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Cover of Annual Report 2020.

Annual Report 2020 released on website in digital form

Limited number of printed copies also available

The latest annual report focuses on and celebrates community partnerships.

Therefore, when C for Community was the topic of the ABCs of Watershed Management #WatershedABCs daily social media campaign it was a perfect day to release the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Annual Report 2020

Read it now, or download it, online:  We also have a limited number of hard copies available. Let us know if you would like a hard copy.

Thank you to all the landowners and residents and groups and all our other community partners.
Help your community one meal at a time.

Dine for Your Community


Improve your watershed ... one meal at a time

Here is a delicious way to support local restaurants and conservation projects in your community!

Generous local participating restaurants offer specified entrées on specific dates between April 15-22 with some proceeds to #VirtualConservationDinner projects.

Start planning your meals now: Watch for more restaurants to be added shortly!
Support your community, get your 50-50 Raffle Draw ticket online.

Support local projects; Buy your 50-50 raffle draw ticket online

Thanks, Exeter Lions Club, for again generously supporting local conservation projects in your community through the 50-50 draw, back again this year! 

Get your ticket now, easily and safely online through the 50-50 draw web page

Find out more:
Families creating wetlands, enjoying nature.

The Wonder of Wetlands

Here are members of the Bowman family seeding around their newly created wetland at their farm in Denfield.

Participating landowners restoring wetlands enjoy water features and watching new wildlife move into their new habitat (minnows; dragonflies; frogs; turtles; birds, including birds of prey; waterfowl; muskrats and more).

Last year, Ausable Bayfield Conservation helped restore or enhance 22 wetland sites in total.

We planted thousands of plants at 11 sites and at 11 additional sites we restored acres of wetlands.

Read more in the new Annual Report:
Stewardship protects soil and water.

Stewardship protects water, soil

This photo was taken this spring after a snow melt.

The photographer thought it was a good reminder of how stewardship works, implemented by local landowners, benefit water quality by holding soil on the landscape during spring rains and snow melts.

This image, captured by Nathan Schoelier, Stewardship Technician with Ausable Bayfield Conservation, demonstrates a multi-tiered best management practices (BMP) approach by utilizing over-wintered cover crops and a grassed waterway to benefit water quality.

To learn more visit our stewardship page:
Fishing derby postponed to 2022.

Fishing Derby postponed until 2022

The fishing derby, supported by Exeter Lions Club and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, is postponed until 2022. 

We look forward to its return next year. 

Learn more here: 

New video at Goderich water treatment plant

Join John Graham, Drinking Water Source Protection Committee member and Project Manager with Veolia Water Canada Inc., on a virtual tour of the Goderich water treatment plant.

Watch the video now or learn more here: 

Three videos now released in drinking water source protection series

Matt Pearson, Chair of the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection Committee, introduces the first three videos, in a source protection series, in this new video. 

Watch the video now or learn more here:
Environmental Youth Corps being formed.

New Environmental Youth Corps

Are you between the ages of 14 and 18?

Do you want to help the environment in your community?

Do you want to jump-start a potential career in watershed conservation?

If you answered Yes, the new Environmental Youth Corps program may be for you!

Learn more: You are invited to attend a Virtual Open House on Thursday, April 1, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

You may regisgter in advance for this meeting here:
Take part in free lunch and learns.

Online Lunch and Learns


Lunch-and-learn videos now available on YouTube

Conservation educators at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) have offered support to the watershed community though new learning opportunities.

These opportunities are offered at no cost thanks to program sponsors Canada Nature Fund; Environment and Climate Change Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program; and ABCA.

The videos of these learning opportunities are available now on our YouTube channel.

Learn more:
Support conservation projects in your community by bidding online; purchasing 50-50 raffle draw tickets; and supporting local restaurants participating in Dining in Your Community and donating to Dinner, online this year.

Support your community, have fun bidding in online auction from April 15-22

The Conservation Dinner is online this year.

Between April 15 and Earth Day (April 22) you can bid online in the Virtual Conservation Dinner.

There are many great items and this is a chance to support local projects in your community.

Learn more here:
Watershed management A to Z during 75th anniversary.

The ABCs of Watershed Management

Ausable Bayfield Conservation launched the ABCs of Watershed Management on #WorldWaterDay on Monday, March 22, 2021.

For the A to Z of watershed protection, in this year (2021), the 75th anniversary of Ausable Bayfield Conservation (#AusableBayfield75), follow the #WatershedABCs posts on Facebook and Twitter.

This public information campaign continues until April 17, 2021.

To follow the ABCs of Watershed Management, follow us on social media:
Water Quality Technician job posted.

Job Posting – Water Quality Technician

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is accepting applications for a contract position for a Water Quality Technician.

Learn more here:
Jobs available for tree planters.

Job Posting – Tree Planters

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is looking for energetic, enthusiastic people to plant trees through our spring tree planting program. 

Find out more or apply now:
Company hired to enforce rules on conservation lands.

Public visits conservation areas more during pandemic


ABCA contracts company to enforce rules at conservation authority properties

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) properties have seen a dramatic increase in visitors during the pandemic.

“People are looking for places to exercise, to safely spend time with others, and to enjoy the many benefits of spending time in nature,” said land manager Kate Monk. 

“We’re not alone,” she said. “Conservation areas throughout southern Ontario have seen increased use.”

Two of the biggest unauthorized uses of ABCA properties are off-road vehicles and dogs off leash.

The past year has also seen an increase in litter and garbage.

“Dogs must be on a leash and under control at all times,” Kate said. “Off-road vehicles, such as quads and dirt bikes, are prohibited from all of our properties.”

Authorized uses are posted on signs at conservation area entrances and listed on the parks and recreation page on the conservation authority’s website Parks and Recreation page.

People can call ABCA at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 and speak to a staff person if they are unsure about an activity. 

Since the 1990s, ABCA has had patrol officers to educate visitors and enforce the rules. In 2020, ABCA hired Municipal Enforcement Unit (MEU) to provide these services. This company provides municipal and provincial enforcement across multiple regions in Southwestern Ontario.

With the hiring of MEU, ABCA has the ability to enforce both ABCA and provincial legislation. Municipal Enforcement Unit officers are appointed by the ABCA to conduct these enforcements and may be contacted with concerns or requests for service at 1-855-900-9119. 

Section 29 of the Conservation Authorities Act and Trespass to Property Act (engage in a prohibited activity) are the two pieces of legislation most commonly used to enforce the rules. 

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry also enforces provincial regulations on ABCA lands.

With the combination of these services (MEU, MNRF, and ABCA), rules and regulations can be enforced and appropriate action will be taken. As with all public spaces, people are responsible and liable for their own conduct and the behavior of their pets. This includes keeping dogs on leashes and maintaining complete control at all times.

ABCA has acquired 9,000 acres of natural areas over the past 75 years. Public access to these green spaces is an important secondary use, according to Kate. Regulations and rules are in place to protect the local environment as well as visitors and their pets. 

For more information on ABCA properties, including conservation area brochures and trail maps, please visit or call 1-888-286-2610.

Learn more:

Conservation education programs include outdoor nature day camps, remote learning and more

Conservation education programs in Ausable Bayfield watersheds help to create the stewards of tomorrow.

Programs include Wonder Investigate Learn Discover (WILD) Nature Day Camps 2021.

Find out more here: To find out about conservation education programs for remote learners and homeschoolers visit the remote learners page: For educational experiences for families and community groups visit the family page: Also, be sure to keep up-to-date on learning opportunities on our events page: If you are an educator, or parent or guardian, and have questions about the status of current and upcoming conservation education programs, and adaptations, contact our conservation education staff or visit our education page:


The office is currently closed to the public until further notice, in response to the current pandemic, but staff continue to deliver programs and services and are available to serve you by email and phone and Zoom video conference or using COVID-19 public health protocols on site. Programs and services, including essential services and flood forecasting and warning, continue. For updates and current notices of service disruptions and adaptations visit

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


Staff continue to serve you by email and phone during regular business hours, weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but the office continues to be closed to visitors until further notice at the time of this newsletter. Staff are equipped to work remotely and continue to deliver programs and services remotely when possible or in the field using pandemic protocols to protect public health. For current notices of service disruptions and adaptations, and updates, visit

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