In 2001 and 2007, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority published The Upper Thames Watershed Report Cards to summarize environmental information for each of the 28 watersheds within the greater Upper Thames River watershed. The report cards contain detailed information on water quality, forest conditions and other parameters. A grade is given in each report card for Surface Water Quality and Forest Conditions. This information is intended to guide local environmental action and provide a benchmark for environmental progress.
The Coves subwatershed is a part of the Forks watershed. Under Resources (bottom of page) you will find the Watershed Report Cards prepared for The Forks by the Upper Thames Regional Conservation Authority in 2001 and 2007.
The 2007 Forks Report Card shows the watershed has experienced a slight improvement in surface water quality, seen by a decrease in phosphorus and bacteria levels and an increase in the quality of benthic organisms. Disappointingly, the forest conditions have remained steady since the last report card at a level lower than the average for the Upper Thames watershed and lower than what is deemed necessary to sustain local populations of native plants and animals.
The 2012 Watershed Report Card is available now from the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. Surface Water Quality has remained steady with a grade of D. Forest Conditions has also remained steady with a grade of D. You can review the report card by looking below under Resouces. Some highlights of progress in the Forks watershed include native plantings, pollution control upgrades, watershed awareness program, and trail improvement projects.
What can you do to improve the Forks environment?
- Leave wild areas on your property undisturbed and plant native vegetation wherever possible (contact us for advice on plant selection)
- If your property abuts a waterway, naturalize the shoreline with native vegetation
- If you have a large commercial or private property consider a naturalization project for unused areas
- If your property abuts a natural area, know the property line and do not encroach on the natural area by cutting trees or other vegetation within it
- Never dump yard waste in natural areas - this smothers native vegetation, causes slope instability and can introduce non-native and/or invasive species and diseases
- Reduce the amount of surface runoff from your property (see our Pollution Solutions project for suggestions) and don't dump anything into storm drains which you would not want to swim in
- Be very careful with fertilizer application - make sure you actually need it first using testing kits available at garden centres and do not overapply
- Pick up after your pet
- Keep an eye on construction projects to ensure that sediment control measures have been taken
- Encourage your neighbours to make smart choices and be aware of their environment as well