About the NPCA
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) was established on April 30, 1959 under the Conservation Authorities Act, and serves approximately half a million people in an area known as the Niagara Peninsula Watershed which encompasses all of the Niagara Region and portions of the City of Hamilton and Haldimand County. At its advent, the driving force behind the Conservation Authority movement was its grassroots land stewardship and water protection programs. Today, this vital commitment continues as we strive to manage the impact of human activities, urban growth and rural activities on the watershed.
With its unique resources, the Niagara Peninsula is one of the most complex watersheds in the Province. It includes lands drained by the Niagara River, Twenty Mile Creek, the Welland River, the Welland Canal, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Nestled between two Great Lakes and transversed by the Niagara Escarpment, the Niagara Peninsula has truly unique climatic and biotic zones that are unlike anywhere else in North America. Our programs focus on the protection and preservation of this unique environment, and on watershed management activities that help keep people and their property safe from flooding and erosion.
Environmental Protection & Preservation
The NPCA’s ongoing commitment to land stewardship is reflected in the preservation and management of over 2, 870 hectares (7091 acres) of some of the most sensitive and unique natural areas in Niagara. These lands are held in public trust, allowing the people of Niagara to enjoy its distinctive natural heritage at 36 Conservation Areas such as St. Johns, Beamer Memorial, Ball’s Falls, Woodend, Chippawa Creek, Long Beach, Wainfleet Bog, Morgan’s Point and Binbrook to name just a few. Each of these unique resources offer diverse recreational and educational opportunities and a place to experience nature’s beauty.
Understanding that water is an essential part of our daily lives, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority continues to focus on protecting and improving this vital resource. We are committed to providing strong leadership in the wise use and stewardship of natural resources to achieve and maintain a healthy and sustainable environment. Restoration programs focus on achieving and maintaining habitat goals. These programs include: wetland protection and rehabilitation, reforestation, naturalization projects (including buffer strips and riparian plantings along waterways), aquatic restoration, and erosion control. These projects contribute to the improvement of local water quality, wildlife habitat and species diversity.
Species diversity is key in Niagara, where well over 2,200 species of plants and animals live. Unfortunately, nearly ten percent of these species are considered to be rare or at risk due to habitat loss, urban sprawl, invasive species competition, pollution and climate change. The Conservation Authority has long recognized the importance of partnerships to assist in addressing these challenges, realizing that our strength lies in the continued involvement and cooperation of many community groups, all levels of government, and area residents. As a watershed resident, you can help ensure that our water and land is as healthy as possible. Please continue to read through our website to find out how you can make a difference in creating a healthy and sustainable environment.
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is a registered charitable organization.
The Establishment of Conservation Authorities
In response to concerns about drought and deforestation in the late 1920’s and 1930’s, the Province of Ontario passed The Conservation Authorities Act in 1946. This legislation embodies three fundamental principles:
- local initiative of the municipalities to become involved in resource management projects
- cost-sharing between the Province and the member municipalities
- the use of watershed units as the logical basis on which to develop rational and integrated resource management programs
There are presently 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province covering virtually all of Southern Ontario and the more heavily populated sections of Northern Ontario.
Conservation Authorities Mandate
The legislative mandate of the Conservation Authority, as set out in Section 20 of The Conservation Authorities Act, is to establish and undertake programs designed to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources. The NPCA fulfills this mandate by advocating and implementing programs that:
- Improve the quality of lands and waters within its jurisdiction
- Contribute to public safety from flooding and erosion
- Provide for the acquisition of conservation and hazard lands
- Enhance the quality of life in its watershed by using its lands for regional recreation, heritage preservation and conservation education
The activities of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority are governed by a Board of Directors comprised of 15 members appointed by the member municipalities as follows:
- 12 members appointed by the Region of Niagara
- 2 members appointed by the City of Hamilton
- 1 member appointed by Haldimand County