The Ontario Conservation Authorities Act, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has posted a discussion paper that is open for comments and review from the public. The MNR is encouraging the public to participate in a review of the document. By adding your voice to the comments you are helping to affect potential change in governance of watershed conservation in our beautiful province. For Ottawa Residents, the closest watershed locally is the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and the next is the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority in Carleton Place.
According to the Act “two or more municipalities in a common watershed can establish a conservation authority in conjunction with the province”. The purpose of this authority is to manage and protect “people, property and communities from water-related natural hazards (ie, flooding, drought, erosion, ice formation)” The Act also helps to deliver programs within the municipalities on local issues such as tree planting, research and education, recreation programs, habitat restoration and storm water management advice, amongst other projects.
Ontario has 36 conservation authorities and most of these are in Southern Ontario. A staggering 90% of the province’s population, live within a conservation authority. As the Environmental Registry states “Conservation authorities have played a significant role in Ontario’s natural resource management landscape for nearly 70 years”
In order to ensure that the Act is meeting the needs of Ontarians, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is inviting all ministries, municipalities, aboriginal communities, conservation authorities and stakeholders to review the paper for a 91 day comment period that started July 20th and closes on October 19th, 2015.
Please lend your voice to an important document which can help protect Ottawa and all of Ontario’s watersheds, its people and its wildlife.
The websites for the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and The Ontario Conservation Authority Act are as follows:
To view and download and comment on the Conservation Authorities Act document, please visit the Ontario Government’s Environmental Registry page link here: