Municipal and Conservation Authority policies typically require the protection of wetland habitat from development. Wetlands in Ontario can be placed in one of three levels of significance: Provincially Significant (PSW), Regionally Significant (RSW), and Un-evaluated. These wetlands are typically mapped within the Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC) interactive map service, however in some instances may be un-mapped due to a lack of information.
When land development is proposed, areas which display wetland characteristics must be appropriately delineated and characterized. This is typically done through the completion of vegetation and wildlife surveys. The limit of the wetland is then delineated using GPS equipment and presented on a figure showing the limit and recommended setback distance. Consultants conducting this work must hold a certification from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System. It is not uncommon that Conservation Authorities and/or the Ministry of Natrual Resources and Forestry request to have their staff on-site to confirm the limit of the wetland with the consultants. This ensures that all parties are in agreement and applications can be processed in a timely manner.
To find out whether wetland habitat is present on or adjacent to your property, please visit the NHIC Make-a-Map web map here.