If you have subscribed already to this newsletter, from Ausable Bayfield Conservation, thank you. If you have not yet subscribed, we invite you to do so. You are welcome to unsubscribe at any time.
View this email in your browser
Nominate for conservation award.

We invite you to nominate person, farm, business, community group or organization for conservation award


Ausable Bayfield Conservation has presented award for more than three decades 

Do you know a person, business, farm, community group, or organization doing work that protects 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. 

You may submit award nominations until February 24, 2021. 

“The year 2021 is the 75th anniversary of our conservation authority and, on this special year, we are proud to once again present this award,” said Doug Cook, Chair of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) Board of Directors. “This is just one way we can say ‘thank you’ to some of our participating local stewards who help to protect your water and soil resources and to improve forest and wetland conditions.”

Learn more: 
Ten reasons to plant trees.

Ten reasons to plant trees in 2021

Landowners who plant trees provide many local benefits, according to Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation taking orders for spring tree planting; Landowners continue to plant thousands of trees each year to protect soil, improve crop yields, ecosystem and human health, more

Local landowners continue to plant tens of thousands of trees each year. By planting trees you build on a long legacy of tree planting in Ausable and Bayfield River watersheds. As we begin a new year in 2021, the 75th anniversary year for Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), the ABCA’s Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist, Ian Jean, offers a forestry perspective.

“Over the past 75 years, local landowners have planted literally millions of trees,” he said. The result has been a doubling of forest cover since the 1940s. 

Forest cover is still too low in some areas, however. Forest cover averages just 14 per cent according to the most recent Ausable Bayfield Watershed Report Card. Tree planting can help.

“Tree planting, and conserving and enhancing our forests, is essential for sustaining the productivity of our landscape, water quality and a healthy community,” Ian said. “We hear how trees contribute to cleaner air and water and help to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” he said. “Perhaps less well known are the human health benefits that trees and forests provide.”

Ausable Bayfield Conservation's Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist offers these 10 reasons to plant trees in 2021:
Take part in free lunch and learns.

Online Lunch and Learns


Conservation educators offer remote learning during provincial stay-at-home order; Winter in-person programs are cancelled; plans for spring programs remain in place

During the provincial stay-at-home order, people can watch conservation educators live through a series of free ‘Lunch and Learn with ABCA’ presentations.

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

Two new online synchronous (when there is live interaction between ABCA educators and students) learning programs are available for watershed teachers.

The Species at Risk program teaches students about local species at risk, including turtles, mussels and fish, found in the Ausable River.

The second program, Wonderful Wetlands, focuses on the at-risk habitat of wetlands.

Additional support for teachers is found on ABCA’s teacher’s resources section with printables, lesson plans and educational website links.

Learn more:
Local schools can apply for Watershed Champions grants.

Watershed Champions Grants for Local Schools


Local schools do projects to protect water, soil, habitat for living things with help of Watershed Champion grants


Grant returns for fourth year for schools in Ausable Bayfield watersheds for projects to improve water quality, forest cover, watersheds

There are grants for local schools to complete projects that: improve surface and groundwater quality, forest cover, and overall watershed health; or an educational school event or activity on one of these topics. The local conservation authority offers four grants of up to $500 each.

The 2020-2021 school year is the fourth year of the grant program. An application form and guidelines are available online at The deadline for applications is Monday, February 1, 2021.

Learn more:
This new, short video documentary follows the Healthy Watersheds environmental monitoring staff at Ausable Bayfield Conservation, for a day, as they search for an elusive species-at-risk fish – the Black Redhorse – in the Ausable River.

The nationally important Ausable River supports one of the most diverse communities of aquatic animals in Canada. At least 26 species of freshwater mussels and 85 species of fish have been found in this watershed. 

Watch the video now:  Also, learn how you can help protect the Black Redhorse and other Species at Risk. To find out about Canada’s Ausable River Action Plan, visit this web page:
Help us celebrate 75 years of watershed management.

Celebrating 75 years

We look forward to celebrating, with you, in 2021, 75 years of work, in partnership with the community, to protect life, property, water quality, soil health, watershed health, and habitat for living things.

Find out more:
World Wetlands Day is Tuesday, February 2.

Happy World Wetlands Day!

World Wetlands Day is this Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

We hope you will help celebrate this by helping to enhance wetlands for benefits such as habitat and water quality and quantity protection.

To find out about the wonders of wetlands, and how you can help, visit our website or search #WorldWetlandsDay on social media.

We are posting regularly leading up to World Wetlands Day.

Learn more:
Protecting drinking water sources at Goderich harbour, new video.

Second video in series shares ways local industry helps to protect water in Goderich

A local committee, working to protect drinking water sources, has released a second video in a planned series. The Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Committee (SPC) released the new video, in January 2021, about how Goderich marine industries help to protect the Great Lakes drinking water source in Goderich.

“We are pleased to release the second in this video series created to engage economic sectors and local residents,” said Matt Pearson, SPC Chair. 

The members of the source protection committee are using videos as one way to reach the people they represent and inform the public, according to the committee’s Chair. They help to show some of the ways people and businesses are protecting their local drinking water sources.

The new video shares ways industry members of the Goderich Port Management Corporation prevent contaminants from reaching Lake Huron in order to protect drinking water sources, tourism and recreation, and the local marine economy.

Watch the video now:
You are invited to take Huronview Demo Farm survey.

Huronview Demonstration Farm Survey

The Huron County Soil and Crop Improvement Association (HSCIA), and its industry and community partners, are evaluating the results of the Innovative Drainage Field Day held at the Huron County Demonstration Farm at the Huronview Complex near Clinton. 

For every survey submitted, $5 is to be donated to the Clinton Food Bank.

The survey is one way the project partners are:
  • Evaluating the long-term lessons from the sessions and tours
  • Finding out and understanding what people want to know about the Huronview Demonstration Farm, and
  • Learning how they want to find out more about it.
The drainage demo day was held on Saturday, June 15, 2019 and it attracted more than 350 people.

Take the survey now:

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) proposes changes to some shoreline policies in dynamic beach areas; invites public to comment 

ABCA accepting written comments, on proposed shore protection structure policy changes, in regulated dynamic beach areas

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) Board of Directors invites the public to provide written comments on some proposed shoreline policy changes related to shore protection structures in regulated dynamic beach areas. The proposed policy changes do not apply to all shoreline areas but only beaches classified as dynamic.

The loss and buildup of sand is a natural part of the shoreline process in a dynamic beach area but recent high lake levels have made the loss of sand more pronounced. In areas where some landowners have previously existing shore protection structures, some neighbouring landowners have also requested permits. 

The proposed policy changes are, in part, a response to this, to make it possible to consider approval of shore protection structures for those property owners in those areas.

“Policies in bluff areas do not change and most policies in dynamic beach areas stay exactly the same,” said Geoffrey Cade, ABCA Water and Planning Manager. “The only changes are to policies related to new shore protection structures, and maintenance or replacement of old ones, in regulated dynamic beach areas.”

The ABCA Board of Directors has approved release of the proposed policies to the public for written comments prior to consideration for approval. ABCA is receiving public written comments on the proposed changes until Friday, March 5, 2021.

To review the proposed policy changes, and to provide written comments, please visit this web page:
Learn more:
Review, comment on proposed shoreline policy changes.


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

Follow Us Online

Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Website Website
Instagram Instagram
YouTube YouTube
Copyright © 2021 Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list