With over 200 inland lakes, hundreds of kilometres of streams and a variety of wetlands and wildlife habitats, the Cataraqui Region has an abundance of natural resources.
It is important that our communities conserve these natural resources to maintain the region’s diverse landscape and ecology, as well as protecting our drinking water.
We also need to protect people’s lives and their property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion, that are associated with natural resources, particularly water.
Natural resources do not stop at municipal boundaries so Conservation Authorities are set up on a watershed basis.
A watershed is all lands drained by a river or stream and its tributaries. It is usually defined by a height of land. Watersheds are also called drainage basins. The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority contains 11 watersheds.
For Conservation Authorities, the management of land and the management of water go hand-in-hand. This is the basis of the ecosystem approach to natural resource management.
Our strategic plan, Cataraqui to 2020, contains goals and objectives that guide our programs and activities. These include:
- studying our natural resources to learn how to protect and manage them
- maintaining a resource database that includes maps, air photos and digital data
- delivering forestry and other stewardship programs and providing advice and assistance to watershed residents
- reviewing municipal planning documents and development applications to ensure that important natural features are protected and natural hazards are avoided
- regulating development under our regulations (Ont. Reg. 148/06) to ensure that important natural features are protected and natural hazards are avoided
- monitoring stream flows and water levels to forecast flooding and low water conditions
- working with municipalities and residents on watershed-related projects
- educating watershed residents about the natural environment and their role in protecting it for future generations
- purchasing and managing land.