News Release: Updated Watershed Plan for Carruthers Creek

While it may be a small watershed in Durham Region, Carruthers Creek is certainly an important one. Connecting Pickering and Ajax, this unique watershed, home to several rare plants and fish, drains into the north shore of Lake Ontario.

A new Watershed Plan will aim to protect the ecological health of Carruthers Creek now and for years to come. Community input on both the Vision and Management Philosophy which guide this new Watershed Plan will help Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the Region of Durham create a healthier future for Carruthers Creek.

map of Carruthers Creek watershed
Click map to enlarge

In 2003, a state-of-the-art Watershed Plan was developed, which identified existing watershed conditions and made recommendations to protect, restore, and enhance the natural systems and water quality of Carruthers Creek. Watershed residents and stakeholders provided input during plan development, which led to the establishment of better management practices.

The updated Watershed Plan will assess the current health of the watershed, revisit its Vision and Management Philosophy, and make recommendations to protect the future health of Carruthers Creek, based on today’s conditions.

Field investigations began in 2015 to assess the watershed’s physical features and ecological functions. Over the next two years, TRCA scientists will apply the data and analyses in modelling exercises, which simulate alternative land uses and the effects of potential future impacts (including climate change).

The final plan will not result in a decision on future land use designations. Rather, it will recommend management actions focused on the protection, restoration, enhancement, and long-term management of the watershed.

The recommendations will apply to existing land uses, and potential changes throughout the entire watershed. There will be opportunities for public input on recommended management actions and the entire Watershed Plan itself before being finalized.

“Carruthers Creek is a significant watershed that requires the sound and intensive study now to protect it long into the future. The updated Watershed Planning process, under the leadership of TRCA, will ensure our decisions moving forward are based on scientific findings and support the Province’s new directions in Watershed Planning for local municipalities.” — Gerri Lynn O’Connor, Chair of the Durham Region Planning & Economic Development Committee

“A robust Carruthers Creek Watershed Plan, based on the most up to date science and extensive consultation will provide guidance in our shared responsibility to protect the natural environment, property and infrastructure against future climate impacts.” — Regional Councillor Colleen Jordan, Town of Ajax

“It is important for the previous work established in the 2003 Watershed Plan to be updated with current field work and expert analyses so we have the best recommendations for the long-term health of Carruthers Creek watershed. My experience with TRCA is that they ensure sound, science-based planning, while building collaboration. Protecting a watershed is a team effort and we all play a part.” — Regional Councillor Kevin Ashe, City of Pickering

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