The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is under an Agreement with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to review all proposed projects in or near water, to determine whether the project is likely to result in a harmful alteration, disruption or destruction (HADD) of fish habitat. We provide advice on possible measures to avoid an HADD, including the list of publications and fact sheets listed below. We also work closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and our conservation authority permitting staff to ensure proposals are circulated to relevant agencies for permits and review.
Development Setbacks and Fish Habitat Types
Our second responsibility with respect to fish habitat is to comment on development proposals. The majority of watercourses in the Niagara area have been given a "Type" by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and each type has a respective setback requirement in order to protect fish habitat from the potential effects of development. Below is a list of the Habitat Types and their respective setback requirements. Inquiries regarding the fish habitat typing of watercourses and watercourse mapping can be made to the NPCA office.
Type 1 Critical: A minimum 30-metre natural buffer should be maintained between any development and a Type 1 watercourse.
Type 2 Important: A minimum 15-metre natural buffer should be maintained between any development and a Type 2 watercourse.
Type 3 Marginal: A minimum 15-metre natural buffer should be maintained between any development and a Type 3 watercourse.
Municipal Drain Classification Project
The NPCA is currently working towards finalizing the classification of municipal drains for the Municipal Drain Classification Program. This has involved assessing the fish habitat, fish community and thermal characteristics of municipal drains in our jurisdiction. This classification system will help assist local municipalities in avoiding any harmful effects of drain maintenance activities on fish and fish habitat.