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Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is an independent, corporate body established, in 1946, under the Conservation Authorities Act in Ontario, thanks to the vision of local municipalities and the need for some programs to be delivered on a watershed basis.

The watersheds of Ausable Bayfield Conservation are located in Southwestern Ontario bordering the southeast shores of Lake Huron.

This conservation authority proudly carries the banner of being the  first of 36 conservation authorities formed across 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, water supply, and water quality.

The jurisdiction was enlarged to include the Bayfield River drainage basin in 1972 and the organization's name was changed to Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).

Ausable Bayfield Conservation encompasses the drainage basins of the Ausable River, Bayfield River, Parkhill Creek and the gullies between Bayfield and Grand Bend draining directly to Lake Huron.

The 2,440-square-kilometre area of jurisdiction is largely rural with a population of 45,000.

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


Protect, improve, conserve, and restore the watershed in partnership with the community.


Healthy watersheds where our needs and the needs of the natural environment are in balance.


The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority is governed by the Board of Directors, made up of members named by the 12 member municipalities.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority
71108 Morrison Line, R. R. # 3
Exeter, Ontario
N0M 1S5

Phone: 519-235-2610 or 1-888-286-2610
Fax: 519-235-1963

Contact staff:
  • Corporate Services
  • Stewardship and Conservation Lands and Conservation Education
  • Water and Planning
  • Healthy Watersheds 
  • Drinking water source protection

Website Sitemap or Site Map

Ausable Bayfield Conservation is updating its website to serve you better - more of our clients and customers are using smart phones and tablets and other devices to find information online so we have redesigned the website so you can use it better on your phone. As part of this update, we are updating content and some pages have new page names.

Here are some of the pages on our site: