The RRCA was established on October 10, 1963 and included the Raisin River watershed and its tributaries. It was enlarged on February 29, 1968 to include Hoople Creek, Riviere Delisle and Riviere au Beaudet. The most recent enlargement occurred in 2003, with the addition of the headwaters of the Rigaud River within the Township of North Glengarry.
The impetus for establishing the RRCA was to address local land use conditions such as flooding, poor farm drainage, and the provision of water supplies from the St. Lawrence River. The core business of the RRCA is flood control, plan review, habitat management and enhancement, water quality monitoring and reporting and pollution prevention. The largest flood control project undertaken by the RRCA was the Fly Creek flood reduction project. Constructed in the north end of the City of Cornwall, the Fly Creek storm channel and retention pond has alleviated flooding to a significant residential area of the city. Valued at 20 million dollars, the Fly Creek stormwater retention pond and channels was undertaken by the RRCA in cooperation with the City and senior levels of government.
One of the more significant events in the history of the RRCA occurred in the 1970s, when the International Joint Commission identified several Areas of Concern (AOC) along the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River system. An AOC is considered to be an area of high pollution and habitat degradation and the St. Lawrence (Cornwall) AOC encompasses more than 70% of the RRCA jurisdiction. Since the AOC was identified, a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) has been developed in consultation with local stakeholder groups in order to set a plan to ‘delist’ the AOC.
In recent years, outdoor recreation and education have been a major focus of the Authority. In the 1980s, several properties including the Charlottenburgh Marsh were purchased by the RRCA in order to protect and enhance this coastal wetland. An education centre was constructed and has been providing services to local communities and visitors ever since. Likewise, the RRCA has developed an extensive nature trail system at Grays Creek Conservation Area and in North Glengarry in the Garry River watershed.
The RRCA has five member municipalities: the Townships of North Glengarry, South Glengarry, North Stormont, South Stormont, and the City of Cornwall. There are eight members on the Board of Directors: two from the City of Cornwall, South Stormont and South Glengarry, and one from North Stormont and North Glengarry.
The vision of the Raisin Region Conservation Authority is:
“Working with our community for a better environment and healthy future.”
The RRCA is committed to the development and implementation of action plans in order to achieve this vision. The RRCA mission statement has been developed to guide staff in their day-to-day activities and in their planning for the future.
The mission statement of the RRCA is:
“To guide our community in the protection, enhancement and restoration of our natural environment through programs that balance human, environmental and economic needs for a sustainable future.”