Our natural ecosystems are made up of forests, wetlands, water sources, plants and animals, and provide multiple goods and services that contribute to a healthy economy, environment and people. Every day, we rely on ecosystem goods and services - they connect us to our environment.
Conservation Authorities deliver practical, cost effective programs that ensure healthy ecosystems which enable them to generate and maintain valuable goods and services, often preventing the need for costly technological solutions to environmental problems.
Human Health A healthy watershed provides safe drinking water, provides food, enables us to adapt to the impacts of climate change more easily by cooling the air and absorbing greenhouse gas emissions, and provides natural areas for people to keep active and recharge our batteries.
Ecological Health A healthy watershed conserves water, promotes streamflow, supports sustainable streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater sources, enables healthy soil for crops and livestock, and also provides habitat for wildlife and plants.
Economic Health A healthy watershed produces energy and supplies water for agriculture, industry and households. Forests and wetlands help to prevent or reduce costly climate change and flooding impacts, manages drought, contributes to tourism, fisheries, forestry, agriculture and mining industries.
Some of the Benefits of Ecosystems
Benefits of Wetlands:
Improve water quality, regulate water flow for drought and flood management, provide wildlife habitat, provide carbon storage, contribute to climate change adaptation, provide opportunities for recreational fishing and hunting.
Benefits of Forests:
Improve air quality, absorb carbon emissions, filter air pollution, improve water quality and soil, provide important wildlife and bird habitat, provide sources of materials for building and manufacturing, provide shade and block winds.
Benefits of the Great Lakes:
Provide transportation, recreation and manufacturing goods and services contributing billions of dollars to Ontario's economy, source of drinking water for eight million people, provide raw power and cooling water for the province's energy supply.
Benefits of Green Spaces:
Create attractive, 'liveable' communities by providing relaxing, walkable and
aesthetically pleasing neighbourhoods, help us to adapt to impacts of climate change, help prevent flooding and erosion, provide habitat for wildlife and birds.
Conservation Authority Programs have become even more vital to protecting health of watersheds and people.