In a bid to build and show successful co-existence between beavers and humans, the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) will be installing multiple beaver baffles at its Conservation Areas this fall thanks to an $8,000 grant by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
“At several sites, beavers regularly construct dams which raise water levels upstream,” says Brendan Jacobs, RRCA Stewardship Specialist. “While beaver dams are part of the area’s ecosystems and help create and maintain desirable wetland habitat, they can sometimes lead to nuisance flooding.”
In the past, the RRCA had to temporarily close sections of its popular 25-kilometre nature trail systems due to beaver-related flooding, leading it to look into a simple yet ingenious solution: beaver baffles.
Installing baffles involves notching problematic beaver dams and laying down a flexible pipe connected to a cage located upstream of the dam. The beavers then repair the notch while leaving the pipe in place. The pipe ensures that an appropriate amount of water flows through the dam and the cage prevents the beavers from blocking the pipe’s intake while also diffusing the pull of the water’s flow that typically triggers the beavers’ damming instincts – effectively “baffling” them.
“We are pleased to support this forward-thinking and nature-based project towards harmonious co-existence between humans and beavers at the RRCA’s Conservation Areas,” says Jared Jarman, District Vice President for TD Ottawa South and Seaway East. “These public green spaces continue to help bring people together while creating a more vibrant planet.”
As most of the beaver dams can be observed from publicly accessible nature trails, the baffle systems will also serve as educational and demonstration sites within the Conservation Areas, with the help of interpretive signs.
“Visitors will be able to see the baffles in action and may even get inspired to install them on their own properties,” adds Jacobs.
The RRCA currently owns and manages three Conservation Areas: Cooper Marsh, Charlottenburgh Park, and Gray’s Creek. These public green spaces welcomed a combined 180,000 visitors in 2023. The RRCA is grateful for TD’s continued Conservation Area sponsorship throughout the years, including support for turtle basking platforms, tree planting, wayfinding trail sign installation, and more. The RRCA reminds visitors that some Conservation Area nature trails are temporarily closed for maintenance.
For more information, and to see a list of available Conservation Area amenities, visit rrca.on.ca or contact (613) 938-3611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.