A Conservation Authority’s main purpose is to manage natural resources, primarily land and water, on a watershed basis. They participate in many different activities including surveys and studies of natural resources, education programs, land use planning and forestry, to name a few.
A watershed is all lands drained by a river or stream and its tributaries. It is usually defined by a height of land. Another term for watershed would be a drainage basin. For instance, the Rideau Canal’s highest point is near Newboro, causing the water in the Rideau Canal to drain north from Newboro to the Ottawa River and south from Newboro to Lake Ontario.
Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority:
The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority has jurisdiction over the whole area spanning from the Bay of Quinte near Belleville to the west of Kingston, all the way to Brockville to the east. This region actually contains 10 watersheds or drainage basins serving some 180,000 people. Heading north, the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority reaches up to Newboro. As mentioned in the watersheds section, all water north of Newboro flows to the Ottawa River, handing over the responsibility of conservation to its northern counter part, the Ottawa Valley Conservation Authority.
- Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area
- Lemoine Point Conservation Area
For more information on the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, including a list of their activities, please visit their website.
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority:
The watershed of the Rideau River drains an area of over 4,000 km2 of Eastern Ontario. The main stem of the river flows in a northerly direction from Upper Rideau Lake near Newboro to the City of Ottawa where it tumbles over Rideau Falls into the Ottawa River. The watershed includes well-known and well-loved towns such as Portland, Perth, Smiths Falls, Merrickville, Kemptville, and Manotick. About 620,000 people live in the watershed including a large part of the City of Ottawa.
- Baxter Conservation Area
- Chapman Mills Conservation Area
- Foley Mountain Conservation Area
- Rideau Ferry Conservation Area
- W.A. Taylor Conservation Area
- Portland Bay Conservation Area
- Perth Wildlife Reserve
- Millpond Conservation Area
- Dickinson Square Conservation Area
For more information on the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, including a list of their activities, please visit their website.
Conservation Authorities deliver a wide range of services, activities and facilities which include:
- Watershed strategies and management
- Mapping and development of a natural resources information database for our watershed
- Agriculture and rural landowner assistance
- Environmental education and information programming
- Land acquisition
- Outdoor recreation
- Environmental land use planning
- Habitat protection
- Flooding and erosion protection
- Sensitive wetlands, flood plains and valley land protection
- Water quality and quantity monitoring
For more information on Ontario’s conservation authorities and watersheds, please visit the Ontario Conservation Authorities website at http://www.conservation-ontario.on.ca/.