Who We Are & What We Do

Our responsibility under the Provincial Conservation Authorities Act is to protect, restore and manage our watersheds for today and tomorrow.

WHY CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES The Conservation Authorities Act was created in response to public concerns about the “unhealthy state” of renewable natural resources in Canada as a result of poor land, water, and forestry practices in the 1930s and 40s as well as erosion and drought concerns. It was recognized that these issues were better dealt with on a watershed basis. Conservation Authorities were created to bridge the gap between municipalities whol-ly or in part of the watershed boundary. This practical solution to watershed management ensures that the needs of all stakeholders are represented.

GOVERNANCE MVCA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of elected and appointed members representing each of the eleven municipalities in the watershed: City of Ottawa • The Towns of Carleton Place • Mississippi Mills • The Townships of Addington Highlands  • Beckwith • Central Frontenac • Drummond/North Elmsley • Greater Madawaska • Lanark Highlands •  North Frontenac • Tay Valley. MVCA is responsible for both the Mississippi and Carp River watersheds.

Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) is the local watershed management agency for the Mississippi and Carp Rivers in Eastern Ontario. Good water quality and quantity is essential for healthy people, animals and ecosystems. Working under the Conservation Authorities Act of Ontario, MVCA follows an integrated watershed management approach to balance human, environmental and economic needs. MVCA helps protect people and property from the dangers of flooding and natural hazards; keep drinking water sources clean; and foster the protection of wildlife habitats and significant natural features such as wetlands and forests.
water dropMVCA Vision 
“A watershed in which ecological integrity is maintained and human needs are met, now and in the future, in balance with the needs of the natural environment.”

It’s in the water. 
The MVCA programs and services displayed in the droplet contribute to our vision for a healthy watershed, for today and tomorrow.

1. Issuing Waterfront Development Permits. Whether you want to build a boat shed or renovate your home, MVCA’s field experts and engineers help you fulfill your needs and balance the environment’s.
2. Monitoring and Forecasting Water levels. MVCA monitors water levels across 11 municipalities to better prepare you and your family for spring floods and emergencies.
3. Helping Protect Your Drinking Water. MVCA works with Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to keep drinking water clean.

 Conservation Authorities use a watershed approach to manage water and natural resources in their regions. MVCA is funded by its 11 municipalities, located all or in part of the watershed, through a tax levy. Each municipality has access to professionals such as water resource engineers, biologists, environmental planners, stewardship and forestry specialists and GIS expertise. These staff work to provide flood forecasting and warning, manage water levels, prevent dangerous development, monitor the health of our lakes and rivers and conserve and restore areas of natural significance.


Step into Nature at three Mississippi Valley Conservation Areas! Discover unique attractions, from a museum honouring great local Canadians—James Naismith and R. Tait McKenzie—to hiking trails, outdoor education, and fun for the whole family!

The Mill of Kintail  Encourage social development in your kids or students with outdoor education school programs and summer camps or with a visit to the grist mill museum. Help them discover environmental diversity and local history alongside the Indian River at the beautiful Mill of Kintail Conservation Area. It is also home to a healthy population of monarch butterflies and is as a premier location for Night Sky Observation. Look for Night Sky Conservation events on our website.

Purdon  Enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk of a rare fen wetland and see species regenerating such as the Showy Lady’s Slipper orchids.

Morris Island  Go for a calming paddle minutes from urban Ottawa and escape the inner-city grind. Refresh your mind with exciting new sights: majestic trees, rarely spotted birds and beautiful shoreline landscapes.





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