The Hamilton Conservation Authority, headquartered at the western end of Lake Ontario, is the region’s largest environmental management agency. For over 50 years it has spearheaded grassroots environmental efforts to help ensure a safe and sustainable community.
The HCA owns, leases or manages about 4,400 hectares (10,900 acres) of environmentally significant land. Much of it is home to rare plants, birds and mammals whose existence depends on an environment that is not pressured by human activity.
Our comprehensive, coordinated approach to watershed management is supported by a broad range of activities which include the following:
Flood Forecasting and Flood Control
As mandated by the province, the HCA is the lead flood forecasting and control agency in the City of Hamilton region. As part of this responsibility, the HCA operates dams at the Christie Lake and Valens Conservation Areas, and manages natural flood-control areas such as wetlands and floodplains. Additionally, the HCA reviews all applications for fill and construction within defined floodplains, and provides plan review comment to identify regulated areas floodplains and susceptible areas where development is proposed. This service plays an integral role in protecting infrastructure, industry, property and natural lands.
Environmental Planning & Watershed Management
Today, it is widely recognized that effective planning controls must be in place to prevent, or regulate new developments in or near natural areas and flood plains. The HCA provides valuable planning and technical assistance in this regard to local municipalities by recommending land use policies and reviewing development applications with potential impacts to wetlands, floodplains and watercourses. The HCA also remains an important commenting agency to the City of Hamilton, providing valuable planning and technical advice on environmental matters.