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Soil in the Conservation Strategy

Soil is an important part of your community's Conservation Strategy

For recent soil health initiatives go to this page: Recent Soil Health Initiatives

Protection of soil, water, and living things is a key direction of the community-developed Conservation Strategy for Ausable Bayfield watersheds.

Soil is not a renewable natural resource. Once soil health is lost, it’s very hard to get it back again. It may not be possible to recover that soil health in one person’s lifetime.

Recent local research by Ausable Bayfield Conservation has highlighted the role of covered soils to store water which helps to limit runoff.

Contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff members about grants and technical expertise that may be available to help you with projects on your property. Phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or click on our Contact Staff Page.

For more actions that you, your community, and your local agencies can take see your community's Conservation Strategy recommendations or the Ausable Bayfield Watershed Report Card.

Protecting Soil, Water, and Living Things

There are a number other reasons soil is vital – including using nutrients and creating food. Healthy soil provides habitat for billions of living creatures. Soil forms the basis for the growing of the food we eat. It is vital to protect this valuable resource, especially as the world demand for food grows.

One way to protect and improve soil health is to plant different cover crops. Cover crops help to nurture the biological activity that takes place in the soil. Cover crops may be planted on bare fields in periods of fallow or between trees or cultivated plants. Cover crops can help maintain the quality and fertility of soil. They can also protect the surface of the land from erosion. Cover crops can halso help manage water, weeds, pests, diseases and more.

Societies that have overlooked the importance of soil have paid a heavy price, according to soil conservation experts. Soil is at the core of land resources. Farming relies on it. People rely on soil for food, feed, fuel, and fibre production. There are only some places where productive soil is found. Soil faces increasing pressure as the world’s demand for food grows. Increased urbanization and more intense and competing land uses create the potential to cause losses and degradation of the soil resource.

We need to value soil for its role in our food security, protection of water quality, and as a driver of the rural economy.

Keeping topsoil on the land and preventing soil erosion are important goals. This helps preserve a valuable economic and environmental resource - it also prevents sediment, chemicals, and pathogens from reaching drains, creeks, rivers, and Lake Huron.

Stewardship projects like berms, tree planting, and wetland creation or enhancement can help preserve topsoil and nutrients on the land and keep sediment, chemicals, and bacteria and pathogens out of water.