A conservation authority is a local conservation organization that operates in accordance with the Conservation Authorities Act.
The objects of the Conservation Authorities Act in Ontario have remained constant since it was first enacted. A conservation authority is to establish and undertake, in its area of jurisdiction, a program designed to further conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources (other than gas, oil, coal and minerals).
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority has a local board of directors selected by 12 member municipalities. The members are usually elected representatives but municipalities have the option of selecting a representative from the community. The board, with community input, determines the local mandate.
Watershed residents support ABCA through municipal levies and individual donations. Local support from the municipal levy makes it possible to bring in additional financial resources from private sources and different levels of government.
Almost three-quarters of funding for conservation in this watershed comes from sources other than municipal levies. The combination of municipal, provincial, federal, and private support helps to protect and enhance water quality, plant trees, create habitat, enhance wetlands, and increase biodiversity.