Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Jonathan Rausseo
Submission Date Nov. 25, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Ottawa
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Pascal Simard
Assistant Director
Office of Risk Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, or regions of conservation importance?:

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:
The University of Ottawa's Lees Campus (River Campus) is located adjacent to the Rideau River. There are a number of recognized sensitive species that live along the river, including Blanding’s Turtle and Western Chorus frogs. The Rideau River is monitored and by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, and the Province of Ontario.

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution?:

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:
There was no observation of any sensititve species during surveys conducted as part of Environmental Assessments for new building developments. While the possibility remains for turtles to be present from time to time due to their known presence within the Rideau River, they are not anticipated utilizing the 200 Lees Avenue property as they are not highly mobile species and are unlikely to climb the steep shoreline.

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:
There was no identification of any lands of special biodiversity during surveys conducted as part of Environmental Assessments for new building developments. However, there is a great deal of special biodiverse spaces along he Rideau River adjacent to the River campus.

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
In 2015 the University and the Ministry of Natural Rresources (Kemptville District) completed a preliminary review of the Rideau shoreline area at 200 Lees in order to identify any potential natural resource and natural heritage values. A review of the 4 Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC) and internal records and aerial photograph interpretation indicates that there is a potential for the following threatened (THR) and/or endangered (END) species on the site or in proximity to it: - Barn Swallow (THR) - Blanding's Turtle (THR) - Bobolink (THR) - Butternut (END) - Chimney Swift (THR) - Eastern Meadowlark (THR) - Eastern Small-footed Myotis (END) - Little Brown Bat (END) One or more Special Concern species has been documented to occur either on the site or nearby. Species of Special Concern for consideration: - Eastern Musk Turtle (SC) - Milksnake (SC) - Monarch (SC) - River Redhorse (SC) - Snapping Turtle (SC) Field surveys along the shoreline were previously completed in 2013 for Snapping Turtle, Musk Turtle, Blanding’s Turtle and Milk Snakes. Survey protocols were developed following informal discussions with Ministry of Natural Resources Species at Risk Biologist (Sudbury District), Eric Cobb. According to Mr. Cobb, “a minimum of five (5) site visits over a three (3) week period seems to be a standard for some of the SAR [species at risk] reptiles that MNR does have a protocol for”. Surveys were completed by walking the top of the bank and along readily accessible areas of the shoreline along 200 Lees Avenue. Binoculars were used to assist in the survey. The Rideau River was also observed from above from the pedestrian bridge located to the east of 200 Lees Avenue.

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
General Contractors (GC) are required to submit for approval to the University, prior to initiate any work, an Environmental Work Plan (EWP) to demonstrate the measures which the GC will implement and follow to protect the Environment and to ensure regulatory compliance. Such compliance requirements to include areas that are defined or referenced in permits, authorizations or approval which relate to or are required under environmental laws in connection with the work. Some of the key GC’S obligations that pertains to species at risk (as per University’s Design and Construction guidelines) are: - Perform its duties and obligations in accordance with Best Management Practices with regards to Environmental compliance and sustainability laws and regulations, - Manage, identify, plan and coordinate all Environmental obligations and their potential impacts on the project with the U of O’s Environmental Management department at the Office of Risk Management (ORM), and - Notify of any circumstance that may require the U of O to provide notice to Federal, Provincial or Municipal authorities, including regional conservation authorities, in accordance with regulatory requirements. The GC will have available, at all times until the Substantial Completion date, a multidisciplinary team of qualified environmental specialists and thereafter shall have available such a team to the extent relevant to the GC’s obligations. While it is unlikely that either species utilize the Lees Campus, should any one of them be encountered or observed to be nesting, any work in the area must halt and the ORM must be notified. In the newest development at the Lees Campus (River Campus), additional considerations are being put in place to protect migratory birds. Bird-friendly glass and new lighting standards are meant to help with this.

Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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