Invasive plant enters Ottawa river C HUTE - À -B LONDEAU

water body. To prevent spreading plants and seeds to new locations avoid boating through the area around the Ottawa River that contains European water chestnut. Report sightings to the Invading Species Hotline 1-800-563-7711 or visit Impacts of Water Chestnut Water chestnut populations in the Ot- tawaRiver,aswellasneighbouringprovinces and states have become a serious nuisance causing a number of negative effects. The plant forms extremelydense floating mats of vegetation that shade out native vegetation, decreasing plant biodiversity, and making recreational activities like swimming, angling, and boating almost impossible in the infested areas. • The hard nuts with barbed spines can accumulate on shore and cause injurywhen stepped on. • Reduced light penetration and plant growth beneath the water chestnut canopy, combined with a large amount of decomposing vegetation below, can lead to decreased dissolved oxygen levels, which can impact native species and cause fish kills. Since the water chestnut population in the Ottawa River is the only known popu- lation in Ontario, it’s very important that we put every effort towards removing this plant before it spreads to other locations. The Ministry of Natural Resources, with support from partnering agencies, are working to eradicate water chestnut from the Ottawa River by pulling the plants by hand, with

Area residents are being asked to help out in the continuing battle against an invasive aquatic plant that has entered the Ottawa River near Chute-à-Blondeau. European water chestnut is an invasive aquatic plant that has been introduced to a section of the Ottawa River within Voya- geur Provincial Park, says the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The plant is native to Europe, Asia and Africa, and is used in North America as an ornamental water garden plant. Although it’s not certain how the plants arrivedintheOttawaRiver, it couldpossibly be the result of a water garden plant being improperly releasedor aboat contaminated with water chestnut being launched within or near the park. What can you do? Learn how to identify European water chestnut and how to prevent accidentally spreading the plants and seeds. This is especially important if you are planning to do work or participate in recreational activities in the Ottawa River in the area that contains water chestnut. Do not plant European water chestnut in your water garden. Water gardeners should use only native or non-invasive plants and are encouraged to ask garden centres for plants that are not invasive. Never release unwanted aquarium plants or pets into any water body. Return or donate unwanted plants or pets to a pet store or garden center, a school or a friend. Always inspect your boat and boating equipment, and remove any plants or animals that are visible before leaving the

Photo Francine MacDonald, OFAH

Manual removal of water chestnut at Voyageur Provincial Park.

rakes and mechanical harvesters. Efforts to control this new invader are ongoing. How to Identify Water Chestnut Water chestnut has an appearance unlike any other plant species in Ontario. Features that can be used to identify water chestnut include: • Floating leaves. • The leaves are green, with sharply toothed edges. • The leaves form a densely crowded rosette up to 30 cm in diameter. • The leaf stems are up to 15 cm long, with a spongy swollen section that helps the plant float. • Underwater leaves are feather-like with finely dissected leaf segments. • The flowers are small (8 mm long), white, and have four petals.

• Produces a hard “woody” nut (seed), 3-4 cm wide with sharp barbed spines. Viable seeds are greenish brown and sink to thebottom.Older seedsareblack, floating, and are not viable. • The nuts bear no resemblance to the “water chestnut” used in Asian cooking. Water chestnut was introduced into North America sometime before 1879 by a gardener at the Cambridge Botanical Garden in Massachusetts. The gardener reported planting it in several ponds. Since then, water chestnut has spread to other states in the northeast. It has also been found in Québec, and in tributaries of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario in New York State. The popu- lation in the Ottawa River is the only known population in Ontario. self-management programs in all 14 LHINs across the province. It’s an example of how a cutting- edge initiative implemented in one LHIN can expand to other areas of the prov i nce , t hus bene f i t t i ng a considerable number of people with the same needs. “The Champlain LHIN brought providers and communities together to develop an innovative solution to a l oca l hea l t h ca r e cha l l enge . The number of people with chronic condi- tions is increasing as the population ages, so it was important to make this a priority,” said Alex Munter, CEO of the Champlain LHIN. “By he l p i ng peop l e he l p themselves, we can improve their quality of life, and at the same time, relieve some of the pressures on the health system.” Providing support for chronic- disease self-management helps not only patients, but the health system as a whole. The excess average health- care cost for a person with diabetes in the first year of diagnosis, for example, is almost $3,000. Therefore, expanding self-management resources can be a cost-effective strategy. Implementation and evaluation of the program is being led by Bruyére Continuing Care, Élisabeth Bruyère Research Institute, the Champlain Community Care Access Centre along with more than 30 other hea l t h ca r e organ i za t i ons . The pa r t ne r s a r e con t i nu i ng t he eva l ua t i on t o de t e rmi ne a l l t he advantages of the program, including its impact on the number of visits to family physicians and emergency rooms.

Living Healthy: People helping themselves chronic medical conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and asthma. Since 2010, the local program has received $450,000 from the Cham- plain LHIN. cation with health professionals. A preliminary evaluation of the program found that participants were much mor e ab l e t o hand l e f a t i gue and emotional distress after attending the workshops. E ASTERN O NTARIO

A local program spearheaded by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network to improve care for people with chronic diseases has been so successful it is being rolled out across Ontario. The L i v i ng Hea l t hy Champ l a i n program he lps pa t i ent s and the i r families manage the symptoms and l i f e s t y l e change s as soc i a t ed wi t h

The Champlain LHIN also played a key coord i na t i on ro l e . The LHIN worked with partners that delivered interactive seminars helping people with chronic conditions cope with da i l y cha l l enge s . Rough l y 800 individuals have taken part in inten- s i ve s i x -week s e l f -managemen t workshops held across the region. L i v i ng Hea l t hy Champ l a i n has trained more than 70 volunteer leaders to conduc t the workshops , whi ch include topics such as appropriate use of medications and effective communi-

In addition, LHIN funding has gone toward training hundreds of doctors and nurses so they can more effectively treat and manage patients with these comp l ex i l l ne s s e s . Pa t i en t s wi t h diabetes, for example, need ongoing assistance in setting and achieving lifestyle goals related to diet and physical activity. Now, based on the experience of Li- ving Healthy Champlain, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has approved funding for chronic disease Cornwall Firearms and Militaria Show Exposition d’armes à feu et militaires de Cornwall Featuring: Antiques, collectibles, swords, bayonets, books and more. Antiquités, objets de collection, épées,



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