(Submitted by WAG member Lucy Richmond)
During the past year, the Trust’s Watershed Action Group (WAG) has been busy in both The Town of Collingwood and in The Blue Mountains. Here are some of the things that we have been working on to fulfill our mandate to preserve and conserve local watersheds and watershed ecosystems:
- WAG promotes environmentally sensitive development. We monitor development proposals in our respective Municipalities for their compliance with Official Plans and with the Development Agreements developers and municipalities finally negotiate. When the preservation and conservation of our watersheds or the watershed functions of watershed ecosystems are being threatened, we appeal to our respective municipal planning departments, and/or to provincial Land Use Tribunals, for relief as proscribed under the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal Act. We also support the decisions of these tribunals which are, under the Act, final and binding.
- During Official Plan Review periods WAG works with our municipal partners to enhance the wording of Official Plans so that, when finally revised, they reflect the interests of the Trust and improve or expand the functionality of watershed ecosystems.
- In keeping with the provincial Drainage Act and Conservation Act Protocols WAG is researching how other communities are adapting to the challenges of climate change. Drainage infrastructure design that protects development already in place from seasonal and intermittent flooding, while sequestered water during times of seasonal and intermittent flooding, naturally, already exists. We are especially interested in new techniques of reforestation and in the re-establishment of watershed ecosystems destroyed through clear-cutting and standard development and building techniques in use in our watershed areas.