The Carp River falls under the regulatory authority of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA). Permits are required for alteration of shoreline and construction on or near the river and its wetlands.
Many landowners have chosen to work with MVCA to improve their shoreline through tree and shrub planting, which stabilizes the bank to reduce erosion. Trees will eventually grow tall enough to shade the river, reducing vegetation growth and keeping the water cool. A dense planting of shrubs like red osier dogwood along the shoreline also deters Canada Geese, which prefer a clear flight line to/from water.
Rural Clean Water Program
Rural landowners can also take advantage of the city’s Rural Clean Water Program, which offers incentive grants and technical assistance from conservation authorities to help farmers and rural landowners with projects and practices that improve and protect surface and ground water quality.
Projects that may receive partial funding include:
- Land Retirement
- On Farm chemical/fuel/pesticide storage and handling
- Manure storage
- Nutrient Management Plans
- Livestock fencing, alternate watering, small stream crossings
- Precision Farming
- Erosion control (outlet protection, minor control structure, shore stabilization)
- Shoreline planting/Buffer or Windbreak
- Well decommissioning
For more information on whether you qualify and how to apply, please see these resources:
MVCA Rural Clean Water Program – for contact information.
Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program – for detailed information and application forms.
Donate Your Land
We encourage landowners to consider donating land with significant Carp River shoreline and wetlands for conservation. We recommend you contact the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, who will help you find options for protecting your property if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
1. The land is directly on the Carp River and its flood plain.
2. The land includes a significant tributary of the Carp River.
If you are an owner of land that qualifies as “ecologically sensitive”, then it is possible through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Ecological Gift Program to donate all or a portion of your land to an approved land trust or conservation group and receive tax benefits for the fair market value of the land.
There are two methods for “gifting” your land:
1. A direct donation of the land to the approved recipient group where they receive title to the land.
2. The creation of a Conservation Easement for the land, which is monitored by an appropriate group.
“An ecological gift of a conservation easement allows landowners to protect the ecologically sensitive features of their property in perpetuity, retain title, and be eligible for enhanced income tax benefits. Conservation easements are legally binding instruments whereby the landowner transfers specific rights, such as the ability to create building lots or cut trees, to an easement holder (usually a nature conservation organization or agency).” – Environment Canada
Please read the Ecological Gift Program Handbook for details of the process for making an Ecogift (donation or easement), and the significant income tax benefits that can be realized.
The process will involve some legal costs and it will take months to obtain the necessary government ecological sensitivity certificate and fair market value assessment. However, you will have the comfort and satisfaction of knowing that your land is protected for future generations, and your generosity will be recognized by the government in the form of tax credits.