Cataraqui to 2020: Executive Summary


The Conservation Authorities Act, enacted in 1946, provides the CRCA with a unique, watershed-based mandate to conserve and manage natural resources across its jurisdiction. The Authority has important roles as a trustee for the environment, as an advocate for the public open spaces, and as a manager of its natural resources.

The CRCA has a long, well-documented history of strategic planning. Factors such as municipal and provincial downsizing, changing demographics, more frequent severe climatic events resulted in this reevaluation of our long-term directions. This plan, Cataraqui to 2020, will be used by staff and members of the Authority as a guide to establish priorities for programs over the next 20 year period. To focus efforts through times characterized by a challenging fiscal climate and organizational upheavals, three general overriding themes continue to be important in the Authority’s work: Research, Leadership and Coordination, and Education. Our Vision Statement provides a view of the future for all staff, members, and residents.

Our vision is that the natural environment of the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority watersheds will be conserved, that degraded natural resources will be restored, that our regional diversity will be valued by the watershed residents, and that the public will understand the role that everyone needs to play in resource management and resource enjoyment.

The Authority is associated with many other groups and agencies to achieve a range of mutually supportive objectives. Overall, goals describe general, long-term purposes, and following each of the six listed, are the key objectives which the Authority will strive to meet. These goals have been adapted from those approved by Conservation Ontario, and similarly, the order is not intended to suggest ranking.


Goal A: To conserve CRCA’s water resources, including the safeguarding, management and restoration of rivers, lakes and streams, and to work cooperatively with our partners to protect the water cycle.

  • Produce watershed management plans for our major watersheds to help ensure their long-term health.
  • Develop with other groups a coordinated approach to managing water quantity.
  • Cooperate with agencies on research to maintain or improve the quality of surface water and groundwater resources.
  • Provide technical advice to municipalities in implementing storm water management.


Goal B: To implement policies that will protect life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion.

  • Implement preventive policies for lands which may be subject to natural hazards.


Goal C: To conserve woodlands, wetlands and natural habitat.

  • Protect significant natural heritage features through planning policies and procedures.
  • To cooperate with other partner agencies to fulfill terms of agreement to review impact of development proposals on fish habitat.


Goal D: To facilitate protection of natural resources in order to conserve, restore, develop or manage them.

  • Implement a land management program reflecting the different types of properties under CRCA ownership.
  • Enhance the Authority’s technical advisory program to member municipalities and the public to protect or enhance natural areas and functions.


Goal E: To provide opportunities for the public to learn from the public open spaces within the jurisdiction, and  to respect the local natural environment.

  • Promote a range of conservation education opportunities for watershed residents.
  • Promote our role and message to watershed residents, member municipalities, and partner agencies.


Goal F: To operate an efficient and financially sound organization that provides excellent service to the community; promotes best environmental practices; and that offers a healthy, positive and nurturing workplace environment for staff, members and volunteers.

  • Maintain a positive image in the community.
  • Make customer service a top priority in all work areas.
  • Maximize the efficient use of time and resources to avoid waste.
  • Demonstrate leadership in environmental design as well as energy and materials conservation.
  • Foster the health, safety, morale and career development of our staff.
  • Maintain up-to-date corporate policies.
  • Maintain internal capacity in support services such as accounting, communications, document management, geomatics and information technology.
  • Manage capital assets in a long-term, sustainable way.


Cataraqui to 2020 outlines an ambitious program for the Authority. Changing priorities, or unforeseen needs on the part of member municipalities can result in changes to priorities as envisioned in this document, or in the addition of tasks to those outlined. Implementation of the plan, as proposed through a work plan, will ensure prudent use of available resources by complimenting the plans of other agencies, community groups and citizens working within the watershed.

Cataraqui to 2020 is designed as a long-range plan for 20 years, with renewed direction through regular work plans, to focus efforts of the Authority where priorities have shifted or staff need to assess new circumstances.