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Updated Wetland Mapping and Conservation Authority Regulations


Conservation Authorities: Protecting People and Property

Mer Blue Bog

New Conservation Authority Regulations - Locally Significant Wetlands

On April 1, 2024, the Government of Ontario replaced individual Conservation Authority Regulations with O. Reg. 41/24: Prohibited Activities, Exemptions and Permits. This update requires Conservation Authorities to regulate development activities within 30 metres of all wetlands, as defined in the regulation.

SNC previously regulated development within Provincially Significant Wetlands and within certain Locally Significant Wetlands when requested by municipalities. The new regulation requires South Nation Conservation to regulate all wetlands to achieve consistency across the province. Additionally, the area where permission is required to develop near a wetland has been reduced from 120 metres to 30 metres.


 

Public Consultations and Regulation Mapping

Conservation Authority regulation maps identify areas where permission (through a permit) may be required for certain construction, shoreline or watercourse alterations, and development activities.

Public consultations are opportunities for stakeholders and the public to review and comment on updated mapping and to receive information on policy changes. 

This Public Consultation Period is taking place between June 3 and July 11, 2024. SNC is also engaging directly with 9 local agricultural organizations to share information.

Please note that these consultations do not replace any municipal requirements or public notices to update policies or zoning schedules.

 


Public Open Houses and Meeting Requests

In partnership with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA), South Nation Conservation (SNC) will be co-hosting several public meetings to provide opportunities for the public to view draft mapping and learn more about updated development permitting options. 

Meeting details are included below and residents may also schedule 1-on-1 meetings with staff (in-person or virtual) to learn more and to access property-specific mapping.

 

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A MEETING REQUEST

 

Please feel free to attend the following Public Open House for more information (drop in at any time):

SNC Administrative Office - Thursday, June 27, 2024
38 Victoria Street, Finch, Ontario
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Stakeholders and residents are also welcome to attend any of the following public meetings if the location or time is more convenient:

R.J. Kennedy Community Centre - Tuesday, June 25, 2024
1115 Dunning Road, Ottawa, Ontario
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM

RVCA Administrative Office - Wednesday, June 26, 2024
3889 Rideau Valley Drive, Manotick, Ontario
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM

 


Updated Wetland Mapping

South Nation Conservation's previous regulation (Ontario Regulation 170/06 Regulation of Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alteration to Shorelines and Watercourses) has been applied since 2006 and already included development restrictions and permitting requirements in Provincially Significant Wetlands and certain Locally Significant Wetlands. Wetlands previously mapped and regulated remain protected, however, the buffer around them where a development permit is required has been reduced from 120 metres to 30 metres. 

Wetland mapping varies throughout the region as certain municipalities have previously worked with the Conservation Authority to map and regulate Locally Significant Wetlands, like in the Township
of Alfred-Plantagenet.

A separate partnership project is currently ongoing with the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry to accurately define existing wetland boundaries through on-the-ground investigations. 

Updated mapping is derived from a series of public datasets and mapping products and is intended as a screening tool for development applications. Conservation Authority staff review individual development proposals and will complete complimentary site visits to confirm wetland boundaries. 

Click here to access an online mapping portal that shows updated wetland mapping.

Please note the following for the mapping portal:

  • Data is subject to change as areas are refined and updated accordingly. 
  • Not all regulated areas may be mapped as the descriptions of regulated areas in the Conservation Authorities Act and O. Reg 41/24 prevail over depictions of the data. 
  • Mapping is intended as a screening tool, staff are able to confirm wetland boundaries during site visits. 
  • Areas depicted in dark green on the map are already regulated. 
  • Areas depicted in light green would become regulated, per the provincial regulatory requirements. 
  • Areas depicted in yellow include the 30 metre buffer around wetlands where certain activities are permitted. 

 


Regulation Policy Update

Conservation Authorities maintain individual Regulations Policies that guide permit decision-making, in compliance with the Conservation Authorities Act and O. Reg 41/24.

Following SNC's Implementation Plan, the Board of Directors will be reviewing updated wetland mapping and policy updates on Thursday, July 18, 2024. Policy updates will also include flexibility to allow development on existing lots of record, as well as certain replacements, additions, facility maintenance, and passive or low intensity uses. 

Activities that may change, interfere or negatively affect the function and characteristics of a wetland are not permitted (ie, no ditching, tile drainage, berms, etc). Existing agricultural activities may continue and new activities may be permitted within 30 metres of a wetland.

 

Click here for more information on regulation policies and permit applications.

 


Importance of Wetland Habitat

Wetlands are biodiverse areas of land that are covered and/or saturated with water. They take form as marshes, fens, swamps, bogs and open water, and protect surrounding land from flooding and drought, while providing ample resources for plants, insects, birds and other wildlife to live and thrive within it. 

Wetlands are important ecological systems and provide many benefits to surrounding homes and communities including flood attenuation, erosion protection, groundwater recharge, filtration of drinking water supplies, wildlife refuge, and forest cover, as well as recreational, educational, and research opportunities.

Typically, wetlands are associated with unstable, organic soils and generally not well suited for development.


Funding Available to Create or Restore Wetland Habitat

Cost-share funding is available to help restore wetlands, create habitat for Species at Risk, and for projects that help improve water quality. 

The Eastern Ontario Farm Stewardship Collaborative is a group of environmental organization working together to support rural property owners with environmental improvement projects. 

Please feel free to contact e.o.stewardshipcollaborative@gmail.com for more information. 

 


Development Permission for Building Near or Altering a Wetland

Property owners are encouraged to contact SNC to discuss projects that might be taking place near watercourses, natural hazards, or wetlands. Free pre-consultation is available (in person, online, or by phone) to help guide you through the permitting process. 

Development rights are maintained on existing lots of record, however, permission is required before changing or interfering with wetland habitat.

Properties with wetland designations can still be developed if a permit is obtained in compliance with the new Ontario Regulation and SNC’s local policies.

Permits help ensure public safety and protection of people from natural hazards while preventing the destruction of sensitive environmental areas including wetlands, shorelines, and watercourses.

 


For More Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Request a 1-on-1 Meeting

View Wetland Mapping Portal

Access SNC's Regulations Policies

Apply for a Development Permit Online

Funding Application - Farm Stewardship