|The Rideau River Biodiversity Project|
Three Productive Years of Research
Can we swim in the Rideau River without risking our health?
This simple question, posed in the early 1990s by the residents of Ottawa-Carleton, was the beginning of the Rideau River Biodiversity Project, a three-year study that has painted a detailed portrait of the River.
To respond to concerns of residents, the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (as the region was formerly named) joined the Canadian Museum of Nature in 1995 in a study of the quality of the River's water, its microscopic algae, and the spread of zebra mussels (an invading exotic species). The study concentrated on the stretch of the River that passes through Ottawa.
As public interest mounted, and thanks to the contributions of various financial partners, the field of study was expanded in 1998 to develop a more complete picture of the Rideau River.
Seven areas of study were added: fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, indigenous freshwater mussels, aquatic invertebrates and aquatic plants. The length of the Rideau River to be studied was stretched from Smiths Falls to the Ottawa River.
The Rideau River Biodiversity Project was initiated with the goal of recording the River's biodiversity, of determining its bill of health, and of working towards its preservation, all with the close co-operation of the community.
Over the course of the summer of 2000, the scientists witnessed just what a jewel we have in the Rideau River. Discover for yourself what animals live in it, what plants grow in it and learn whether, at the time of the study, it was possible to swim in it ... in perfect safety!
|Last Update: 2007-05-22|
|A Canadian Museum of Nature Web site. © nature.ca|