What is Conservation Ontario?
Conservation Ontario is a non-governmental organization that represents the 36 Conservation Authorities within Ontario.
What is a Conservation Authority?
Conservation Authorities are local, community-based environmental agencies. They represent a grouping of municipalities on a watershed basis and work in partnership with others to manage their respective watersheds. The Conservation Authorities Act provides the means by which the province and municipalities of Ontario could join together to form a Conservation Authority within a specific area - the watershed - to undertake programs of natural resource management. Today, Conservation Authorities operate in watersheds in which 90% of the provincial population reside.
Key areas of Authority activity include:
Environmental Protection — The Conservation Authorities of Ontario protect local ecosystems and contribute to the quality of life in communities throughout the province.
Water Resource Managers — The Conservation Authorities are Ontario's community-based environmental experts who use integrated, ecologically sound environmental practices to manage Ontario's water resources on a watershed basis, maintain secure supplies of clean water, protect communities from flooding and contribute to municipal planning processes (that protect water).
Lifelong Learning — The Conservation Authorities of Ontario create educational experiences in a natural environment that enrich the lives of peoples of all ages, by instilling an appreciation and enjoyment of our diverse natural heritage.
What is a watershed?
A watershed is an area of land that catches rain and snow and drains or seeps into a marsh, stream, river, lake or groundwater. Homes, farms, cottages, forests, small towns, big cities and more can make up watersheds. Some cross municipal, provincial and even international borders. They come in all shapes and sizes and can vary from millions of acres, like the land that drains into the Great Lakes, to a few acres that drain into a pond.
What is Watershed Management?
Watershed management in its simplest terms means managing wisely upstream so that downstream remains natural and healthy. The Conservation Ontario model has received worldwide recognition over its 50+ year history and the watershed is now recognized as one of the premier natural ecosystem units on which to manage resources.
What is Conservation Ontario's vision/mission?
Vision: The Conservation Authorities of Ontario have as their vision, watersheds where human needs are met in balance with the needs of the natural environment.
Mission: The Conservation Authorities of Ontario have as their mission, to provide leadership through coordination of watershed planning, implementation of resource management programs and promotion of conservation awareness, in cooperation with others.
What does Conservation Ontario do?
Conservation Ontario works on behalf of Conservation Authorities to do the following:
RAISE AWARENESS — Through local, regional and provincial media relations and speaking engagements, Conservation Ontario raises awareness of CAs with key audiences at a watershed community and provincial level.
Build RELATIONSHIPS with opinion leaders
and decision makers through one-on-one contact, information resources
and shared profile building, create opportunities to: become a
"value-added" resource to key influencers and decision
makers, cultivate "champions" — experts or authorities — who
can provide third-party endorsement of Conservation Authorities
and their role in safeguarding Ontario's environment and natural
INFLUENCE decision making and the outcomes
of decisions on Conservation Authorities. Conservation Ontario
promotes the Conservation Authorities' expertise in managing Ontario's
environment and contributes to the quality of life that we enjoy — focusing on the tangible impacts
of these accomplishments, in terms of dollars, lives, property
saved; attracting economic development to healthy communities;
Who are your members?
Conservation Ontario is governed by a Council comprised
of appointed and elected municipal officials from Conservation
Authority Boards of Directors and CA staff. The Council of Conservation
Ontario is composed of over 70 delegates.
What is your governance structure?
From the membership a Chair and 2 Vice-Chairs are elected.
The Council may appoint ad-hoc committees and appoint members to external committees as required.
The Chair of Conservation Ontario is Dick Hibma (Chair of the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority). The Vice-Chairs are Alan Dale (Chair of the Grand River Conservation Authority) and Virginia Hackson (Chair of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority).
The Council meets bi-monthly.
How are you funded?
Conservation Ontario is funded through levies provided by the Conservation Authorities.
Where are you located?
11, 120 Bayview Parkway
Newmarket, Ontario L3Y 4W3
telephone: 905-895-0716, fax: 905-895-0751