This free electronic newsletter is to let you know about some of the programs and services provided in Ausable Bayfield watersheds to manage water resources and to support your work to create healthy watersheds, and to realize the mission and vision developed by the community in the Conservation Strategy. The content provided in this publication is intended for local educational and information purposes only. Every effort has been made to ensure the correctness of information as at the publication date (October 2015). Subject to change.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) updating Shoreline Management Plan

Local stakeholders taking part on Steering Committee; Public invited to complete survey about issues facing shoreline

Shoreline Management Plan Study AreaAusable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) last completed a Shoreline Management Plan in 2000. A Steering Committee and consulting team are now conducting work to update the plan. The updated Shoreline Management Plan is to be completed by the end of 2016.
The conservation authority is to send correspondence to a number of people with an interest in shoreline management to invite them to complete the survey. The survey is also available online at the Shoreline Management Plan Update web page. You may complete the survey directly by visiting this link: Survey – You and Your Shoreline.
The survey is to be open until February 1, 2016. Those who complete the survey have a chance to enter draws for one of three grand prizes – one-year family passes to Rock Glen Conservation Area in Arkona.
To stay up-to-date on the Shoreline Management Plan Update please subscribe to the free SMP Newsletter.
Public opportunities for input, in addition to the survey, are to include public open houses planned for 2016 when some of the technical work is to be ready in draft.
Visit the shoreline management page for answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
The Steering Committee includes local people with an interest in shoreline issues, representing seasonal and shoreline residents, industry, neighbouring conservation authorities, the counties of Lambton and Huron, and representatives of the four shoreline municipalities in Ausable Bayfield watersheds. The Steering Committee is providing individuals in Ausable Bayfield watersheds with a chance to provide early input through an online survey. The survey has 18 questions so property owners can offer some of their concerns, issues, and priorities as the Steering Committee moves forward with its work.

Level 1 Low Water Advisory issued

Streamflow across ABCA watershed at lowest level since 2012 drought; Water Response Team issues Level 1 Low Water Advisory for entire Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) watershed: Rainfall totals for the months of July through September were below normal across
most of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) watershed, resulting in extremely dry conditions and stressed flows in local streams and rivers. This prompted the ABCA Water Response Team (WRT) to issue a Level 1 Low Water Advisory.
To stay current on the status of low water conditions visit our Low Water Advisory web page.
The decision to declare a Level 1 Low Water Advisory at this time of reduced water demand is a proactive one based on the current conditions. If dry conditions continue through the fall and into winter, the WRT will be in a better position to deal with any water  shortages, should that be a concern in 2016.

Mark your calendars

Conservation Dinner to take place Thursday, April 14, 2016 at South Huron Recreation Centre in Exeter: For more than a quarter of a century, the Exeter Lions Club, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority have worked with donors, patrons, artists, and community volunteers to host the Conservation Dinner. Thanks to all of you, the Conservation Dinner gala auction is in a position to surpass the $1 million mark in net proceeds raised, over the event's history, for local conservation projects.
The 2015 auction and dinner event broke all records, having raised more than $60,000 in net proceeds. For more information visit the Conservation Dinner web page or

Owl Prowl is November 7, 2015

Organizers bring back popular Owl Prowl: Each year, hundreds of local people turn off the televisions and computer devices and step out into the fresh air to enjoy nature and listen for owls. This is not some strange ritual. It’s the Owl Prowl.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation announced that this year’s free event takes place on Saturday, November 7, 2015. The annual event is to take place at Morrison Dam Conservation
Area Workshop. It is located two kilometres east of Exeter, just south of Highway 83, at 71108 Morrison Line.
For more information visit our Owl Prowl page.


Friends of the South Huron Trail to meet

Consider joining this community group helping to support the South Huron Trail: The Friends of the South Huron Trail community group is moving its annual meeting to the Ausable Bayfield Conservation office this year. The Annual General Meeting and Breakfast takes place Friday, November 6, 2015 at 9 a.m. at Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s board room, 71108 Morrison Line, east of Exeter. This dedicated volunteer group helps to maintain and support the MacNaughton-Morrison Section of the South Huron Trail. For information on how to become a member of this volunteer group contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2160 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or e-mail

Measuring locally, reporting globally

Go Global: Local volunteers are ‘measuring locally and reporting globally’ as local citizen scientists with the Go Global program to monitor tree and species changes at forest plots including Bannockburn Conservation Area near Varna.
For more information visit our Go Global tree monitoring page.

Nominate person, farm, business, or group for Conservation Award

Conservationist of the Year Award: Ausable Bayfield Conservation will once again honour a person, business, farm, or organization doing positive work in the local watershed community with the Conservationist of the Year Award. The conservation authority invites you to nominate eligible persons or groups for this award. The event organizers are to accept nominations until January 29, 2016. Ausable Bayfield Conservation has presented the award since 1984.
The nomination form is available at this web page: Conservation Award
Past winners of the Conservationist of the Year Award include rural landowners and residents, farms, service clubs, community organizations, companies, nature groups, and municipalities. Each award winner is a business, organization, or person residing in the watershed or having done conservation work there.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation presents the award each year at the annual conservation awards evening in March. The Conservationist of the Year receives a framed limited-edition conservation print as a prize and the conservation authority also makes a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods site maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.
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