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Incorporated in 2003, the Ontario Headwaters Institute has naturally had a focus on headwaters but also always understood and worked on associated issues, from source water protection and land use planning to wetlands, watershed management, and the health of the Great Lakes.

Now, we are pleased to announce that the OHI has obtained supplementary letters patent, as described below, to bring our objects in line with changes over the last decade that have included evolving government policy frameworks, emerging scientific terminology and technologies, and the over-arching trend toward holistic environmental management.

We are not changing course away from headwaters, but the new objects formally sanction our efforts to include their catchments, natural heritage, and full watersheds.     

They also include groundwater, receiving waters, biodiversity, sustainable development, and other aspects of the hydrologic and ecological integrity of Ontario. And they tidy up objects dealing with research, communications, education, and outreach.

We will keep you informed as we continue to champion headwater health within our new mandate to work for broader ecosystem protection for this and future generations.

For example, we will be presenting at next month’s Latornell Symposium, where we will distill the core messages we heard in this past winter’s WaterScape project. Called Voices from across the Landscape, the presentation will summarize observations and thematic issues heard at six community meetings on the government’s initiative on Protecting Water for Future Generations: Growing the Greenbelt in the Outer Ring.

As always, we look forward to talking with you downstream,

The OHI’s new Objects

  • To promote the protection and preservation of Ontario’s headwater streams and their catchments;
  • To conduct and commission research and to develop and provide educational material and experiences, including position papers, publications, presentations, meetings, and outdoor activities, in order to increase public and private understanding of the importance of Ontario’s headwaters, their catchments, and their roles in the hydrologic and ecological integrity of Ontario’s watersheds; and,
  • To develop and lend our research and educational expertise to issues aligned with headwater health and watershed management, including groundwater, natural heritage, receiving waters, biodiversity, sustainable development, and other aspects of the hydrologic and ecological integrity of Ontario.