What is a Watershed Plan?

Planning for the Future

CVC is asking for your help in developing a new watershed plan for the Credit River Watershed that will use the latest science and input from partners, stakeholders, and residents to inform how to protect and restore the local environment, and build infrastructure and sustainable communities.

The watershed planning process is a collaborative effort between CVC, partner municipalities, community groups and associations, local residents and businesses, and other partners.

You can be a part of the watershed plan, too. Together, let’s create a watershed plan that protects, connects, and sustains our local natural environment.

The Credit River Watershed

No matter where you live or work, we are all located in a watershed. A watershed is simply defined as an area of land that drains surface water and groundwater into a river or stream.

Credit River Watershed Map

Situated within one of the most-densely populated regions of Canada, the Credit River Watershed contains some of the most diverse landscapes in southern Ontario. The Credit River is almost 90 km long and meanders southeast from its headwaters in Orangeville, Erin and Mono, through nine municipalities, eventually draining into Lake Ontario at Port Credit in Mississauga. Learn more about the Credit River Watershed.

The First Credit River Watershed Plan – 1956

Two copies of the Credit Valley Conservation Report, 1956, on a table, one closed and one open to show the inside cover.

The Credit Valley Conservation Report, 1956 was produced over three years by the Ontario Department of Planning and Development. E.F. (Ted) Sutter worked on surveys for this report for two years and was appointed field officer for CVC in 1956, making him our first employee. This initial watershed plan has shaped and informed the management of the Credit River Watershed for the last 65 years.

A Renewed Focus

The new watershed plan will allow us to establish goals, objectives and actions for the protection of natural resources, the management of human activities, land, water and wildlife. Watershed planning is holistic and cross-jurisdictional, addressing current and future watershed-wide threats to the environment.

Creating the Watershed Plan

The Evolution of the Watershed (2021)

The first phase of the Watershed Plan will tell the story of the health of the Credit River Watershed and how it has evolved from the 1950s to today.

Understanding Watershed Health (2022)

The second phase of the plan will look towards the future (to 2051). We’ll project how the health of the Credit River Watershed may be affected by changing climate and land use, and the actions we take.

Making a Blueprint (2022-2023)

In the final phase, we’ll develop a blueprint with a call to action to protect, restore, enhance, and ensure the long-term health of the Credit River Watershed.

Frequently Asked Questions

The watershed of a river includes the entire area of land that drains, or ‘sheds’, its rain or snow melt into that river. The boundaries of a watershed are determined by the landscape and elevation surrounding a river.

A watershed plan is a tool that helps us understand the past and plan for the future health of the watershed. It identifies current and future conditions in forests, wetlands, streams and groundwater, and proposes solutions that address any identified issues.


CVC’s first watershed plan was completed in 1956. This new plan will use the latest science and data, as well as stakeholder and community input to establish long-term priorities for CVC and municipal partners. It will set the stage for CVC’s scope of work for years to come.


We are engaging in meaningful collaboration with CVC technical experts, partners, Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the public over the course of the watershed plan’s development. We will be hosting public consultation activities at key stages of the project, please visit this page often or sign up for project updates. We welcome your questions, comments and feedback about the project.

Upcoming Events

News & Blog

Get Involved in our Annual Butterfly Blitz On May 6, we launched our fifth annual Butterfly Blitz. This …

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Save the Environment, Make Friends It takes a community to protect a watershed and within that community is …

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Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), Ontario Nature and Conservation Ontario are pleased to announce that 14 of CVC’s properties …

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