About

About the NPCA

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) oversees the Niagara Peninsula watershed, which encompasses the Niagara Region and portions of the City of Hamilton, and portions of Haldimand County.

NPCA delivers programs and services that focus on initiatives to help keep people and their property safe from flooding and erosion by regulating development near watercourses and natural features, predicting and issuing public flood warnings, guiding the protection of raw drinking water sources, testing water quality, managing and conserving natural resources, and education.

The Conservation Authorities Act was created in 1946, and is the reason Conservation Authorities exist.

The objects of a Conservation Authority are to provide, in the area over which it has jurisdiction, programs and services designed to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources other than gas, oil, coal and minerals.

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) manages the Niagara Peninsula watershed by:

  • Developing and implementing programs that help protect life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion.
  • Managing its 41 properties, including Ball’s Falls, Binbrook, Long Beach and Chippawa Creek, where it practices conservation, restoration, development, and the management of natural resources.
  • Providing comments to municipalities on planning applications that occur in the Niagara Peninsula watershed where that development is taking place in NPCA’s development review area

A Board of Directors governs Conservation Authorities. Board Members represent their respective municipalities, cities and counties. The NPCA Board of Directors has one employee, the Chief Administrative Officer, whose job is to lead the organization and its daily operations in a way that meets the direction set by the Board in its Strategic Plan.



NPCA Mandate

As prescribed by the Conservation Authorities Act:

  • To establish and undertake programs and services, on a watershed basis, to further the conservation, restoration, development, and management of natural resources; and

As prescribed by Provincial Regulations:

  • To protect people and property by regulating, and risk-mitigating development through reviewing and commenting on applications, issuing permits, and ensuring policy compliance within the appropriate legislative and regulatory framework.

Mission

To implement our Conservation Authorities Act mandate by remaining a responsive, innovative, accountable and financially sustainable organization.

Our success in meeting our mission is dependent upon working in collaboration with our partners in conservation. Ensuring the future viability of the Niagara Peninsula watershed is a shared responsibility.


Niagara Peninsula Watershed

A watershed is a geologically defined geographic area of land that catches rain and snow, and drains or seeps into a marsh, stream, river, lake or groundwater.

The Niagara Peninsula watershed includes lands that are predominantly drained by the Welland River into the Niagara River, as well as those lands drained by creeks and streams into Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Our complex watershed covers the Niagara region and parts of Hamilton and Haldimand. It is made up of homes, farms, cottages, forests, small towns, and large cities. Everyone shares the responsibility to conserve within the watershed.

What does our mandate mean, and how do we implement programs and services to execute our mission?


Conservation

NPCA practices conservation on all 41 of its Conservation Areas. NPCA manages and maintains its properties in order to provide diverse recreational and educational opportunities with the purpose of keeping the properties healthy for future generations.

Examples of our conservation programming include: Grooming our properties to encourage healthy ecosystems, planting native plants and trees to improve our water quality and overall land health, offering campgrounds and educational-based day camps.


Restoration

NPCA improves or redevelops natural landscapes and habitats at its Conservation Areas so that they remain safe for humans, wildlife, and plant communities. Ecological destruction is usually the consequence of pollution, deforestation, salination or natural disasters.

Examples of our restoration projects include: Designing agricultural buffers, enhancing slope stability, and the planting of native trees and plants.


Development

NPCA works within the framework that the provincial government sets to provide comment on the suitability of proposed changes or improvements to existing resources, and may recommend conditions based on Ontario Regulation 155/06: Development, Interference with Wetlands, and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses.

Examples of projects on which NPCA provides comments, recommendations or permits include: New dwellings and alterations to existing dwellings, pathway, and construction compliance when work takes place on properties that contain, for examples, a shoreline


Management of Natural Resources

Natural resource management deals with managing the way in which people and natural landscapes interact. It connects land use planning, water management, biodiversity, conservation, and the future sustainability of industries like agriculture. NPCA relies on a scientific and technical understanding of resources and ecology, and the life-supporting capacity of those resources.

Examples of how NPCA manages natural resources include: hunting permits, building permits, and floodplain mapping.


Strategic Plan

In 2011 the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority embarked on the process of developing its first ever Strategic Plan to guide the organization into the future. Todd MacDonald of Performance Concepts was engaged to carry out the work following an RFP.

Once the Strategic Plan 2014-2017 was complete, Performance Concepts was once again engaged to provide a review on its performance of implementing the Strategic Plan 2014-2017, which can be found here. This review informed the basis for Strategic Priorities that would guide the Areas of Focus for the Strategic Plan 2018-2021 (LINK TO STRATEGIC PLAN 2018-2021), which we are now in the process of implementing.