Working to Protect Ontario’s Watersheds, their Natural Heritage, and our Receiving Waters


Research forms the foundation of the OHI’s interests and focuses on science, policy, and performance as they relate to headwater health and watershed management.

Many of our research efforts resulted in papers or submissions, educational projects such as Headwater Hikes or our YouTube Channel, civic engagement initiatives such as WaterScape and Headwater Alliances, or led to additional research, such as the development of suggested indicators of headwater health that came from our headwater mapping project, OHMapping.

Examples of positive outcomes from policy research and submissions have included:

  • Ensuring the inclusion of watershed management in the Great Lakes Strategy;
  • Submitting the first set of targets under the Great Lakes Protection Act, suggesting a series of goals for natural heritage protection;
  • Helping to get words in the Provincial Policy Statement that watershed management can be a foundation for considering cumulative impacts of development;
  • Securing some of those targets in land use planning prior to the election of a new government in 2018; and,
  • Making numerous submissions on many issues, including those that helped influence the withdrawal of Schedule 10 of Bill 66 to create special bylaw areas that could have ignored the Clean Water Act.

We remain dedicated to the development of a sustainability lens for Ontario’s land use planning framework, Ontario’s transition to Integrated Watershed Management, and enhanced protection for our headwaters and their catchments. .