Ontario Proposing to Extend Bowmanville Creek, Soper Creek and Wilmot Creek Urban River ValleysPublished on September 27, 2021
Wetland additions would add 115 acres to the Greenbelt
CLARINGTON ― The Ontario government is announcing its intention to add to the Greenbelt wetlands connected to the Bowmanville Creek, Soper Creek and Wilmot Creek.
Following public consultation and engagement with Indigenous communities this fall, the government could begin the process of extending the existing Bowmanville Creek, Soper Creek and Wilmot Creek urban river valleys, which connect the Greenbelt to Lake Ontario.
The proposal to add these wetlands came from the Municipality of Clarington and the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, as part of a 60-day initial consultation to grow the Greenbelt. The addition of these wetlands would add 115 acres to the Greenbelt and help to provide permanent protection of these lands so they can continue to be enjoyed by future generations.
This fall, the government will consult with the public and engage with Indigenous communities on maps showing land that could be added to the Greenbelt, such as proposed urban river valley extensions to Bowmanville Creek, Soper Creek and Wilmot Creek, other urban river valleys and the Paris Galt Moraine area.
- Established under the Greenbelt Act, 2005, the Greenbelt is a broad band of protected land that currently includes over 800,000 hectares of land in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
- The Growing the Greenbelt consultations could result in the largest expansion of the Greenbelt since its creation in 2005.
- The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing intends to engage in phase 2 consultations this fall in order to solicit specific feedback from local organizations on the boundaries.
- There are currently 21 urban river valleys in the Greenbelt. These are the valleys of rivers that pass through cities or towns and act as urban gateways to the Greenbelt.
- The government also recently announced in Clarington its intention to add Darlington Provincial Park to the Greenbelt. This would add up to 500 acres to the Greenbelt.
- The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing recently announced that he is adding two acres of protected and enhanced greenspace for every acre of land developed through the use of a Minister’s Zoning Order.
"In our first consultation, we heard strong community support for adding a wetland area to the Bowmanville Creek and Soper Creek urban river valleys and adding more wetland area to the Wilmot Creek urban river valley. This shows how important the water systems in and around Clarington are to the local communities. I am delighted to share our first proposal on growing the Greenbelt, which includes adding, expanding and further protecting urban river valleys."
- Steve Clark
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
"Extending these urban river valleys builds awareness of the importance of wetland areas and the key role of watersheds to Ontario’s overall environmental health and the well-being of our communities. Our government will continue to protect the environment for generations to come."
- David Piccini
Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
"Today, we are sharing with the community the provincial government’s intention to add these wetlands to the Bowmanville Creek, Soper Creek and Wilmot Creek urban river valleys. We want to hear from the community directly about these proposals and our other proposals to add urban river valleys to the Greenbelt."
- Lindsey Park
Member of Provincial Parliament, Durham
"We look forward to working with the provincial government and providing valuable input on the proposed extension of the Bowmanville, Soper and Wilmot Creeks Valley Systems. We appreciate the collaboration as we work to secure these important wetland areas for the enjoyment of our community and future generations."
- Adrian Foster
Mayor of Clarington
"We welcome the potential extension of these Creeks to include important connected wetland systems under the protection of the Greenbelt. There is strong public support for the ongoing protection and enhancement of the Greenbelt. Healthy, functioning water systems are only going to get more important in the region as the population grows and we experience the increased impacts of climate change."
- Edward McDonnell
CEO, Greenbelt Foundation
"We’re pleased to see the province is able to expand the urban river valley in the Central Lake Ontario watershed with the addition of important wetland areas that will benefit the watershed and its residents."
- Kim Gavine
General Manager, Conservation Ontario
"Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority recognizes the importance of adding wetlands to the Greenbelt’s Urban River Valley designation. These wetlands play a critical role in supporting healthy watersheds by providing clean water, flood mitigation and wildlife habitat, including species at risk. The addition of these areas will build on the legacy of the Greenbelt Plan."
- Bob Chapman
Board Chair, Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority