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Grants in Huron County for stewardship

New water stewardship projects underway through Huron County Clean Water Project

Funding approved; grants available; brochure available online

Landowners are completing new projects to improve water quality thanks to funding from the County of Huron. 

The county has allocated $400,000 for the Huron Clean Water Project (HCWP) in 2020. The long-standing program provides grants and technical assistance to Huron County residents. 

The new 2020 brochure is now available. Download it at the Huron County Clean Water Project web page link below: Nearly 3,000 projects have been completed since 2005 with support of the Huron County Clean Water Project.

“The Huron Clean Water Project is important to the residents, the environment, and the economy,” said Huron County Councillor Jamie Heffer, Chair of the committee that reviews the projects. “It helps people do practical, on-the-ground projects that make a difference.”

Although program staff are working remotely during the current pandemic, people can contact them by calling the MVCA at 519-335-3557, extension 236, or ABCA at 519-235-2610, extension 227. Staff monitor the phones and reply to messages. 

More information is also available at:  Find out more here:
May 3-9 is Emergency Preparedness Week

Emergency Preparedness Week is May 3-9

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) continues to monitor, model river levels; ABCA provides flood messages to municipal flood coordinators 

Emergency Preparedness Week is May 3-9, 2020.

This is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative to promote emergency preparedness across Canada.

To find out about Emergency Preparedness Week in Ontario, including how to make a plan, build a kit, and stay informed, visit this Emergency Management Ontario web page: Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is one of the emergency management preparedness partners in this part of Ontario. Conservation authorities continue to protect life and property with their essential services even during the current pandemic.

The conservation authority delivers flood forecasting and warning programs on a watershed basis. ABCA staff members continue to monitor and model river levels either remotely or, as needed and using safe protocols, on site. As part of this service, staff continue to provide timely messaging to municipal flood coordinators when needed. This work is continuing even during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The conservation authority provides three levels of flood messages. The three levels are 1. Watershed Conditions Statement or Shoreline Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook / Water Safety; 2. Flood Watch; and 3. Flood Warning. Messages focus on the scale of events that have the potential to impact properties in flood plain areas or adjacent to Lake Huron.

For current flood messages and shoreline conditions statements visit this web page: Not all rainfall events warrant flood messages but ABCA staff remind the public that wet spring weather and seasonally high and fast-flowing river conditions present their own hazards. The public, including children and youth, are reminded to stay away from elevated rivers and creeks as slippery banks and fast-flowing cold water combine to create hazardous conditions.

Through flood management and other programs, Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities build watershed resilience to limit the impacts of flood events and reduce the risk from, and cost of, flooding. This benefits residents, businesses, and all levels of government.

ABCA continues to ensure the delivery of essential services and programs, working remotely when possible, during the COVID-19 pandemic. These services and programs include flood forecasting and warning; operation and maintenance of water control structures; communications; municipal support; general administration and corporate services; payroll; property oversight; and other programs and services. Staff also continue to review development applications and issue permits.

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority office is closed until further notice but staff who can complete their duties remotely are working from home and monitoring emails and messages. For Notices of Service Disruptions visit this web page:  It is the 25th anniversary of Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada.

Learn more here:

Shoreline Conditions Statement issued

A Shoreline Conditions Statement safety message was issued on Friday, May 8, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).

For the most current flood and safety messages, including Shoreline Conditions Statements, visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority flood messages page here:
Turtle photo by John Jimmo

Quiz, contest, prizes for World Turtle Day 

World Turtle Day is Saturday, May 23, 2020 

Quiz contest is part of web, social media campaign promoting protection of turtles

Watch for a quiz contest - coming soon - as part of the Ten Days of Turtle Facts running daily May 13-22 leading up to World Turtle Day on Saturday, May 23, 2020

How many species of turtles are in Ontario? What is one of the biggest threats to turtles? What can you do to help turtles? The answers to these and other questions are part of a Turtle Quiz.

Watch for the quiz - coming soon - on our turtles web page: The quiz and contest is part of a local social media awareness campaign in recognition of World Turtle Day on Saturday, May 23, 2020.

The Ten Days of Turtle Facts campaign is to start on social media on May 13 and is to run until May 22.

All those who complete the quiz, through a survey link to be posted in the coming days at, will be entered into a random draw for a turtle prize pack. The winner is to be announced on World Turtle Day, Saturday, May 23, 2020.

“We want to make learning about turtles fun,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds Technician at Ausable Bayfield Conservation. The daily posts, the quiz, and the contest prizes are ways to make this year’s World Turtle Day more engaging than ever, she said. Social media posts each day will be a way for everyone to learn about why we need to protect our turtles and how.

“It’s important to think about Ontario turtle species on World Turtle Day, and to learn what we can do to help these animals all year long,” Hope said.

May is an important time of year to begin thinking about turtles, according to Hope. Turtles often have to cross roads in search of mates, new habitat and suitable nesting areas. Most turtle species nest from late May to early July so people can help to protect them especially at this time by driving slowly, carefully, and being extra cautious about turtles on the road.

Learn more: #WorldTurtleDay

(Turtle photo by John Jimmo)
Help preserve plant health this special year.

Spring Planting Tips

Ten planting tips for a new decade


Ten plant health tips for 2020, International Year of Plant Health 

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health. Plant Health Year raises global awareness on how to protect plant health, protect water and soil, and to address hunger, poverty, and economic development. The slogan for this special year is ‘Protecting Plants, Protecting Life.’

During this exceptional year, and to start a new decade (the 2020s), many people are looking to green their yards. Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s Green Team is sharing ten tips (one for each year of the new decade!) on what and how to plant to build plant health:

1. Plant native species. They are more apt to survive and thrive, especially during times of extreme weather as our climate continues to change. 

2. Consult gardening magazines and newsletters that offer tips such as choosing the right plants and the right sites; not crowding plants; pruning damaged limbs at the correct times; planting varieties that are resistant to diseases; watching for bugs; using yard waste that is fully composted; and keeping a close eye on your plants.

3. Plant trees now or plan for the fall planting. If you don’t have room on your property to plant trees, consider shrubs that will benefit birds and pollinators. 

4. Water plants the right amounts at the right times.

5. Use rain barrels to water plants. By capturing rainfall, you will have a good source of water for your plants – to help you get through dry periods when plants need water the most.

6. If you have access to digital technology, such as a smart phone, software and mobile apps may tell you how to prevent and manage plant pests and diseases and to report outbreaks.

7. Control pests with biological practices that don’t kill pollinators such as bees and other beneficial insects and organisms.

8. Help to control the spread of non-native species: If you have a non-native invasive plant in your yard, remove it to prevent spread using methods such as digging, flower head removal before seed set, or hire a professional. To find out more about invasive plants, visit this PDF file link: 9. By buying food locally and by planting a vegetable garden you can have healthy local food to complement your food purchases, keep your grocery bill down, and reduce your carbon footprint.

10. Donate to permanent local tree planting through Carbon Footprints to Forests program: To learn more about the International Year of Plant Health visit:  You can also search Twitter, Facebook, and other social media using these hashtags: #PlantHealth and #IYPH2020

Help preserve plant health this special year.

Learn more here: 
Drinking Water Week is May 3-9

Drinking Water Week is
May 3-9, 2020

During Drinking Water Week (May 3-9, 2020), and every day of the year, we thank the municipal water operators and everyone who is part of the work to keep our drinking water safe and clean.


To find out about protecting municipal drinking water sources in your region visit this website:
Online education for your young people

Here are engaging ways to teach, learn at home


Ausable Bayfield Conservation shares online resources, local information on protecting water, soil, and living things

Students may be out of the classroom at the moment but there are educational activities online that can help to keep learning going.

These are new and creative ways to connect to the natural world including some activities that can be done indoors.

To help keep their children engaged and learning while at home, Ausable Bayfield Conservation has compiled online science lesson plans and links to other educational resources. 

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) website at is full of scientific, local and up-to-date information on soil, water, and habitat for living things in the Ausable Bayfield watershed.

The Teachers’ Resources-Lesson Plans web page has new links to ideas and activities to help learning about nature at home. There are activities and lesson plans that help to meet Ontario Curriculum expectations for every grade from Grade 1 to Grade 12. 

The link to teaching and learning resources is here: Conservation education programs, delivered by ABCA, are cancelled for the remainder of the school year. Conservation educators at ABCA are not currently delivering student field trips or in-school programs. This is part of the nation-wide response to coronavirus (COVID-19) as school buildings and child care facilities are closed during the current pandemic. 

For Notices of Service Disruptions visit this link: Learn more here:

Pollinator Strips at Huronview

Have you heard about pollinator strips? They help with wind and water erosion and provide habitat for local pollinators.

Check out this video from Huronview Demonstration Farm @HuronSoilCrop @HealthyLkHuron #pieceofthepuzzle #healthylakehuron #landtolake

ABCA properties remain closed until further notice


Visit for most current updates and notices

All conservation areas, trails, and properties owned and/or managed by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) remain closed, until further notice, at the time of this newsletter.

This has been done as part of the province-wide response to the current coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to help do our part to keep people safe.

Our office remains closed until further notice but staff continue to deliver programs and services remotely and are available by email and phone.

Conservation education programs by ABCA are cancelled for the remainder of the school year. 

For updates and the most current information on closures or adaptations please visit the Notices of Service Disruptions web page at this link:


The office is currently closed until further notice, in response to the current pandemic, but staff are available to serve you by email and phone. Programs and services, including essential services and flood forecasting and warning, are continuing. Conservation areas, properties, and trails we own and/or manage are closed until further notice. For updates and current notices of services disruptions visit

71108 Morrison Line,
RR 3 Exeter, ON
N0M 1S5


Staff continue to serve you by email and phone but the office is closed until further notice at the time of this newsletter - for this and other notices of service disruptions, visit

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