Working to Protect Ontario’s Watersheds, their Natural Heritage, and our Receiving Waters
September 2022: In response to numerous realities, we are transitioning past efforts to create a series of headwater alliances into the Coalition on Ontario Watershed Alliances, found at COWA.
Key reasons for this transition and how it will function are that:
- People want to address full watersheds and not just the headwaters;
- Provincial actions tend to suggest we need a systems approach to counter Open For Business and the Housing Action Plan. The OHI is convinced that as long as we fight aggressive plans for increased development through a land use planning lens — we will continue to inherit degraded water quality and lose the natural heritage that sustains us and the agricultural lands that feed us;
- Instead, we believe that watershed planning must be the basis of further land use development in Ontario, whether urban, rural, or remote, in order to protect our waters, natural heritage, and agricultural lands for a sustainable future.
- There are fabulous watershed organizations out there. Rather than pretending that we have the resources to in some way create and manage headwater alliances, we believe it will be easier and provide more benefits to us all if we established a coalition of existing, autonomous watershed groups; and,
- Our role will be to establish the alliance and its website; co-ordinate a series of alliance webinars which we hope will be quarterly; and encourage local groups to build their networks within and across Ontario’s watersheds.