The Mighty Trent
and Lower Trent Conservation Watershed
The mighty and beautiful Trent River carves a sinuous and scenic ninety kilometre route from Rice Lake south to the Bay of Quinte (Lake Ontario). It is the jewel of the watershed. The river and rivage are host to numerous and essential species of birds, waterfowl, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
The Lower Trent Conservation Authority (LTC) was formed in 1968 to manage and protect the water, wildlife and natural resources within the watershed.
“Scientists have been warning about global warming for decades.
It’s too late to stop it now, but we can lessen its severity and impacts.”*
On 1st June the LTC announced that the area is suffering from drought conditions and as a result is now under a Level 1 Low Water Alert. Level one means a voluntary reduction in water usage and LTC is asking for each household/business to curtail their consumption by 10% – not much, right?
Inescapable truth: People-generated pollution is damaging the Earth’s climate.
Humans are taking more from this planet than it can manage, more than we shall ever be able to return. Our immediate problem is that Mother Nature is no longer tolerating our excesses, apathy and neglect and the signs of her resistance are becoming harder and harder to ignore.
Here in Northumberland County an obvious climate change indicator is the current drought which is adversely affecting our well water levels, our gardens, our farms and now, the Lower Trent watershed.
Winter snowfall and its runoff and spring rains increase the river’s volume but this winter was drier than normal and there has been very little rain in the area this spring.
The shale, loose stone and scrabble in the foreground of the above shot is typically under water at this time of year. As you can see, the river is barely half its usual width. And very shallow.
So many environmental concerns seem vague and intangible, mostly because they don’t directly affect our home life, our neighbourhood or our province but yesterday I had a chance to observe for myself how global warming has damaged my home county. I was shocked by the very low water level of the Trent River.
Except for the top two, these shots were all taken yesterday, mid-river, standing in the water, just south of Campbellford as it winds its way south around Meyers Island and through Meyersburg.
In this shot I have one foot on an exposed rock and one foot in the river. I was easily and comfortably able to walk across the river and back several times and I think you can see in a couple of the shots how very shallow the water is — maximum depth throughout this area is two inches or less; not even enough to float a kayak. The water was surprisingly warm.
Lest you think I’m prone to exaggeration or creating a mountain out of a mole hill, the above shot is the same vista as the top picture. Winter vs spring, on the bridge vs in the river. Otherwise, the same.
Earth and its natural world is our home, it is essential to our survival. Surely, then, it is in our very best interest to protect, conserve and cherish it!
’Til next time, y’all…