The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) was established on April 30, 1959 under the Conservation Authorities Act, and serves approximately half a million people in the Niagara Peninsula Watershed, encompassing the entire Niagara Region and portions of the City of Hamilton and Haldimand County. The NPCA manages the impact of human activities, urban growth and rural activities on the watershed.
With its unique resources, the Niagara Peninsula is one of the most complex watersheds in the Province. It includes lands drained by the Niagara River, Twenty Mile Creek, the Welland River, the Welland Canal, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. NPCA programs focus on initiatives that help keep people and their property safe from flooding and erosion while keeping our drinking water safe to drink.
The NPCA’s ongoing commitment to land stewardship is reflected in management of over 2, 870 hectares of some of the most sensitive and unique natural areas in Niagara. These lands are held in public trust, allowing the people of Niagara to enjoy its distinctive natural heritage at 39 Conservation Areas, each offering diverse recreational and educational opportunities and a place to experience nature’s beauty.
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is a registered charitable organization.
The Establishment of Conservation Authorities
In response to concerns about drought and deforestation in the late 1920’s and 1930’s, the Province of Ontario passed The Conservation Authorities Act in 1946. This legislation embodies three fundamental principles:
- local initiative of the municipalities to become involved in resource management projects
- cost-sharing between the Province and the member municipalities
- the use of watershed units as the logical basis on which to develop rational and integrated resource management programs
There are 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province covering virtually all of Southern Ontario and the more heavily populated sections of Northern Ontario.
Conservation Authorities Mandate
The legislative mandate of the Conservation Authority, as set out in Section 20 of The Conservation Authorities Act, is to establish and undertake programs designed to balance the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources. The NPCA fulfills this mandate by implementing programs that:
- Improve the quality of lands and waters
- Contribute to public safety from flooding and erosion
- Provide for the acquisition of conservation and hazard lands
- Enhance the quality of life in its watershed by using its lands for recreation, heritage preservation and conservation education