Current Watershed Conditions
Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA)
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The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) is one of Ontario's 36 conservation authorities. Located in northern Ontario, the SSMRCA provides cost-effective watershed management based on over 50 years of local experience.
Our watershed encompasses a 552 square kilometre area which includes the St. Marys River watershed and a number of smaller watersheds draining the northern shore of Lake Superior. Sault Ste. Marie is home to approximately 74,000 people.
The SSMRCA owns and manages over 5,000 acres of diverse ecosystems including forests, wetlands and shorelines. Some of the properties contain significant natural features while others hold portions of our five flood control channels, the Fort Creek Dam and Reservoir. These water control structures help protect against the loss of life and property damage due to flooding.
Conservation Authorities (CA’s) are known globally for their stewardship of our rivers, lakes and streams through the development and delivery of comprehensive programs that work with nature to protect, restore and effectively manage Ontario’s water resources. Based on Ontario’s system of watersheds, their initial jurisdictions were in water resource management, which later became integrated with wise land use.


Over 50 years ago, on November 21, 1963, the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority was established through an Order in Council.

A month following the unanimous vote of municipal representatives, the Ministry of Lands and Forests announced the establishment of the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA). The local municipal representatives were Frank W. Lamming and H.P. Lethbridge of Korah Township, Gordon S. Marshall from Prince Township, Robert G. Black and G.W. Holder of Tarentorus Township, and Charles Rowe and Donald Evans representing the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

The Townships of Korah and Tarentorus subsequently amalgamated with the City of Sault Ste. Marie and today, the City of Sault Ste. Marie and approximately two-thirds of Prince Township comprise the area under the jurisdiction of the SSMRCA.

Major improvements to the local infrastructure through the construction of a dam and five flood control channels have subsequently reduced the incidence of flooding that regularly occurred prior to their development. A core mandate of the SSMRCA is to prevent the loss of life and property damage due to flooding.

The SSMRCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities located across Ontario. After a half century of service, former and current staff of the SSMRCA can be proud of their achievements in providing a comprehensive flood control and flood warning system, Conservation Areas, recreation and education opportunities, planning and development regulatory controls, forestry and stewardship programs and drinking water source protection planning.

Conservation Authorities have become known for their integrated watershed management approach and have proven that dedication to a more holistic view of the environment is necessary to ensure future generations inherit a legacy of responsible stewardship.


City of Sault Ste. Marie

Prince Township