New CA will enhance resiliency to climate change

Posted on December 12, 2017

Essex Region – Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA), along with Ontario’s 35 other Conservation Authorities, is pleased to see the Province ensure more resiliency across Ontario watersheds through the passage of Bill 139 which includes a new Conservation Authorities Act (CA Act).

“Modernizing this 1946 legislation provides the foundation for Conservation Authorities to strengthen their watershed management role and also develop a more defined role around climate change adaptation,” said Richard Wyma, General Manager.  “Conservation Authorities are very cost-efficient, capable partners. We already have a close working relationship with many provincial ministries which is critical to addressing the economic, environmental and social impacts of climate change and other issues.”

Through monitoring and watershed management programs, ERCA and other Conservation Authorities see the growing impacts of climate change on a daily basis. This includes more frequent flooding, stressed biodiversity, and reduced water levels and flow in streams and rivers.

“The new Conservation Authorities Act signals to us that the Province wants to work more closely with Conservation Authorities and we’re very pleased with that,” stated Dick Hibma, the Chair of Conservation Ontario. Conservation Ontario is the umbrella organization that represents Conservation Authorities.

The Conservation Authorities Act has been under review for two years and has received input from a wide range of sectors. The modernized legislation recognizes watershed management as a key tool in helping Ontario to adapt to the impacts of issues such as rapid growth and climate change.

Some of the key changes to the Conservation Authorities Act includes:

  • establishment of a service delivery review table,
  • development of a more defined role around climate change adaptation,
  • greater transparency and accountability of conservation authorities, and
  • modernized funding mechanisms.

Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities play a central role in the restoration, conservation and management of our important water and land resources and do so in partnership with many different agricultural, environmental, municipal, and other agencies.

For more than four decades, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.