Conservation Authorities Seek Public Input on Updated Development Policies and Wetland Mapping in Eastern Ontario

June 10, 2024

South Nation Conservation (SNC), Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) are welcoming public input on updated development policies and wetland mapping used in Conservation Authority permitting.

On April 1, 2024, the Government of Ontario replaced individual Conservation Authority Regulations under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act, with Ontario Regulation 41/24: Prohibited Activities, Exemptions and Permits. This update requires Conservation Authorities to regulate development activities within 30 metres of all wetlands, as defined by the new regulation.

Conservation Authority staff have completed draft updates to policies, procedures and mapping in response to these provincial changes. Watershed residents are invited to schedule individual meetings (in-person or virtual) or attend an upcoming public open house to learn more about proposed development policy updates and wetland mapping.

Civitan Club of Perth
6787 County Road 43, Perth, Ontario
Thursday, June 20, 2024
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
(RVCA)

R.J. Kennedy Community Centre
1115 Dunning Road, Ottawa, Ontario
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
(RVCA/SNC)

RVCA Administrative Office
3889 Rideau Valley Drive, Manotick, Ontario
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
(RVCA/SNC)

SNC Administrative Office
38 Victoria Street, Finch, Ontario
Thursday, June 27, 2024
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
(SNC/RRCA)

Wetlands provide significant ecosystem services and benefits including flood attenuation, erosion protection, groundwater recharge, filtration of drinking water supplies, wildlife refuge, and forest cover, as well as recreational, educational, and research opportunities. Wetlands are also usually associated with unstable, organic soils and not always suited to development.

The Conservation Authority partners have regulated development activities within Provincially Significant Wetlands and certain Locally Significant Wetlands since 2006. With the new provincial regulation, most wetlands will now be regulated, however, the buffer around them where a development permit is required has been reduced from 120 metres to 30 metres.

“We recognize the important role of wetlands for the environment and our communities,” said SNC Managing Director, John Mesman. “We will work closely with property owners looking to develop their properties to help confirm wetland boundaries to ensure that future development is sustainable and protects the integrity of wetland habitat.”

“Many of the wetlands in our region connect to major waterways and are found within our Natural Heritage Systems,” said RRCA General Manager Alison McDonald. “These areas provide important natural cover, wildlife habitat, and mitigate the impacts of climate change, including flooding and drought.”

“Having updated policies and wetland mapping that reflects the new legislation will also streamline approvals and standardize approaches,” said RVCA General Manager Sommer Casgrain-Robertson. “Policies and mapping are used by staff, municipalities, and property owners to ensure that development is undertaken in a way that protects people and their property from natural hazards while also protecting wetlands and watercourses.

Policy information, draft maps and meeting request links are available online:

• SNC: www.nation.on.ca/consultations

• RVCA: www.rvca.ca/regulations-planning

• RRCA: www.rrca.on.ca/permits

Conservation Authorities work on behalf of their member municipalities to help manage, conserve and restore natural resources and guide sustainable development activities through permitting.
Through acquiring ecologically significant property, managing conservation lands, permitting sustainable development, and providing technical advice and cost-share funding for habitat improvement projects, there are a variety of ways to help improve wetlands and biodiversity within the region. Residents interested in learning more about land donations and project funding are encouraged to contact their local Conservation Authority.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

South Nation Conservation, Erin Thorne, Communications Specialist, 1-877-984-2948 | ethorne@nation.on.ca.

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Diane Downey, Director, Communications and Outreach, 1-800-257-3504, ext.1126 | diane.downey@rvca.ca.

Raisin Region Conservation Authority, Lisa Van De Ligt, Team Lead, Communications and Stewardship, 613-938-3611 ext. 223 | lisa.vandeligt@rrca.on.ca.