Established in 1995, Ontario Streams is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of streams and wetlands, through education and community involvement. Since our inception, we have worked closely with numerous communities, landowners, and school groups to develop lasting partnerships in education and environmental stewardship.
With over 20 years of experience, Ontario Streams has continued to demonstrate leadership in aquatic ecosystem rehabilitation, using the principles of Natural Channel Design. We have been sought after for information on an international level, however our most significant work has taken place in Southern Ontario. To date, many of Ontario Streams’ projects have occurred in and around the Greater Toronto Area, where the need for rehabilitation has been greatest. We regularly coordinate several projects with activities such as tree planting, garbage clean-up, habitat creation, bioengineering, biological monitoring, mitigating fish barriers, and restoring and creating wetlands.
By the year 2000, Ontario Streams completed its first Environmental Assessment, and was overseeing its first large-scale restoration project involving contractors, engineering firms, and municipal governments at the Rouge River Marshes. Shortly after the completion of this work, Ontario Streams was conducting larger scale projects, completing the surveying, design, and implementation of the Ringwood Wetland Creation Project, Sewells Road Wetland Restoration, and removing or bypassing online barriers in Caledon and Hamilton-Wentworth. To date, Ontario Streams has mitigated nearly 50 barriers to fish movement including perched culverts, dams, and online ponds on private and public land.
In addition to the large and small scale restoration projects that Ontario Streams continues to champion, the organization has also been involved in the development of several programs, studies, and information-sharing projects. Since 2008, Ontario Streams has worked in partnership with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to conduct Atlantic Salmon restoration experiments. Ontario Streams has also been responsible for the Ontario Stream Rehabilitation Manual, two forums, two Invasive Species Centre Technical Reports, and has partnered in the ‘Keep. Care. Be Aware.’ campaign for aquatic invasive species, the Lake Ontario Microplastics Monitoring Program, the Lake Simcoe Muskie and Walleye Rehabilitation Program, the Redside Dace Recovery Plan, the York Region Adopt-A-Stream Crossing tree planting program, and the Endangered Species Overall Benefit Catalogue. Ontario Streams also coordinates our own Adopt-A-Stream program where we help groups become involved in community stewardship by adopting local streams or wetlands.