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Who are we?

Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) is a provincial agency established in 1968 to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in the Mississippi and Carp watersheds, and portions of the Ottawa watershed.

What is a watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains into a single river.  Because water flows down hill, the boundaries of a watershed are the hills that separate one river from another.

Some municipal boundaries follow these heights of land, but most do not.  This is why conservation authorities were established—to enable municipalities to jointly manage water and associated natural resources as they function in nature—at a watershed level.

MVCA’s largest watershed is the Mississippi River, which traverses eleven municipalities.  The Carp River is our smallest watershed and is entirely located within the City of Ottawa.  Both these rivers discharge into the Ottawa River, which has a watershed that encompasses large areas of Ontario and Quebec.  In Ontario, the province has divided conservation authority responsibilities amongst several jurisdictions, with MVCA having authority between Marshall Bay (Arnprior) and Shirley’s Bay.


MVCA is governed by the eleven municipalities within the Authority’s jurisdiction.  Each municipality has representation on MVCA’s Board of Directors, and provides significant funding to support the work of the conservation authority.  Activities of the Authority are carried out in accordance with the following key legislation and by-laws.