The Old Ausable Channel (OAC) is a unique habitat formed from two cuts to the Ausable River, near Grand Bend, ON. It is home to numerous Species at Risk, including the Pugnose Shiner.
Duncan and Heather are two of the residents that call the OAC watershed home. They noticed excessive Eurasian water-milfoil growth; an invasive plant that forms thick mats and interferes with kayaking, as well as outcompeting native plants, reducing biodiversity and depleting oxygen levels.
In July 2019, they started removing the invasive plant from the section of the channel behind their home, hand-raking and composting it between mid-July to October to avoid disturbing spawning fish. They repeated the process in 2020 and have had remarkable success.
Their story shows the positive impact that residents can have when they choose to become active stewards of the land and water around them. Their work has inspired neighbours and garnered recognition from the local Conservation Authority (ABCA).
Nearest city or town: Grand Bend
Project start date: July 15, 2019
Project focus: Combination of Education, Restoration, and Monitoring
Project contact: Rosalind Chang