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Watershed Report Card 2018

Ausable Bayfield Conservation to release updated Watershed Report Cards at annual awards evening

Conservation authority prepares report cards every five years; New report cards recommend top actions, measure forest conditions, water quality

What are the forest conditions and water quality in your local environment? Ausable Bayfield Conservation is releasing updated new Watershed Report Cards to answer those questions.

Many conservation authorities across Ontario prepare Watershed Report Cards every five years, based on standardized guidelines, as a summary of the state of local forests and water resources. A number of conservation authorities are planning to release new report cards on World Water Day, March 22, to provide a ‘Watershed Checkup.’ 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation is releasing its updated new Watershed Report Card on March 22, 2018. The local release is to take place as part of the annual conservation awards event. “Measuring water quality and forest conditions helps us to better understand our local environment and how we can work together to improve the health of water, soil, and living things here,” said Mari Veliz, Healthy Watersheds Supervisor with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). “Sharing monitoring results helps the community to determine where work is needed and to track progress.”

Report cards are to be posted at by March 22.To learn more about the new Watershed Report Cards you are invited to the annual awards evening to be held at Ironwood Golf Club on March 22. The early-evening event features a keynote address, Conservationist of the Year Award presentation, Board of Directors and staff service awards, light meal, and the release of the updated Ausable Bayfield Watershed Report Card (2018). Ironwood Golf Club is located at 70969 Morrison Line, 2 km east of Exeter. There is no admission fee but seats are limited and guests are asked to reserve their seat at least a week ahead of time. If you would like to attend, please reply to Sharon Pavkeje at by Thursday, March 15, 2018 for meal numbers. You may also phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610. If you have special dietary needs, you are asked to let organizers know in advance.

The Report Card 2018 provides data on 16 more local watershed communities: including three Bayfield River subwatersheds, eight Ausable River subwatersheds, two Parkhill Creek subwatersheds, Mud Creek, and two areas with creeks that drain directly to Lake Huron. “I think people want to know more about their local environment and will find the information, especially the maps, interesting,” said Veliz. “We also hope it supports the important work by community groups, landowners, and agencies.” 

The documents offer ideas for things you, your community, and local agencies can do to help protect and improve the health of water, soil, and living things in your area. The authors offer ‘Thumbs Up’ congratulations to community partners creating awareness and taking positive action. The report cards suggest where more work is needed and where work has been achieving positive results. The report cards recommend ‘top actions’ for each of 16 local subwatersheds. 

In addition to the release of new Watershed Report Cards, the March 22 event also features a keynote speaker. The presenter is Natalia Moudrak, Director of the Infrastructure Adaptation Program at the Intact Centre. She is the lead author of the 2017 report called When the Big Storms Hit: The Role of Wetlands to Limit Urban and Rural Flood Damage. The report on wetlands and risk reduction is based on research completed in two pilot sites located in southern Ontario – a rural one (located north of the City of Mississauga) and an urban one (located in the City of Waterloo). The report demonstrates that wetlands conservation is a cost-effective means to reduce flood risk in Canada. Tens of millions of dollars in damages could be saved by preserving wetlands, according to the report. Wetlands can help limit financial impacts of flooding in rural and urban areas by nearly 40 per cent, according to the Intact Centre report.

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