The five-year update of Conservation Authority Watershed Report Cards were released last week, coinciding with World Water Day. Grades indicate that many of Ontario’s watersheds, especially those in southern, more urban areas, are stressed.
The local Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) watersheds scored very well, particularly in surface water quality and forest conditions, with most achieving a grade of Good to Excellent.
Grey Sauble Conservation Authority CAO Tim Lanthier commented on the advantages for our local communities that are associated with these positive grades.
“We are happy to see that our watersheds are generally in very good to excellent condition, though there are areas where we, as a community, need to focus our efforts for improvement. Healthy watersheds provide important benefits to everyone who lives or visits our area. They help to drive recreational tourism, encourage healthy living, and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Together with our partners, stakeholders, and the community, GSCA will continue to provide services that monitor and improve the environment in which we all live, work and play,” said Lanthier.
Watershed Report Cards can be used to show the overall environmental trends and assist in developing targeted actions to address issues. The main challenges to local watershed health identified in GSCA’s 2023 Watershed Report Card include non-point source pollution such as runoff from fields, streets, and backyards, watercourses without adequate riparian cover (trees within 30 metres of a watercourse), and limited funding and resources that constrain programs and services that support healthy watersheds. The Watershed Report Card also includes valuable information for residents, municipalities, and agencies on how to help enhance watershed health locally.
Maintaining good grades is no easy task and GSCA looks forward to another successful year working with partners across Grey and Bruce Counties to help monitor, restore, protect, and enhance natural features. To learn more about how you can be part of these efforts and help improve local watershed health by planting trees or implementing stewardship projects on your property like livestock restriction fencing, contact the Grey Sauble Conservation office (519-376-3076 or email@example.com).
To view the local GSCA report card, visit www.greysauble.on.ca/water-management/watershed-report-cards/ and find more information about the Watershed Report Cards and conditions across the province at www.watershedcheckup.ca.