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Our New Strategic Plan

In nature, rarely do things stay the same. Our watershed is no different. And like our planet, it is undergoing significant change - the natural systems and the societal ones too. 

We are the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, the leading, local agency dedicated to the health of this watershed we call home. We’re here to help guide and influence the necessary changes to address what’s ahead. There’s no doubt we are in the midst of challenging times, but we remain optimistic. Through oversight, our expert knowledge and by bringing people together, we will be the catalyst for the change we seek.


Transformation 2022-2024, our new Strategic Plan, reaffirms our vision of watershed health and the mission we aspire to achieve. The values we hold at our core, underpin our actions and will lead us to meaningful outcomes that will have positive impacts across our watershed community. Through this next chapter, we seek to transform the way we consider our work and its effects. And in doing so, we will transform our watershed.


Transformation is also a call to action. A call out to every level of government, to every resident, business, community group, and volunteer. To secure our future, and that of many generations to come, we need to collaborate for change. We look forward to this new chapter and hope you will engage with us on this journey of transformation.  

Who We Are

The Lake Simcoe Watershed 

The Lake Simcoe watershed is a 3,400 square kilometre area of land that sweeps across 20 municipalities, from the Oak Ridges Moraine in the south to the Oro Moraine in the north, through York and Durham Regions, Simcoe County and cities of Kawartha Lakes, Barrie and Orillia.  

It has been inhabited by Indigenous Peoples since creation. We recognize the Williams Treaties First Nations, including the Chippewas of Georgina Island, Rama and Beausoleil and the Mississaugas of Alderville, Curve Lake, Hiawatha, the Credit and Scugog Island. We are committed to renewing our relationships and deeply appreciate their historic connection and unwavering care for this land and water.

A map of the Lake Simcoe Watershed with municipal  and regional boundaries identified

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority 

We are a local watershed management organization incorporated under the Conservation Authorities Act. For over 70 years, we have been dedicated to conserving, restoring and managing the Lake Simcoe watershed. Our jurisdiction includes the entire Lake Simcoe Watershed with the exception of the City of Orillia and the Upper Talbot River subwatershed. 

We are governed by an 18-member Board of Directors, appointed within a four-year cycle by its 9 member municipalities. Each year, the Board of Directors elects a Chair and Vice Chair from among its 18 members. 

The Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation raises funds to support our environmental initiatives. 

Who We Are

The Context

The challenges of the future are guiding our path forward. They influence our perspective, shape our innovations and form the basis on which we make our business plans and decisions. The context of our future is continuously evolving and includes significant considerations around our changing climate, regional growth and demographics as well as impacts from shared community values and concerns.

What might we expect with a changing climate? 

Numbers showing future changes to days above 30C, below -10C and changes to precipitation events

What might we expect with a changing region? 

More Urbanization and People

New Communities

A graph showing increasing bars with icons showing a cityscape, a group of people and a dollar sign

Economic Pressures and Opportunities

Demand for Natural Areas

What might we expect with a changing society? 

A page with a magnifying glass
Two arrows pointing in opposite directions
Two arrows showing showing a cycle

The need for transparency to diminish misinformation

The need for unity to mitigate polarization

The need for resilience to adapt to change

Our Way Forward

Our Way Forward

Our Vision 

Healthy lake, healthy land, healthy life... for generations to come. 

Our Mission 

We collaborate to protect and restore the Lake Simcoe watershed

with innovative research, policy and action. 

Our Values

Sun and horizon - image by Dawid Zawiła


We are confident that the work we do is having a positive impact now and for the future.

Closeup of a colourful autumn leaf


We value and respect the importance of a diversity of perspectives, knowledge and experience.​

A hand holding a lighbulb - Image by Diego PH


We encourage and pursue advancements in science, technology, education and communications because these are integral to success. ​

A hand holding a compass in the woods


We are consistent and honest; we use fair and equitable principles as part of our decision making. ​

A group of ferns unfurling, photo by Jaakko Kemppainen


We take ownership for our actions and we measure our success so that we know if we're doing the right things the right way. ​

Strategic Directions

Trees and flower icon

Strategic Direction One 

Champion Watershed Health and Climate Resilience

Our work on the land

We commit to protecting people, property, drinking water sources and restoring protected areas as we find a balance between what society and our environment needs.  


People, property and infrastructure are protected from natural hazards through planning, permits, enforcement of regulations and flood management and warning activities.


Healthy communities are supported through effective plan review services for our municipal clients.


Drinking water sources are protected through our leadership of the source water protection program.


A resilient watershed is achieved through nature-based restoration solutions and an increase in protected areas on rural, urban and agricultural lands.

A magnifying glass icon showing a graph closeup

Drive Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Our science and knowledge 

We use environmental science, collaborative research and data to protect the integrity and strengthen our watershed management decisions.

Strategic Direction Two 


Knowledge of watershed health and management decisions are improved through comprehensive, leading-edge science.

Decision makers access, understand and implement integrated watershed management plans and their recommendations.


Effectively and securely managed data facilitates collaboration and analysis, improving decision-making.


Climate change considerations drive internal and external programs, policies, plans and practices.


An icon of a hand holding a seedling

Strategic Direction Three 

Spark a Passion and Action for Nature 

Our role in fostering the people & nature relationship 

We protect that which we love. We inspire awareness and action by fostering an appreciation of nature - through leading edge education programming, outdoor opportunities and communications. 


Landholdings provide ecological and human health benefits in a sustainable way.


Mutually beneficial partnerships leverage knowledge and resources for watershed health outcomes.


Target audiences are aware of our organization’s purpose, programs and services. 


Watershed communities consider us a trusted, transparent and inclusive organization. 


Watershed communities are engaged, educated and inspired to care and take action for watershed health.

A star icon

Advance Organizational Effectiveness and Excellence 

Strategic Direction Four 

Our behind-the-scenes business operations

We execute our mission effectively and efficiently through excellent organizational practices and transformative digital solutions to reach our Vision. 


Proactive financial management and reliable funding sources support sustainable operations.

Internal and external clients receive excellent service and have their diverse needs met.


Legal business obligations are upheld through proactive measures.


Effective and efficient business processes demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement and environmental sustainability. 


An icon showing a group of people

Nurture People and Talent   

Strategic Direction Five 

Our staff and workplace culture 
We strive for a workplace that attracts and retains talent, a welcoming and engaging culture where professional opportunities thrive and engaged staff collaborate for watershed health. 


Skilled talent is attracted and committed to our vision and have opportunities to grow and develop.

Employees feel a sense of belonging and contribute to a safe and healthy culture where diversity, equity, inclusion and wellness are celebrated and promoted.


Staff are highly engaged and have the technical resources, knowledge, and collaborative opportunities to do their jobs effectively, securely and efficiently.


Strategic Directions

Evaluating and Reporting on our Impact 

Transformation 2022-2024 urges us to improve our ability to identify, evaluate and track longer term impacts, which we will achieve through internal processes. We’re committed to transparency and will report on this work publicly, on an at least annual basis, through a formal report to our Board of Directors.

Join Us


We don’t manage the watershed alone. We rely on a multitude of partners to make our vision of a Healthy lake, healthy land, healthy life… for generations to come even possible! 

If you live, work or play in the Lake Simcoe Watershed, you are part of the solution moving forward. Join us as we embark on this next chapter together.


One way to stay in touch is to sign up to "Buzz", our quarterly newsletter, or engage with us on our social media channels.   

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