Keep your Spring Construction Projects Safe and Sustainable with the RRCA

May 2, 2022

From left: RRCA's Acting Watershed Planner, Matthew Levac, Watershed Management Team Lead, Phil Barnes, and Regulations Officer, Lissa Deslandes, encourage property owners to check in with the RRCA before undertaking construction projects near water.

Are you planning a building project near water? The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) is reminding property owners in its jurisdiction in Cornwall and surrounding area of SDG that, under the Conservation Authorities Act, certain development activities within or adjacent to watercourses and significant wetlands are regulated by the RRCA and may require a permit.

“These Conservation Authorities Act regulations are in place to protect not only the environment, but people and property as well,” says Lissa Deslandes, RRCA Regulations Officer. “Obtaining the proper permit through the RRCA for your project is an important step towards protecting your investment from potential natural hazards such as erosion, flooding, and ice heaves.”

Activities near watercourses which may require a permit from the RRCA include constructing buildings or structures, changing existing terrain grade, adding or removing material, and altering the existing channel of a watercourse.

“If you are planning a project on your property and are not sure if you need a permit from the RRCA, simply give us a call,” says Phil Barnes, RRCA Watershed Management Team Lead. “We have a methodical and user-friendly permitting process that will help you move your project ahead with confidence and security.”

Under the Planning Act, the RRCA also supports its five member municipalities by reviewing development proposals and policy documents and providing guidance on natural hazards (e.g. flooding, erosion, and unstable slopes) and natural heritage (e.g. watercourses, wetlands, woodlands, etc.). Last year, the RRCA processed a record 311 development applications.

As part of its review services, the RRCA is also the lead agency for the Cornwall Sediment Strategy (CSS) which protects several zones of mercury-contaminated sediment in the St. Lawrence River along the Cornwall waterfront. The RRCA includes a CSS review for property owners in Cornwall planning to install docks or other structures on or near their shoreline.

Current or prospective property owners may request information about a specific property through the RRCA’s Property Inquiry service, which provides important information on natural hazards and natural heritage for that property. Permit application and property inquiry forms, as well the RRCA’s current fee schedule, can be found at the RRCA website at 

For more information, please visit or contact (613) 938-3611 or