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Visit for flood messages.

For most recent flood messages, visit

Flood Outlook, Water Safety Watershed Conditions Statement flood message was issued on Friday, January 24, 2020

Be sure to read the most recent flood messages from Ausable Bayfield Conservation at our website and on our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter).

For the most recent flood message(s), visit this page: A Flood Outlook and Water Safety Watershed Conditions Statement flood message, was issued, on Friday, January 24, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., to municipal flood coordinators, by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). 

Rain and snowmelt contributed to the potential for minor flooding.

Watershed residents are reminded to stay away from creeks, rivers, other watercourses.

Municipal staff should monitor local drainage problem areas where snow conditions may have covered catch basins. Residents are reminded to stay away from all watercourses. The extremely cold water, combined with slippery and unstable stream banks, has created hazardous conditions near all waterways.

All ice should be considered unsafe.

It's not always possible to include flood messages in newsletter emails so be sure to follow our Twitter and Facebook social media channels and our website to make sure you get flood messages in a timely manner. Visit the flood messages page for full details of the flood message and for the most current flood messages.
Nominate for the Conservationist Award.


Nominate person, farm, business, community group or organization for conservation award


We have presented annual award for almost four decades; Conservationist of the Year Award winner is honoured at March evening held to thank local partners in conservation

Ausable Bayfield Conservation has recognized outstanding achievements in conservation, each year since 1984, with conservation awards. Past award winners have included rural landowners and residents, agricultural producers and farms, service clubs, community organizations, companies, nature groups, and municipalities. 

Do you know a person, business, farm, community group, or organization doing great work to protect water, soil, and habitat for living things in Ausable Bayfield watersheds? If so, you are invited to nominate them for the Conservationist of the Year Award.

We are accepting award nominations until February 15, 2020. The award winner is recognized at the Partner Appreciation Evening, an early-evening event to show appreciation for conservation partners, to be held at Ironwood Golf Club, on (pending date) Thursday, March 26, 2020.

To submit a nomination, visit for the nomination form and award information or visit the office east of Exeter at 71108 Morrison Line for a printed copy of the form. You may also call 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email for more information about the award. The nomination form is at this web page link:
To find out more visit this web page:

Ausable Bayfield Conservation's office is closed on Family Day holiday observed in Ontario.
Office closed on Family Day

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) office, east of Exeter, will be closed on the Family Day Holiday Monday celebrated in Ontario on Monday, February 17, 2020.

We wish you and your family and loved ones a wonderful Family Day.

You may choose to enjoy nature and the great outdoors at Family Day events in the watershed including Family Day WinterFest South Huron.

For details visit: For this and other Notices of Service Disruptions visit our notices page:
Be sure to save unnecessary costs ... call first is a good rule of thumb ...

Call first when considering work in regulated area

If your property is in a regulated area, such as the shoreline, and you are thinking of building or doing upgrades, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) staff encourage you to call them before the work begins. ABCA regulations and planning staff say talking to them during the planning stages can save time and save unnecessary expenses later.

“Most residents call us early on and that helps us to provide them with important information about whether their property is in a regulated area and what policies allow and what they don’t,” said Geoffrey Cade, ABCA Water and Planning Manager. “This saves them money and time by letting them know if their planned work meets provincial regulations and local policies and whether it can be considered for permit approval.” 

Most people call ABCA early on during a planned project, according to Cade. That makes things easier during the review of development and permit applications. There have been some cases, he said, where property owners did not find out in advance what was allowed and that has been costly for them. “We don’t want to see anyone face the expense of building only to have to remove it later,” Cade said. “When people talk to us early it saves them time and it saves them potential costs later on.”

Lake Huron water levels, at near-record highs, have reinforced the need to protect people and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion. The conservation authority protects people and property by keeping development out of the areas of highest natural hazards. The ABCA regulates development, interference with wetlands, and alterations to shorelines and watercourses through the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 147/06

Before undertaking any shoreline building project, ABCA advises you to contact your municipality and the conservation authority to ensure your plans meet policies. “A good rule of thumb is the earlier the better,” Cade said. “Our staff can tell you if or how regulations and policies affect your property,” he said. “In some cases, the staff member may offer advice on how you can amend your plan so it could meet the regulation and policies. Staff can also let you know what documents to submit and if any studies are needed.”

For maps of regulated areas visit this web page: To find out more visit or call Meghan or Daniel at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

Learn more:
Wonder, Investigate, Learn, Discover ... Be WILD at nature camp.

Summer Nature Day Camps back in 2020


Be WILD - Wonder, Investigate, Learn and Discover at Summer Nature Day Camp

There are two weeks of day camps and they are chances to be 'WILD' (Wonder, Investigate, Learn, and Discover).

The first camp, for ages 6-9, is WILD Explorers Day Camp on July 8-12, 2020.

The second camp, for ages 10 to 12, is WILD Adventurers Day Camp from July 22-26, 2020.

Space is limited so register soon. To find out more visit the nature day camp web page:
Celebrate World Wetlands Day with local action.

World Wetlands Day is February 2, 2020

Thanks to all the landowners protecting and enhancing wetlands.


World Wetlands Day observed locally, globally on February 2, 2020

Landowners in our waterhed have restored hundreds of acres, helping to protect life in wetlands

The theme for this year’s World Wetlands Day is Wetlands and Biodiversity; Life thrives in wetlands. 

Wetlands provide habitat and breeding areas to more than 600 species of plants and animals in southern Ontario, said Angela Van Niekerk, Wetland Specialist at Ausable Bayfield Conservation.

“World Wetlands Day (February 2, 2020) is a perfect time to thank the local people who have protected wetlands on their property or who have completed wetland restorations and other stormwater management improvements,” she said.

Landowners in Ausable Bayfield watershed have restored 77 wetlands on 247 acres over the last decade with support of local wetlands programs.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation encourages you to consider enhancing a natural area on your property. You are invited to phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to learn more or to talk to staff about a site visit. 

You can help to improve soil health and water quality in many ways in this new decade (for example, by planting trees or other native pollinator species, creating buffer strips, adding sediment basins, or natural shallow ponds and, if you are a farmer, you can use cover crops, longer hay and pasture rotations, and reduced tillage).

World Wetlands Day raises local and global awareness of the vital role of wetlands for people here in Canada and around the world. To learn more visit the website's wetlands web page: You may also use the #WorldWetlandsDay hashtag at to find out more or visit the World Wetlands Day website: The Ausable Bayfield watershed has lost 90 per cent of its wetlands since the years before European settlement. This makes wetland restoration and other stormwater improvements and planting enhancements vital for our water quality and soil health, according to Van Niekerk.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff can help with technical advice and grants thanks to the Healthy Headwaters Wetlands Initiative and the Urban and Rural Stormwater Improvements (URSI) for Lake Huron Project. 

Wetlands are often considered “nature’s kidneys.” Kidneys remove impurities and waste from the human body. Wetlands do the same for land and water. Wetlands are vital natural systems that reduce erosion and flooding and filter sediment and pollutants from water and recharge groundwater supplies. That means wetlands help with water quality and water quantity. They help to store and filter water when there is too much water on the landscape and they help to release water during droughts and times of water shortage when that water is needed. 

Funding support for local wetland projects and other stormwater improvements has been made possible by financial support from funding partners including EcoAction Community Funding Program of Environment and Climate Change Canada; WWF-Canada’s Loblaw Water Fund; and Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Find out more:

Calendar of Events 2020

Mark your calendars! Here are some of upcoming dates of interest:
  • Sunday, February 2 – World Wetlands Day
  • Monday, February 17 – Family Day WinterFest South Huron
  • Saturday, March 14 – International Day of Action for Rivers
  • Saturday, March 21 – International Day of Forests
  • Sunday, March 22 – World Water Day
  • Thursday, March 26, 2020 (date pending) – Partner Appreciation Evening and Conservationist of the Year Award
  • Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. – Earth Hour 2020 
  • Thursday, April 16 – Conservation Dinner 
  • Wednesday, April 22 – Earth Day
  • Monday, May 4 at 9 a.m. – Friends of the South Huron Trail
  • Saturday, May 9 – Invasive Species Removal: Garlic Mustard Pull
  • Friday, May 22 – International Day for Biological Diversity (World Biodiversity Day)
  • Saturday, May 23  – World Turtle Day
  • Friday, June 5 – World Environment Day
  • July 6-10 – Summer Nature Day Camp by Ausable Bayfield Conservation
  • July 20-24 – Summer Nature Day Camp by Ausable Bayfield Conservation
  • Friday, September 18 – EarthEcho Water Challenge/World Water Monitoring Challenge/World Water Monitoring Day
  • September 19 – World Cleanup Day
  • Sunday, September 20 – Commemorative Woods Tree Dedication Ceremony at Morrison Dam Conservation Area (MDCA)
  • Sunday, September 20 – Terry Fox Run
  • Sunday, September 27 – World Rivers Day
  • Monday, November 2 at 9 a.m.  – Friends of the South Huron Trail meeting 
  • Saturday, November 7  – Owl Prowl
  • Tuesday, December 1, 2020 – Giving Tuesday 
  • Saturday, December 5  – World Soil Day
Also, this is the International Year of Plant Health. (PDF)

This list is in development. Other dates may be added as the year goes on. Dates are subject to change. 
For other events and Board of Directors meetings visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation website at

For other dates and for updates visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation website at this link:

Order trees before the end of February.
Order trees now

Spring 2020 Tree Order Form is now available for download

Download the tree order form for free on our tree order web page at this link: Mail-in orders can be sent in until January 31, 2020 or orders can be made accompanied by payment until February 29, 2020.

Tree order forms are available by calling Ausable Bayfield Conservation, by visiting our office east of Exeter at 71108 Morrison Line, or by visiting Ausable Bayfield Conservation's website ( at this link: Cost-share funding is available for many projects, such as field windbreaks, buffers, and reforestation. 

Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist Ian Jean encourages interested landowners to give him a call at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to find out more.  

Local landowners continue to plant tens of thousands of trees each year locally to the benefit of watershed health and human health. Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff work all year to access funding support, for tree planting by landowners, from governments, non-government sources, industry, and the community.

Find out more:

This February Holiday Monday is Family Day WinterFest South Huron.

Free family snowshoeing and other events at Family Day WinterFest South Huron on February 17, 2020

Volunteers from Friends of the South Huron Trail are bringing back free family snowshoeing at Family Day WinterFest South Huron, a single-day winter carnival that takes place on Holiday Monday, February 17, 2020, in Exeter and area.

Thousands of people have attended Family Day WinterFest South Huron since the first multi-partner, family-friendly event was held in 2011. The events have built upon the popular annual tradition of the Exeter Lions Club Family Day Breakfast, first held in 2010.

To find out more visit the web page:


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


8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
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