Quinte Conservation is one of Ontario's 36 conservation authorities. We are a community based environmental protection agency. Located in eastern Ontario, Quinte Conservation provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership that develops and delivers programs to ensure the healthy coexistence between the community, its environment and its economy.
Our 6,000 square kilometre area includes the drainage basins of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and all of Prince Edward County and is home to over 117,000 people living in 18 municipalities. Quinte Conservation owns over 30,000 acres of land ranging from small parcels at some of our 39 water control structures, to large tracts of over 1,000 acres, many with significant natural features.
Our mission is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. Our vision is to be the premier ecologically sustainable watershed.
Our success is based on: local initiative, watershed jurisdiction and partnerships in resource management. We are a member of Conservation Ontario.
Quinte Conservation has the distinction of being one of 36 conservation authorities in Ontario. The name came about as a result of the amalgamation of three local conservation authorities in 1996; Moira River, Prince Edward Region and the Napanee Region. Of the three that amalgamated, Moira and Napanee are the oldest, formed in 1947 (Prince Edward Region formed in 1965). Both Moira and Napanee were quick to respond following the passage of the Conservation Authorities Act in 1946, legislated by the provincial government that year in response to a concern expressed by agricultural, naturalist and sportsman’s groups who felt the province’s renewable natural resources were in an unhealthy state.
Although the responsibility for managing natural resources lay within the province, the extent of erosion and water concerns was such that a new approach was deemed necessary. Years of drought and deforestation had led to extensive soil loss and flooding in the province and the time had come to regroup and address growing conservation issues. By 1947, half a dozen municipalities had already accepted the responsibility of urging the government of Ontario to form an authority within their watershed jurisdictions. These newly formed conservation authorities would have jurisdiction over one or more individual watersheds, charged with the responsibility of addressing flooding issues in a complete and rational way. By having the power to establish regulations, these Authorities were now able to protect life and property, flood prone areas from building encroachment, and erosion problems.
Since this rather humble beginning in 1946, today’s 36 conservation authorities operate in watersheds in which 90 percent of the provincial population resides. Managing Ontario’s watershed resources is a massive undertaking involving foresters, ecologists, planners, local municipal members, engineers, agroscientists, educators, and a host of others who work harmoniously together with watershed residents in addressing conservation related problems within their watershed.
The Moira River Conservation Authority was formed July 31, 1947. It is part of a large system of rivers, creeks and lakes that drains an area of almost 3,000 square kilometres. Due to the Moira watershed’s history of serious floods the province declared the MRCA in 1984 as the lead agency in protecting lives and property from the dangers of flooding. The Napanee Region Conservation Authority was formed November 20, 1947, comprising about 2,000 square kilometres. The Prince Edward Region Conservation Authority was formed December 9, 1965, encompassing over 1,000 square kilometres. With the amalgamation of these three conservation authorities in 1995 Quinte Conservation became a provincial leader in streamlining operations while still providing an excellent level of service to its municipalities.