skip to main content


About Ausable Bayfield Conservation

Introduction to Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA)

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is an independent, corporate body in Southwestern Ontario on the southeast shores of Lake Huron. It is one of Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities with the mandate to ensure the conservation, restoration and responsible management of Ontario’s water, land and natural habitats through programs that balance human, environmental and economic needs.

We are governed by the Conservation Authorities Act and have 12 member municipalities: Adelaide Metcalfe; Bluewater; Central Huron; Huron East; Lambton Shores; Lucan Biddulph; Middlesex Centre; North Middlesex; Perth South; South Huron; West Perth; and Warwick. 

The 2,440-square-kilometre area of jurisdiction is largely rural with a population of 45,000 and includes the drainage basins of the Ausable River, Bayfield River, Parkhill Creek, Mud Creek and the gullies between Tower Line in Central Huron and Grand Bend draining directly to Lake Huron. 

This conservation authority proudly carries the banner of being the first conservation authority formed in Ontario. 

Municipalities in the Ausable River watershed formed the Ausable River Conservation Authority (ARCA) in 1946 to deal with serious problems of local flooding, soil erosion, habitat loss, water supply, and water quality. The jurisdiction was enlarged to include the Bayfield River drainage basin and Lake Huron shoreline watersheds in 1972 and the organization's name was changed to Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority.

The mission and vision for Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority were set by a diverse group of 34 community members who created the guiding Conservation Strategy in 2012. 

Our mission is to protect, improve, conserve, and restore the watershed in partnership with the community. 

Our vision is healthy watersheds where our needs and the needs of the natural environment are in balance.

Please visit the Governance web page to learn more about the guiding documents for the ABCA: 

Map of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority watersheds

Here is a map showing the watersheds of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority area:

Ausable Bayfield Conservation watersheds

Municipalities of the ABCA Watershed Area:

Here is a map showing municipalities of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority watershed:

Municipalities of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation watershed.