We appreciate your interest in the work of landowners and other partners, like you, who are creating healthier Ausable Bayfield watershed communities. This newsletter is to let you know about opportunities for stewardship funding and technical support, programs, events, community news, the work of Ausable Bayfield Conservation and its partners, and ways you can help improve water quality, forest conditions, and habitat in your community.

Happy New Year!

Ausable Bayfield Conservation wishes you, your friends, your family, and your community, a healthy, Happy New Year
We thank all landowners and watershed residents for the work they do each year to protect water quality, improve forest conditions, and improve habitat for healthier watersheds and healthier communities. We look forward to working with you in 2012.  

Martin Zimmer

Feature artist named for 2012 Conservation Dinner

The Conservation Dinner committee has announced that acclaimed London painter Martin Zimmer will be the feature artist at the 23rd annual charitable dinner and auction taking place April 19th, 2012 in Exeter.
For more information visit:

Rural Stormwater Management Plan

Ontario supports rural stormwater management project

A partnership project will develop a Rural Stormwater Management Model between 2011 and 2013. This innovative new water-quality project will improve knowledge of how agricultural and rural drainage function in a rural landscape. The groundbreaking new model will acquire more detailed and precise information on how to manage any stormwater impact during spring time and heavy rainfall events. This increased understanding will guide new stewardship projects designed to effectively reduce and manage run-off.
For more information visit:
See also:
The project will increase monitoring and introduce five new water monitoring stations in five priority watersheds along Lake Huron’s South East Shore in a rural part of Ontario stretching from Sarnia to Tobermory.
For more information on the five priority watersheds visit:
The creation of this model will benefit water quality enhancement in these priority areas and it will also benefit all of rural Ontario.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) will lead the water-quality project in partnership with Maitland Valley, St. Clair Region, Saugeen Valley, and Grey-Sauble conservation authorities and other partners including the Lake Huron South East Shore Initiative, an inter-agency partnership helping to create Healthy Lake Huron: Clean Water, Clean Beaches. Project partners include landowners, provincial and federal ministries, county departments, and environmental agencies.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment announced, on December 20, 2011, a Showcasing Water Innovation Program grant of $700,000 towards this new, and truly rural, water-quality initiative. Additional support and in-kind contributions will come from other funding partners.
The creation of a rural stormwater management model will provide more precise information to help landowners and agencies invest their stewardship dollars on those projects, and those areas, that will benefit the most and have the greatest positive environmental impact.
Projected benefits of a more precise rural stormwater management model include:
  • Reduction in stormwater
  • Reduced impacts on lakes and rivers
  • Reduction in risks to health
  • Limiting erosion
  • Reducing flooding

Components of the project include:

  • Development of specific software for a rural stormwater management model
  • Integration into the model of more precise information such as precipitation, drainage patterns and systems, flow paths, forest cover, land uses, etc.
  • Increased monitoring through five stations in priority watersheds along the South East Shore of Lake Huron
  • Communication with landowners, public, governments, and agencies
  • Sharing model when finished for the benefit of others
Landowners are undertaking stewardship projects that reduce the chances of run-off affecting water bodies – their support and participation is an important part of this project.
The project will also lead to increased environmental expertise in rural Ontario.
Woodland Reflection Shelter Foundation

2012 Year of the Woodland Reflection Shelter

2012 is year of the Woodland Reflection Shelter. Help make the Woodland Refection Shelter pavilion a reality. Leave a local legacy, help our tree grow!
For information visit:

Alternative trees good choices to prepare for Emerald Ash Borer

Spring tree mail-in orders due January 31, 2012; Over-the-counter orders with payment due Wednesday, February 29
There are alternatives to ash trees in preparing for Emerald Ash Borer. Talk to Ausable Bayfield Conservation about such trees as oak, sycamore, tulip tree, honey locust, and Silver Maple/Autumn Blaze hybrid maple.
Emerald Ash Borer is an insect species that cuases mortality in all species of native ash. The borer is is known to occur locally in parts of Lambton, Huron and Middlesex Counties. A number of native tree species are available on our spring tree order form that you may wish to consider as alternatives or replacements for ash.
Download the spring tree order form now:
Now is a great time to order trees for spring planting. For more information on the ABCA's tree planting programs contact Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist Ian Jean at: 519-235-2610, ext. 238 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or e-mail  

Support water quality with your votes at Shell FuellingChange

At the time of this newsletter Ausable Bayfield's base mapping initiative for water quality projects was in the top eight in voting through the Shell FuellingChange program. However, we need your support to keep it in the top eight and it doesn't cost you a thing. For information on how you can support this local water quality effort visit:

Province approves assessment reports for local areas

Reports approved on January 9: Assessment reports have now been approved, by the Province of Ontario's Ministry of the Environment, for Ausable Bayfield and Maitland Valley source protection areas.
For more information visit:
“A lot of scientific study went into assessment report creation and refinement over the past three years,” said Laurence Brown, Chairman of the local Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Region drinking water source protection committee. “The successful completion of these reports now gives the committee the ability to devote our energies to the development of source protection planning policies to protect drinking water.”
He thanked everyone who contributed to the creation and refinement of the reports. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public and municipalities who, through public meetings and working groups, have provided valuable comments to the committee and staff during the assessment report preparation,” he said.
Source protection planning policies will be released for public review in the spring of 2012 and will take effect in the second half of the year.

Nominations being accepted for Conservationist of Year

Nominations have started arriving for the Conservationist of the Year Award. Nominate someone or some organization you know from the Ausable Bayfield area. You may submit nominations until Friday, February 10, 2012. Information and nomination forms are available at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority online at or by phone at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610. Download nomination form at:
Ausable Bayfield Conservation has presented this award to a deserving recipient every year for more than 25 years. The award recognizes people or organizations from your watershed community who have demonstrated outstanding conservation achievements. Their positive actions might be implementing best management practices, improving forest conditions, bettering local water quality and quantity, supporting conservation education, restoring wetlands, or protecting fish and wildlife habitat.
The award will be presented on March 15, 2012 at the annual Conservation Awards evening to which you are invited. Dr. Ralph C. Martin, Loblaw Chair in Sustainable Food Production at the Ontario Agricultural College of the University of Guelph will speak that evening.

WinterFest website now available

There is lots to do on Holiday Monday next month. Family Day WinterFest South Huron is back!
“Last year’s inaugural event was a great celebration and we are looking forward to another great year in 2012,” said Jim O’Toole, Chairman of the Friends of the South Huron Trail. “Mark your calendars for the holiday on Monday, February 20.”
For more information visit the new website, complete with video and photo gallery, at:
or get details at:
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