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Watershed Stewardship Programs

Rural Water Quality Programs and Services
Water is a precious resource. The success of your business, and the health of your family depend on a clean and abundant water supply. Water is also a shared resource that everyone must help safeguard.

Rural or Clean Water Programs offered by Conservation Authorities are initiatives that provide technical assistance and financial incentives to improve and protect water quality on your property and/or farm.

In collaboration with Conservation Authorities local municipalities across the province are offering cost-sharing grants to qualified landowners for beneficial management practices that improve ground and surface water quality. If you are an agricultural producer you may be required to complete an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP). Other landowners may be required to complete a worksheet for projects. Conservation Authorities may also offer increased grant rates for eligible projects.

For information about eligibility, grants and technical assistance please contact your local Conservation Authority.

Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program
Since 2007, technical and financial assistance has been made available from the Ministry of the Environment to assist landowners to protect municipal drinking water sources, namely municipal wellheads and municipal surface water intakes across the province. This program is called the Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program (ODWSP). PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PROGRAM HAS ENDED.

Woodlot Management and Tree Planting
Conservation Authorities provide a range of technical services and financial incentives for tree planting and woodlot management. Tree planting is conducted in collaboration with a range of provincial and local community organizations. Some Conservation Authorities provide woodlot management plan services that may contribute towards your eligibility for the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP), and can provide you with links to a range of other organizations services and programs to help you manage healthy woodlots and natural areas. Please contact your local Conservation Authority for further information about what is available in your watershed.

Find out how you can get help planting tree windbreaks for profitability.
Break Wind Brochure in English
Break Wind Brochure in French

Species At Risk
Our health and quality of life depends on biodiversity – a mix of wild plants, animals and habitats. We are fortunate to live in a province of rich biodiversity and our job is to ensure there is enough suitable, healthy habitat available so that Ontario’s plants and animals can thrive and grow. 

Conservation Authorities, landowners and community groups are working together to improve, restore and secure natural habitat for species at risk.
For more information...

Other Watershed Stewardship Services and Funding
If you own a creek, stream or wetland and are interested in learning more about how you can manage these areas for fish and wildlife, the Conservation Authority in your watershed can provide you with information and in many cases technical advice and guidance and possibly financial assistance. Contact your local Conservation Authority for further information, as well as well as links to other organizations who may offer some assistance.

New programs are often developed to assist rural and urban landowners in the healthy management of their properties. Please check this Conservation Ontario as well as your local Conservation Authority website for information about new watershed stewardship services and financial assistance programs.

National Watershed Stewardship Report
Conservation Ontario is a member of a National Watershed Stewardship Coalition which recently released the National Watershed Stewardship Report. This report was produced in 2003 by a broad cross section of stewardship organizations who met in different discussion forums across Canada. This report provides policy recommendations and suggested actions aimed at strengthening watershed stewardship in Canada
For more information...

ARCHIVE OF Agri-Environmental Programs in Ontario Before 2000: agrienvarchive.ca

A Website for Bioenergy and Manure Management Information: manurenet.ca

We are pleased to announce that these web sites have acquired thier own domain names and are being hosted on the Conservation Ontario web server.

During the past year Conservation Ontario has been very cooperative in helping us locate valuable environmental program information and reports. We welcome this continuing support as they now host the Archive.