Mono Council hears presentation from Nottawasaga Valley Conservation

September 18, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

Mono Council heard a presentation from the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority regarding their Strategic Plan for the future last Tuesday (Sept. 8). 

Presented by NVCA CAO Doug Hevenor and Chairman of the Board Keith White, the presentation outlined the definition of a watershed and drew a detailed depiction of the Nottawasaga Valley and the 18 municipalities represented in the NVCA’s. 

The five year Strategic Management Plan will strive to maintain a sustainable watershed, resilient to the effects of climate change, urban growth and other stress factors, while providing for safe, healthy and prosperous people and communities. To achieve this thee NVCA intends to work together to deliver innovative, integrated watershed management, responsive to the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the Nottawasaga Valley watershed.

Apart from dealing with the more commercial aspects of watershed management, the NVCA wants to continue and enhance the inspiration of conservation through outdoor activities and education. This will centre around six priorities established in the plan. These include: ensuring recreational use of NVCA conservation lands and programs are responsive to climate changes; providing opportunities for the watershed communities to learn about and engage with the natural environment; promoting the integral role of restoration services delivered through forestry and watershed stewardship; ensuring the viability of conservation lands through education and management strategies; implementing restoration projects to restore aquatic habitat; reducing flooding and provide green infrastructure and finally to promote and encourage EcoHealth and environmental education through the use of conservation lands and restoration services.

In recognizing the pivotal role of the NVCA in assisting all stakeholders in sustainably managing the watershed by  balancing social, economic and environmental interests through an integrated watershed management approach, they hope to move forward over the next five years using this strategic plan to shape and improve all areas of the NVCA.

It was noted that COVID 19 has lead to a loss of some $100,000 for the NVCA and Coun. Fred Nix brought up an issue regarding education programs, since all municipalities have also been strapped by the pandemic. What will happen if only some of the 18 municipalities wish to take part in a particular program, he wondered. 

The reply was that NVCA would go to those wishing to participate and outline the costs and ask if they were willing to divide that  amongst themselves, as not all municipalities were participating. The costs could be split either equally of in proportion to the individual municipalities levies. As the provincial government is planning to possibly change the Conservation Act and regulations and may or may not provide a two year transitional period, all conservation authorities are trying to plan without really knowing what the decisions may be. Currently, when the Conservation Authority Board decides on a budget and programs, it is up to its member municipalities to fund that. Were this to change, a reorganization of the process would certainly be required.

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