What is the Natural Heritage System?
Halton Region has natural areas such as woodlands, wetlands, streams, creeks, valleylands, and meadows which provide habitat for diverse plants and animals. The remaining natural areas in Halton are considered our heritage and the heritage of future generations. Healthy natural areas best survive when connected and linked to other natural areas.
A Natural Heritage System results when various natural areas are connected and protected for present and future generations.
Why is the Natural Heritage System in the Regional Official Plan?
Halton Region and all other municipalities in Ontario are responsible for protecting the natural environment. Preserving natural heritage is a key part of Halton’s planning vision. The Natural Heritage System provides environmental, health, economic, and cultural benefits for today and future generations.
Halton Region implements its planning vision through policies in its Regional Official Plan.
What NHS policies are in the Regional Official Plan?
The Regional Official Plan (ROP) sets out policies that protect and enhance the natural environment using a scientific and systems-based approach. The policies of the ROP:
- Protect and enhance plant and animal habitat
- Maintain natural Escarpment features
- Preserve and enhance air and water quality
View Regional Official Plan Explained - Natural Heritage System
Please refer to Regional Official Plan Section 114.1
Why are we reviewing the Regional Official Plan?
Halton Region, like all municipalities in Ontario, is required to review and update their Official Plans to be consistent with and conforming to provincial policies and plans.
A review of Natural Heritage System policies will make sure the Regional Official Plan:
The Regional Official Plan Review – Phase 1 Directions Report, 2016 (PDF file) identifies the policy themes under review.
View Planning Act, Section 26(1) (external link)
What other Natural Heritage System policies are we reviewing?
We are reviewing and updating Natural Heritage System and water resource policies, plans, and maps to incorporate the recommendations of the following source water protection plans:
Source protection plans contain policies that set out actions to protect a clean, safe, and sustainable water supply for all Ontario residents.
View Clean Water Act, Section 26 (external link)