anderson
Communications Manager
(613) 968-3434 ext. 125
(613) 354-3312 ext. 125

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