Stewardship Counts

Learning About Local Watershed Conditions Promotes Actions

Conservation Authority watershed report cards often link landowners to local watershed stewardship programs, which often offer funding and/or technical support for projects that help protect and improve water quality. Examples include well decommissioning and upgrading, private septic system upgrades, erosion control, clean water diversion, manure storage and other agricultural best management practices which help reduce nutrient loading and groundwater contamination. Many of these programs are funded by municipalities, the Province, Federal government or agencies in partnership with Conservation Authorities.

We Can All Be Part of the Solution

Keeping people and local governments informed about the state of their watersheds builds a broader understanding and support for important actions and programs that protect and ensure healthy ecosystems and a safe, sustainable supply of water in Ontario.

More information on what you can do

How Can We Build Local Watershed Resiliency With Stewardship Programs?

Stewardship initiatives such as rural water quality programs, tree and shrub planting, agricultural best management practices, green infrastructure, backyard improvements, and wildlife habitat protection and restoration are often a simple and cost effective way to help build resiliency in our watersheds. Through stewardship, we can

  • Protect and restore important wetlands and forests to prevent flooding and erosion, store excess water during intense rainfalls and capture carbon emissions;

  • Rehabilitate and restore vegetation along river courses and lakeshores in order to help manage flooding, reduce the flow of contaminated sediment, and improve water quality;

  • Conserve water and keep water flowing in the water cycle by using best management practices and watershed planning in both urban and rural watersheds;

  •  Protect urban and rural green spaces for residents to enjoy and to help cool our air;

  • Prevent or reduce the impacts of drought and improve soil supporting healthy farms and agriculturally related industries;

  •  Maintain important green corridors, and natural habitats for birds, fish, and animals;

  •  Prevent invasive species from impacting native plants, animals, birds, fish and other wildlife and plants;

  • Prevent the loss of important native plant and animal species by providing healthy habitats.

 

How do Conservation Authorities get this work done in local Ontario watersheds?

 

Conservation Authorities work closely with community groups, government, other agencies, and landowners to plant trees, rehabilitate and restore ecosystems, and improve water quality. Through many local, provincial and federal initiatives such as the Canada-Ontario agreement, Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and Species at Risk programs they also identify and track Ontario’s biodiversity in a wide range of monitoring and reporting programs.

Important nongovernment and government partners include: Trees Ontario, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Carolinian Canada, Ministries of Natural Resources, Environment, and Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Trout Unlimited Canada, Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation, Greenbelt Foundation, Ontario Land Trusts, Hiking and Trail associations, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, local municipalities across the province, landowners, and many, many more.