7.3.8 Provincial Programs


7.3.8  Provincial Programs

Bringing Into Being the Future We Wish to Live In

Conservation Ontario

36 CA’s means 36 watersheds

Conservation Authorities (CA’s) were created through an Act of the Ontario Legislature in 1946 to ensure proper use of Ontario’s water, land and natural habitats. They became responsible for the conservation, restoration and management of lakes, rivers as well as the surrounding land and life the watershed or ‘ on the water you can walk on.’

Conservation Authority programs are to balance the needs of natural environments with those of humans and the economy. This means protecting life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion while providing opportunities for the public to enjoy, learn from and respect Ontario’s natural environment.

For close up details check out conservation-ontario.on.ca/find/index.html

Based on Ontario’s system of watersheds, Conservation Authorities are known globally for their stewardship of our rivers, lakes and streams through the development and delivery of comprehensive science-based programs that work with nature to protect, restore and effectively manage Ontario’s water resources. In addition to serving the public and Ontario landowners, Conservation Authorities also provide advice and counsel to all levels of government on the responsible management of water.

Because what we do on land is reflected in our water, Conservation Authorities develop programs to protect the urban and rural lands that form part of the water cycle, including sustainable and accountable agriculture, tourism and woodland industries. In addition, Conservation Authorities improve our quality of life by actively providing open space, as well as restoring and protecting aquatic and natural habits.

Because they are efficient local delivery agents, Conservation Authorities, in cooperation with local municipalities and the province, play a significant role in the protection of life and property from natural hazards though the development of programs that minimize the impact of disasters such as flooding and erosion.

Conservation Authorities are professional agencies that develop and deliver programs to ensure the healthy coexistence between the community and it’s environment. Through the lands they manage and own, as well as the educational programs they deliver, Conservation Authorities provide opportunities for our citizens to understand the value of their natural environment and the economic and social benefits of protecting that environment.

For over 50 years, Conservation Authorities have worked in cooperation with local communities to ensure easy and appropriate access to Ontario’s green space for tourism and recreation. They mobilize and work with communities to ensure that their voices are heard in government decision-making on local environmental issues.



  1. When were Conservation Authorities (CA’s) first formed?
  2. What was the major extreme weather event that provided the push to form CA’s?
  3. Where is the main office of your local your Conservation Authority (CA)
    Hint: Check out http://conservation-ontario.on.ca/
  4. List the key priorities that CA’s must maintain.

ACTIVITY 2 – Research

  1. What evidence of these programs do you see in your area?
  2. How can you participate in their programs?
  3. What areas of the province of Ontario do not have Conservation Authorities?