Transcript: Appreciating the Credit River, Then and Now | Jul 31, 2020

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a purple blazer over a black blouse, and a golden pendant necklace.

A caption on screen reads "Appreciating the Credit River, then and now. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says IT'S BEEN A VERY HOT SUMMER, AND ON TOP OF THAT THE NEED TO PHYSICALLY DISTANCE HAS LED US TO GET OUTSIDE TO EXPLORE NATURE. AS TVO TURNS 50 THIS YEAR, WE'RE REACHING BACK TO OUR ARCHIVES FOR A LOOK AT SOME VERY ONTARIO STORIES. 2006 ALSO HAD SOME SCORCHING TEMPERATURES, AND THE PROGRAM STUDIO II WENT TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE JOYS OF THE CREDIT RIVER. HAVE A LOOK.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Studio 2. May 31, 2006."

An angler stands inside a river holding a fishing rod.

A male voice says I'VE BEEN FISHING THE CREDIT FOR APPROXIMATELY 30 YEARS AND IT'S BEEN GOOD TO ME. THE WATER IS PRETTY. IT'S ONE OF THE LAST TROUT STREAMS IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO THAT'S KEPT ITS QUALITY OF FISHING AND THE CLARITY OF THE WATER, AND IT'S JUST THAT IT'S SO CLOSE TO HOME. YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE A 35... 40-MINUTE DRIVE FOR ME, SO I CAN BE HERE IN A SHORT TIME.

A map appears on screen showing the location of the Credit River relative to Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Acton and Port Credit.

A different male voice says THE CREDIT RIVER CAPTURES AN AREA THAT'S ABOUT A THOUSAND SQUARE KILOMETRES IN SIZE. IT'S ABOUT 100 MILES FROM THE TOP OF THE WATERSHED, IN ORANGEVILLE, DOWN TO PORT CREDIT. WITHIN THAT AREA, WE CAPTURE THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA AND CITY OF BRAMPTON AND THE TOWN OF CALEDON. WE ALSO HAVE DRAINAGE FROM GEORGETOWN AND ACTON AND ERIN, SO IT'S QUITE AN EXTENSIVE AREA. THE CONSERVATION AREA WAS CREATED ABOUT 60 YEARS AGO TODAY. IT'S A REFLECTION OF COMMUNITY INTEREST IN THE WATER AND THE WATERSHED. IT'S A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE 11 MUNICIPALITIES, THE PROVINCE, AND THE RESIDENTS AND LANDOWNERS WITHIN THE AREA AND WE'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WATERSHED AND ITS MANAGEMENT AND STEWARDSHIP.

The man talking appears on screen. A caption reads "Mike Puddister. Senior Planner, Credit Valley Conservation."

Mike, in his fifties, with a gray mustache an short gray hair says THE CREDIT RIVER IS A VERY IMPORTANT RIVER WITHIN SOUTHERN ONTARIO. THE FISH THAT ARE FOUND WITHIN THE RIVER ARE WORLD RENOWNED. PEOPLE COME FROM EVERYWHERE TO FISH IT, BECAUSE OF THE DIVERSITY OF SPECIES THAT ARE WITHIN THE RIVER AND THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE THAT CAN BE FOUND IN MANY AREAS, SUCH AS THE FORKS OF THE CREDIT.

Another man sits by riverside.

The caption changes to "John Pawlowski. Sport Fisherman."

John, in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair, says THE SOUND OF THE WATER OVER THE RIPPLES AND EVERYTHING AND HOPING THAT THERE'S A FISH BEHIND EACH BOLDER AND JUST WALKING DOWN THE RIVER AND PRACTISING MY WADING, PRACTISING MY CASTING, SEEING A RISING TROUT. THAT CHALLENGE IS THERE. AS SOON AS YOU SEE A RISING TROUT, THE CHALLENGE IS THERE. HE'S THERE AND I'M HERE AND THEN WE'RE GOING TO PLAY THAT GAME. I'LL CAST AND HE'LL LOOK AT THE FLY. IF HE DOESN'T LIKE IT, I'LL CHANGE MY FLY. I'LL CAST AGAIN, HE'LL MAKE ANOTHER MOVE FOR IT, AND IF YOU DIDN'T SPOOK HIM, HE'LL COME FOR IT. IT'S A GREAT PLACE TO BE, IT REALLY IS.

Fast clips show old family photos inside an album, including pictures of a toddler girl.

John continues MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN IN 1986, AND I BROUGHT HER UP HERE FOR HER FIRST SUMMER WHEN SHE WAS SIX MONTHS OLD IN A PACK SACK, AND I'D CARRY HER UP AND DOWN THE RIVER WHILE I FISHED BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO BABYSIT IN TORONTO. AND THEN LATER ON WHEN SHE WAS LIKE TWO YEARS OLD, I GAVE HER A FISHING ROD AND I MADE SURE THAT SHE WOULDN'T GET TOO WET, AND I TAUGHT HER HOW TO CAST A FLY, AND SHE WAS MY COMPANY. WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER IN HER FORMATIVE YEARS, LIKE WHEN SHE WAS 7 AND 8 YEARS OLD, 9 YEARS OLD, SHE'D FISH WITH ME OR TWO THREE TIMES A WEEK. NOW THAT SHE'S A TEENAGER, ONCE EVERY THREE WEEKS, ONCE EVERY FOUR WEEKS, YEAH. BUT SHE STILL LIKES IT.

The caption changes to "Julianna Pawlowski."

Julianna, in her teens, with short blond hair, says I'VE BEEN FISHING WITH MY DAD FOR ABOUT 17 YEARS, EVER SINCE I WAS A LITTLE BABY. AND THE PART THAT I LIKE ABOUT FISHING IS THAT IT'S QUIET. THERE'S NOT THAT MANY PEOPLE AROUND. I GET TO SPEND TIME WITH MY DAD THAT I DON'T USUALLY GET TO SPEND WITH HIM. AND IT'S BEAUTIFUL AROUND HERE. IT'S PRETTY. YOU GET TO, LIKE, CHILL. I'VE NOTICED THAT THERE'S MORE PEOPLE HERE THAN WHEN I WAS LITTLE. BEFORE WHEN WE CAME FISHING, THERE NEVER USED TO BE THAT MANY PEOPLE AROUND. BUT WE ALWAYS SEE PEOPLE COMING DOWN THE RIVER WHEN WE'RE FISHING AND WE SEE OTHER PEOPLE. I THINK MY DAD IS CATCHING SMALLER FISH. I DON'T THINK HE'S CATCHING AS MANY BIG FISH AS HE USED TO. MAYBE THAT'S A DIFFERENCE THAN WHEN I WAS YOUNGER.

John says THE SIZE OF THE FISH IN THE CREDIT RIVER HAVE BEEN GOING DOWNHILL BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE TAKING FISH OUT HERE, AND THEY'RE COMING BACK. THERE'S MORE, LIKE, SINCE LAST YEAR WHEN THEY IMPLEMENTED A LITTLE BIT OF A NO KILL IN CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE WATER, ESPECIALLY TROUT UNLIMITED DID A LOT OF WORK OUT HERE, THERE'S A LOT MORE FISH THAN THERE WAS FIVE OR SIX YEARS AGO, AND IT MAKES IT MORE INTERESTING, A LITTLE MORE INTERESTING.

As John and Julianna stand in the river holding their rods, John says THERE'S A BIG ONE OVER THERE.

Mike says THE RIVER AND ITS WATERSHED HAVE BEEN FACING INCREDIBLE CHALLENGES OVER THE LAST 20 TO 25 YEARS. WITH ALL THE GROWTH THAT'S BEING EXPERIENCED WITHIN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA. THE WATERSHED IS SITTING RIGHT ON THE BOUNDARY OF THE GTA, AND SO WE'RE GETTING A LOT OF GROWTH PRESSURES FROM THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF OUR WATERSHED. THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA IS VIRTUALLY COMPLETELY DEVELOPED AT THIS POINT, AND THE CITY OF BRAMPTON IS NOW GROWING FROM EAST TO WEST. SO URBANIZATION IS PROBABLY THE GREATEST THREAT CURRENTLY BEING EXPERIENCED IN THE WATERSHED.

As clips show birds bathing in the river and others flying in the sky, a song plays that says FROM THE SEA AND THE HILLS ON TO LAKE ONTARIO THIS TRUSTING RIVER THE NATIVE RAIDERS WOULD GO...

John says IT'S SO CLOSE TO TORONTO AND YET IT'S 15 degrees COOLER UP HERE IN THE SUMMER TIME. IF YOU WANT TO COOL OFF, THIS IS THE PLACE TO COME TO. IT'S PRETTY, ESPECIALLY IN JULY IN THE EVENING AND THE BIRDS START SINGING. OOH. PEACE AND QUIET, IT REALLY IS. ALL THE TROUBLES, THEY MELT, THEY DISAPPEAR. LIKE, I CAN'T WAIT TO WAKE UP IN THE MORNING TO GET HERE. I FALL ASLEEP IN ABOUT TWO SECONDS AND, OH, ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY TO GO TO THE TROUT STREAM. THAT'S THE WAY I THINK ABOUT IT. I LOVE IT.

The song continues FROM THE HIGHLANDS OF THE NIAGARA WHERE THE CREDIT RIVER FLOWS...

As John and Julianna walk away, he says MAYBE TOMORROW I'LL CATCH A BIGGER ONE.

The clip ends.

An animated slate reads "The Agenda in the Summer 2020 Update."

Nam says WELL, THAT ALMOST 100 KILOMETRES OF RIVER THAT SPANS IN THE NORTH FROM ORANGEVILLE THROUGH CALEDON AND DOWN TO MISSISSAUGA IS AS POPULAR AS EVER. WITH US NOW FOR AN UPDATE FROM THE CREDIT VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY, IN THORNHILL, ONTARIO, DEBORAH MARTIN-DOWNS, CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR OFFICER...

Deborah is in her fifties, with short red hair. She's wearing glasses, a gray blouse and a matching beaded necklace.

Nam continues AND IN BRAMPTON, JEFF PAYNE, DEPUTY CAO AND DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES...

Jeff is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing a blue suit and a checkered shirt.

Nam continues WELCOME TO YOU BOTH.

Deborah says THANK YOU. IT'S NICE TO BE HERE.

Nam says YOU BOTH WORK AT THE CREDIT VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY. LOOKING AT THAT PIECE ON THE CREDIT RIVER, 14 YEARS AFTER IT FIRST AIRED ON TVO, WHAT STANDS OUT TO YOU? DEBORAH, I'LL START WITH YOU.

The caption changes to "Deborah Martins-Downs. Credit Valley Conservation Authority."

Deborah says THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS IT ACTUALLY LOOKS VERY MUCH THE SAME AND I THINK IN A HIGHLY URBANIZED ENVIRONMENT IS A PRETTY GOOD NEWS STORY. MY PREDECESSOR, WHO WAS IN THE FILM, HE JUST RETIRED LAST YEAR AFTER 30 YEARS WITH CREDIT VALLEY, AND THE STRESSORS THAT HE NOTED ARE STILL THE ONES THAT WE'RE DEALING WITH TODAY AS WELL.

Nam says WE'LL TALK MORE ABOUT THAT. JEFF, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THAT, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The caption changes to "Jeff Payne. Credit Valley Conservation Authority."

Jeff says TWO THINGS STAND OUT TO ME WHEN I LOOK AT THAT CLIP. FIRST, PEOPLE CONTINUE TO COME TO THE WATERSHED AND THE CREDIT RIVER FOR THEIR RECREATIONAL PURSUITS, BE IT FISHING, HIKING, PADDLING, OR JUST BEING OUTDOORS. ACTIVITIES THAT RESIDENTS AND VISITORS ALIKE ENJOY AT OUR CREDIT VALLEY CONSERVATION AREAS. AND SECONDLY THE SENSE OF THE LOVE OF THE CREDIT RIVER AND THE GRASS ROOTS COMMUNITY DESIRE TO HELP PROTECT. THAT REMAINS TRUE TODAY. IT'S EVERY BIT AS STRONG 50 YEARS LATER.

Nam says I USED TO LIVE CLOSE TO THERE. I USED TO GO TO THE RIVERWOOD CONSERVATORY WITH MY CHILDREN, AND IT'S JUST SO BEAUTIFUL. FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIVE IN THE AREA, WE DO HAVE A MAP THAT YOU GAVE US, AND THE MAP SHOWS HOW BIG THE CREDIT VALLEY... THE CREDIT RIVER WATERSHED IS, EXCUSE ME. DEBORAH, CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH THIS MAP AND TELL US, GENERALLY SPEAKING, WHAT WE'RE SEEING?

A map pops up showing the Credit River Watershed, which overlaps with several counties throughout its journey to the lake.

The caption changes to "Deborah Martins-Downs, @CVC_CAO."

Deborah says SURE. SO THE CREDIT RIVER WATERSHED IS ABOUT A THOUSAND SQUARE KILOMETRES AND 100 KILOMETRES LONG, AS YOU'VE ALREADY NOTED. IT TAKES US FROM THE TOWN OF ORANGEVILLE ALL THE WAY THROUGH CALEDON, THROUGH PART OF THE TOWN OF HALTON HILLS AS WELL, THROUGH BRAMPTON, AND THEN EVENTUALLY THROUGH THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA WHERE IT EMPTIES INTO LAKE ONTARIO. THE WATERSHED IS HOME TO ALMOST A MILLION PEOPLE NOW, AND 87 percent OF THAT POPULATION LIVES IN BRAMPTON AND MISSISSAUGA. SO IT IS VERY CONCENTRATED. AND THEN THE OTHER PART OF THE WATERSHED THAT'S KIND OF IMPORTANT FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL PIECE IS THAT THE TOP END IS VERY RURAL, WHERE IT SORT OF HAS THAT LITTLE INDENT, IT GOES INTO A VERY URBAN ENVIRONMENT. THE RURAL NATURE OF THE WATERSHED HELPS TO PROTECT THE BOTTOM END OF THE WATERSHED.

Nam says IT REALLY TAKES MY BREATH AWAY TO KNOW THAT... WELL, ONTARIO IS A VERY BEAUTIFUL PROVINCE. BUT FOR PEOPLE TO BASICALLY WALK OUTSIDE THEIR DOOR AND IT'S THERE, JEFF, WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHANGE TO THE REGION OVER THE PAST 14 YEARS?

Jeff says WITHOUT A DOUBT, THE BIGGEST CHANGE HAS BEEN IN POPULATION. THE POPULATION OF THE CREDIT RIVER WATERSHED HAS INCREASED BY NEARLY 240,000 PEOPLE IN THAT 15-YEAR PERIOD. THAT'S A 35 percent INCREASE IN JUST THAT SHORT A PERIOD OF TIME. THIS GROWTH HAS RESULTED IN SIGNIFICANT LAND USE CHANGES. WITH MORE PEOPLE, THERE'S MORE DEVELOPMENT. THAT MEANS MORE PAVEMENT, MORE HARD SURFACES, AND LESS GREENSPACE. SO THE GROWTH IS RESULTING IN INTENSIFICATION, WHICH INCLUDES HIGH-RISES AND VERTICAL DEVELOPMENTS AND SMALLER LOTS. AND THIS GENERALLY MEANS LESS OUTDOOR SPACE FOR PEOPLE, WHICH MAKES CONSERVATION AREAS EVEN THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TODAY THAN THEY WERE 15 YEARS AGO. THE GREENBELT PLAN, I THINK EVERYONE IN ONTARIO IS FAMILIAR WITH IT, IDENTIFIES WHERE URBANIZATION SHOULD NOT HAPPEN IN ORDER TO PROVIDE PERMANENT PROTECTION TO THE AGRICULTURAL LAND BASE AND ECOLOGICAL FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS THAT OCCUR ON THE NATURAL LANDSCAPE. THOSE REGULATIONS ARE VERY IMPORTANT PROTECTING THESE RURAL AREAS OF OUR WATERSHED.

Nam says YOU KNOW, YOU MENTIONED THAT THERE'S MORE DEVELOPMENT, MORE PEOPLE USING THE SPACES BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IT'S OUTDOOR SPACE FOR THEM. DOES THAT HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE WATERSHED, JEFF?

Jeff says I WOULDN'T SAY THE NUMBER OF VISITORS IN AND OF ITSELF, EITHER THROUGH OUR PARKS OR WITHIN THE WATERSHED, IS EITHER A GOOD OR A BAD THING FROM THAT POINT OF VIEW. IF WE TAKE OUR PARKS, FOR EXAMPLE, WE'VE WORKED REALLY HARD TO BUILD THE CAPACITY OF OUR SYSTEM TO ENSURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO HAVE A BALANCE BETWEEN RECREATION AND CONSERVATION. AND THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO US. WE SEE EVERY VISITOR THAT COMES TO US AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO INFORM AND EDUCATE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF NATURAL GREENSPACES. FOR NOT ONLY THE PROTECTION OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS, BUT ALSO THE IMPORTANT ROLE NATURAL GREENSPACES PLAY IN HUMAN HEALTH. THE RAPID GROWTH HAS INDEED BEEN A CHALLENGE, AND IT'S HAD A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE LANDSCAPE. BUT WE'VE WORKED REALLY HARD WITH OUR MUNICIPAL PARTNERS TO IMPLEMENT NEW SOLUTIONS TO HELP MITIGATE AND OFFSET THE IMPACTS OF THIS GROWTH.

Nam says DO YOU ALSO THINK THAT WHEN PEOPLE HAVE OWNERSHIP OVER SOMETHING, THAT IF PEOPLE DO GO OUT AND ENJOY THE SPACE AND THEY FEEL LIKE IT'S A PART OF THEIR COMMUNITY, DO YOU FIND THAT PEOPLE BECOME MORE INVESTED IN CONSERVING IT AND TAKING CARE OF IT?

Jeff says ABSOLUTELY. THE NUMBER OF VISITORS THAT WE'VE SEEN OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS HAS INCREASED BY NEARLY 160 percent. SO IN 2010, WE SAW ABOUT 350,000 VISITORS. AND BY 2019, WE'RE OVER 900,000, ABOUT 905,000 PEOPLE COMING THROUGH OUR PARK SYSTEM. JUST TO GIVE YOU SOME KIND OF A PERSPECTIVE ON THAT, ICONIC ALGONQUIN NATIONAL PARK THAT EVERYBODY IS FAMILIAR WITH, IN 2019 SAW ABOUT A MILLION VISITORS. OUR CONSERVATION AREAS, IN A FRACTION OF THAT SPACE, SAW 900,000 VISITORS AND THAT'S AMAZING WHEN YOU COMPARE THE SPACE WE HAVE TO THE VASTNESS OF ALGONQUIN. SO TRULY I THINK THOSE OPPORTUNITIES TO EDUCATE AND INFORM PEOPLE ARE REALLY IMPORTANT FOR FUTURE CONSERVATIONISTS AND ALSO JUST THE OVERALL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF ONTARIANS.

Nam says AND THAT CLIP THAT WE SHOWED EARLIER, FROM 14 YEARS AGO, DEBORAH, WE SAW A FATHER AND DAUGHTER FLY FISHING. IS THAT STILL SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE DO ON THE CREDIT?

Deborah says ABSOLUTELY. THERE'S QUITE A STRONG FLY-FISHING CONTINGENT THAT COMES OUT TO THE RIVER. IN FACT ONE OF OUR BOARD MEMBERS ON OUR FOUNDATION IS AN AVID FLY FISHERMAN AND HE JOINED THE FOUNDATION SO HE COULD HELP MAKE SURE HE COULD ALSO FLY FISH ON THE CREDIT RIVER AND HE ALSO WANTED TO GET INSIDER INFORMATION AS TO WHERE THE BEST PLACES TO FISH WERE. BUT PEOPLE ARE REALLY TRYING TO GIVE BACK. WE HAVE ORGANIZATIONS LIKE TROUT UNLIMITED WHO ARE TYPICALLY FLY FISHERMEN AS WELL WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH US TO RESTORE THE RIVER AND TO PARTICIPATE IN HABITAT RESTORATION AND JUST IN GENERAL GIVE BACK TO THE RIVER SO THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE TO PURSUE THEIR PAST TIMES.

Nam says AND HOW IS THE FISH POPULATION DOING?

Deborah says WELL, WE HAVE SOME GOOD NEWS-BAD NEWS STORIES. SO THE GOOD NEWS STORIES ARE THAT BROOK TROUT IS OUR SIGNATURE SPECIES IN THE CREDIT, AND THEY ARE STILL A VERY PROMINENT SPECIES. THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED SOME UP-AND-DOWN DECLINES OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, BUT THEY'RE STILL PRESENT AND THAT GIVES US A POPULATION TO WORK WITH AND SOMETHING TO RESTORE. THEY'RE VERY SENSITIVE. THE BROOK TROUT SAY WE WANT REALLY COLD WATER, WE WANT VERY CLEAN WATER, AND WE WANT NO CONTAMINANTS IN THAT WATER. SO IF THEY GET ALL THOSE CONDITIONS AND STRONG GROUNDWATER CONTRIBUTIONS AS WELL, THEN THEY CONTINUE TO THRIVE. SO WE KNOW THAT THEY'RE DOING WELL. WE ALSO HAVE A NUMBER OF OTHER LAKE SPECIES THAT COME IN. WE HAVE STOCKED CHINOOK SALMON AND COHO SALMON AND THEY MAKE A GREAT RUN OF SALMON IN THE LOWER WATERSHED IN THE SEASON SO WE HAVE A LOT OF FISHERMEN DOWN THERE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THOSE HUGE FISH THAT COME IN. WE ALSO SINCE '05 HAVE HAD ATLANTIC SALMON RESTOCKED IN THE RIVER. AND ATLANTIC SALMON WERE A HUGE SPECIES IN LAKE ONTARIO AND ALL THE TRIBUTARIES ALONG THE NORTH SHORE OF LAKE ONTARIO HAD HUGE RUNS OF SALMON. BUT WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT BACK IN THE 1800S WHEN THE AREA WAS BEING SETTLED, THERE WERE A LOT OF DAMS INSTALLED. THERE WAS A LOT OF PEOPLE FISHING FOR THE FISH FOR THEIR FOOD SUPPLY. AND THEN CLEARING OF THE LAND. SO ULTIMATELY WE ACTUALLY, WHAT WE CALL EXTIRPATED ATLANTIC SALMON, SO THEY WERE EXTINGUISHED FROM LAKE ONTARIO AND THEY ARE WORKING NOW TO TRY TO BRING THEM BACK TO LAKE ONTARIO, SO BRING BACK THE SALMON IS THE PROGRAM. SO WE'VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN GETTING SOME BACK IN THE RIVER, BUT NOT TO THE EXTENT THAT WE WERE HOPING THEY WOULD. OVERALL, LOTS OF FISH IN THE RIVER. LOTS OF GOOD TROUT AND SALMON IN THE RIVER FOR PEOPLE TO FISH FOR. BUT LOTS OF WORK WE NEED TO DO TO RESTORE THEIR HABITAT, TO MAKE BETTER HABITAT FOR THEM SO THEY CAN BE MORE SELF SUSTAINING.

Nam says WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE HEALTH OF THE FISH POPULATION, WHAT DOES THAT SIGNAL ABOUT THE HEALTH OF THE WATERSHED?

Deborah says WELL, I THINK WHEN YOU HAVE... DIVERSITY IS ONE WAY WE LOOK AT WHETHER WE HAVE A HEALTHY SYSTEM. SO IF YOU ONLY HAD ONE KIND OF FISH, THEN IT WOULD SAY... IT COULD SAY IT'S VERY HEALTHY BECAUSE BROOK TROUT SOMETIMES ARE THE ONLY FISH YOU WILL FIND IN AN AREA. BUT IT SIGNALS A VERY NARROW RANGE OF HABIT CONDITION. SO WE HAVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF FISH IN THE RIVER, DIFFERENT KIND OF FISH THAT NEED DIFFERENT KIND OF HABITAT, AND THEY'RE THRIVING. SO IT SAYS TO US THAT THE RIVER HAS GOOD RESILIENCE AND GOOD VARIETY OF CONDITIONS THAT SUPPORT A VARIETY OF ANIMALS IN THE WATER. GO AHEAD.

Nam says NO, SORRY, NOT TO INTERRUPT. JEFF, WHAT IMPACT HAS CLIMATE CHANGE HAD ON THE WATERSHED?

Jeff says I THINK LIKE ALL PARTS OF THE ENVIRONMENT, WE'RE SEEING CLIMATE CHANGE HAVING LASTING AND SUSTAINED IMPACTS, AND I THINK THE CONCERN WE ALL HAVE TO HAVE IS THE RATE AT WHICH THAT CHANGE IS STARTING TO ACCELERATE. SO IN 2006 AL GORE BROUGHT HIS SLIDE SHOW TO THE PUBLIC IN AN ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY CALLED "AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH." THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR CDC. AT THAT TIME WE WERE ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY PRESENT TO THE REGION APPEAL A CASE THAT CLIMATE CHANGE WAS OF LOCAL PRIORITY THAT NEEDED TO BE ADDRESSED LOCALLY. WHILE GLOBAL CHANGE IS OCCURRING, IT IS ABOUT A MULTITUDE OF DIVERSE PEOPLE AND PROGRAMS COMING TOGETHER AT THE LOCAL LEVEL TO MAKE SMALL ACTIONS THAT MAKE A LASTING DIFFERENCE. SO WHAT ARE WE SEEING IN OUR WATERSHED? WE'RE SEEING WARMER SUMMERS. WE'RE SEEING WETTER WINTERS. WE'RE SEEING MORE INTENSE STORMS. AND THIS IS IMPACTING US BOTH IN THE PROGRAMS THAT WE OFFER... SO WE HAVE A MUCH SHORTER WINTER SEASON THAN WE USED TO, NOT ABLE TO OFFER CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING OR PERHAPS AS MUCH ICE FISHING AS WE WOULD IN THE PAST. WE'RE ALSO SEEING STRESSORS IN THE SUMMER WITH LONGER DRIER PERIODS OR THOSE INTENSE STORMS THAT CAUSE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO OUR LANDS. AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE ALL NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT AND WATCHFUL OF.

Nam says YOU KNOW, WE'RE HAVING A LOT OF CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE IMPACT, THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF COVID-19 AND TO MUNICIPALITIES TO THE PURSE STRINGS, SO TO SPEAK. WHAT'S BEING DONE BY LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES TO ADDRESS THE INCREASE IN FLOODING, JEFF?

Jeff says THE INCREASE IN FLOODING, I THINK WE CONTINUE... WE'RE VERY FORTUNATE IN OUR WATERSHED TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF ALL OF OUR MUNICIPALITIES, AND THROUGH THE LEVY AND FROM PEEL A SPECIAL LEVY, SO ADDITIONAL FUNDING THAT THEY PROVIDE, WE ARE MAKING INVESTMENTS TO TRY TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES WITH FLOODING AS BEST WE CAN. ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENTS OR ADVANTAGES OUR WATERSHED HAS, IS WE'VE MADE A TREMENDOUS INVESTMENT IN A NETWORK OF GAUGES THAT HELP US NOT ONLY MONITOR WATER QUALITY BUT ALSO MEASURE THE DEPTH AND SPEED OF THE RIVER, ALLOWING US TO ALERT PEOPLE WHEN THERE ARE DANGERS THAT ARE RESULTING FROM FLOODING. THIS ALLOWS US TO BE MUCH MORE PROACTIVE, TO GET THE WORD OUT TO FIRST RESPONDERS IN THE EVENT OF THESE SITUATIONS. AND BY DOING SO, I THINK THIS REALLY DEMONSTRATES THE LOCAL VALUE OF CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES. WE ARE THE BOOTS ON THE GROUND. WE'RE THE PEOPLE IN PLACE TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE EVERY DAY WHEN IT COMES TO THINGS LIKE FLOODING AND ALSO THE PROTECTION OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND HELPING TO MITIGATE THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE DAY IN AND DAY OUT.

Nam says WE ONLY HAVE ABOUT A minute LEFT, BUT I WANTED TO GET FROM BOTH OF YOU YOUR IMPRESSIONS. YOU KNOW, WHERE IS THERE STILL A LOT OF WORK TO DO WHEN IT COMES TO THE WATERSHED. DEBORAH?

Deborah says WELL, FOR A LOT OF WHAT WE HAVE TO DO, IT COMES BACK TO THE FLOODING AND THE CLIMATE CHANGE PIECE, AND THAT IS WE HAVE TO WORK WITH OUR MUNICIPALITIES TO HELP THEM ADDRESS IMPLEMENTATION OF STORM WATER MANAGEMENT THROUGHOUT THE MUNICIPALITIES. THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA, FOR EXAMPLE, 70 percent OF THE AREA WAS DEVELOPED BEFORE MODERN STORMWATER MANAGEMENT CONTROLS. SO BASICALLY WHEN IT RAINS, EVERYTHING RUNS INTO THE SEWER AND INTO THE RIVER, WHICH MEANS THERE'S NO TIME TO HOLD THAT WATER BACK. SO THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE'RE REALLY WORKING WITH MUNICIPALITIES ON. AND I THINK THE OTHER BIG PIECE IS TO START TO BRING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE BACK INTO OUR COMMUNITIES, AND WHAT I MEAN BY GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IS LOTS OF TREES, LOTS OF PERMEABLE SURFACES TO ABSORB WATER, WHETHER IT'S GREEN ROOFS OR RAIN GARDENS OR BIOSWALES YOU'LL SEE THROUGH MISSISSAUGA AND BRAMPTON, WE HAVE TO DO MORE OF THOSE TO SLOW DOWN THE WATER, TO CLEAN THE WATER, AND GIVE THE STREAMS A LITTLE MORE CHANCE TO BE RESILIENT TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE PIECES. AND THEN I THINK THE FINAL PIECE AND CERTAINLY COVID EXPOSED THIS TREMENDOUSLY IS THAT WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH GREENSPACE. SO WE'VE GOT LOTS OF PEOPLE COMING, AND WE CAN'T KEEP GOING WITH JUST THE NUMBERS OF GREENSPACES THAT WE HAVE TODAY. SO WE NEED TO EXPAND THOSE GREENSPACES AND INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE, WHETHER IT'S PARKING OR WASHROOMS OR ADDITIONAL VISITOR CENTRES AND ACTIVITIES FOR PEOPLE TO DO, BECAUSE CLEARLY THERE'S A DEMAND AND IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A HEALTHY POPULATION, WE NEED TO HAVE HEALTHY GREENSPACES TO SUPPORT THEM.

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @MeredithMartin."

Nam says DEBORAH, I'LL LET YOU HAVE THE LAST WORD. THANK YOU SO MUCH. WE REALLY APPRECIATE BOTH OF YOUR INSIGHTS. DEBORAH, JEFF, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Both guests say Thank you.

Nam says I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING FOR THE WEEKEND TO HANG OUT.

[LAUGHTER]

Watch: Appreciating the Credit River, Then and Now