New officers elected at NVCA annual general meeting

·2 min read

The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority held its 61st annual general meeting on Friday, January 21.

Unique to Ontario, Conservation Authorities are local watershed management agencies that deliver services and programs to protect and mange impacts on water and other natural resources in partnership with all levels of government, landowners, and many other organizations.

There are 31 Conservation Authorities operating in southern Ontario.

The core mandate of Conservation Authorities is to undertake watershed-based programs to protect people and property from flooding and other natural hazards, and to conserve natural resources for economic, social and environmental benefits.

The NVCA board of directors elected two new officers for 2021.

Mariane McLeod, Councillor for the Town of Collingwood was elected Chair.

Gail Little, Councillor for the Township of Amaranth, was elected vice-chair.

Former environmental commissioner of Ontario, Dr. Dianne Saxe, delivered a key-note speech stressing “wetlands are precious, especially in a climate crisis.”

She also said that as Ontario continues to expand through development, “wetlands are under significant threat.”

This is especially true for the Nottawasaga Valley Watershed as the region has been designated as a “high growth” area.

Dr. Saxe emphasized that conservation authorities can protect our wetlands, but are limited by the lack of provincial direction, missing definitions of “interference” and “wetland” and insufficient resources.

Several accomplishments over the past year by the NVCA were noted.These included the stewardship team re-habilitating and protecting almost 31 km of streams and shorelines through 29 projects.

NVCA staff partnered with Georgian College to develop a database to help scientists measure the success of NVCA programs.

Conservation areas across the watershed welcomed an increase of 60 per cent more visitors in 2020 over 2019, and Conserva-tion staff work hard to make sure all green spaces are well maintained.

Through environmental education, over 12,000 students attended programs.

The Flood Management team continue to monitor weather forecasts and watershed conditions throughout the year while main-taining and improving the system.

The NVCA flood team issued five flood messages in 2020

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times