Watershed Stewardship Programs

Rural Water Quality Programs and Services

Water is a precious and shared resource that everyone must safeguard. The success of your business and the health of your family depend on a clean and abundant water supply.

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. 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.

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 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.

Species at Risk

Our health and quality of life depend on biodiversity – a mix of wild plants, animals and habitats. We live in a province of rich biodiversity and our job is to ensure there are suitable and healthy habitats available so 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.

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.

Supporting Ontario’s Farmers and Other Rural Landowners

Conservation Authorities have a shared interest with Ontario’s farmers to ensure environmentally sustainable stewardship of the land.

Conservation Authorities work with farmers and other rural landowners to plan and deliver agricultural water quality improvement projects and agricultural beneficial management practices such as nutrient storage, buffer strip establishment, erosion prevention, shelterbelt planting and fencing of livestock from streams.