The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

Healthy Waters Program

The Healthy Waters Grant Incentive Program provides landowners and community groups with funding and technical assistance for environmental projects on their land

With your help, we can improve water quality and enrich fish and wildlife habitats in the Nottawasaga Valley and Georgian Bay. Only with everyone working together can we restore our rivers, nurture natural habitats, foster fisheries and improve water quality for drinking, swimming and playing.


The easiest way to find out if your project is eligible is to contact NVCA’s Healthy Waters Program Coordinator stewardship staff​.

Our stewardship staff have in-depth knowledge of the watershed, water quality improvement projects, how to restore habitat and other available resources and grant-programs. We’re here to help you help the environment!

Project Approval Criteria

  • Projects must be within the Nottawasaga Valley Watershed
  • Projects need to provide a public environmental benefit such as:
    • improved water quality
    • groundwater protection
    • habitat restoration
  • Applications need to include competitive quotes to ensure cost effectiveness
  • Funding is limited, so approval cannot be guaranteed
  • Work done before receiving funding approval does not qualify for funding
  • Work required by law is not eligible for funding

Eligible Costs

  • Purchased project materials and supplies.
  • Contract labour from a registered company. See project guidelines to find out if the contractor must be licensed for costs to be eligible.
  • Professional consulting fees for design, construction and supervision.

Ineligible Costs

  • Continual operating or maintenance costs.
  • Purchase of significant equipment and machinery. Rental equipment may be considered.
  • Grants will not be provided for costs of in-kind labour, equipment and personal expenses of the applicant, the applicant’s business or family members.
  • Research studies, surveys and sampling that do not provide direct benefits to the project.

Project Guidelines

How to apply

There are six steps to apply for NVCA’s Healthy Waters Program. 

Contact NVCA’s Healthy Waters Program Coordinator

Shannon Stephens, Healthy Waters Program Coordinator
705-424-1479 ext.239

  • Two competitive quotes
  • Any supporting photos, maps, project designs, etc.
  • $150 deposit. The deposit is refunded on completion or if project is not approved. It is forfeited if the project is approved but not completed. No deposit is required for self/volunteer plants.

Click here for the Healthy Waters Program Application Form

  • Approvals are based on fund availability, project design and expected habitat and water quality improvement.
  • Projects started before receiving grant approval are not eligible for a grant
You will need to submit
  • Copies of any required permits, well records, approvals or inspections
  • All project invoices/receipts.
    • Receipts must be from a registered company recognized by the Province of Ontario, or a municipality (e.g. permit fees)
      Proofs of payment that correspond to each receipt, such as bank-stamped cheques and/or other bank/credit card statements (original or signed copies). Remember to black-out sensitive information on your proofs!

Your grant cheque and a deposit is returned to you.  Please allow 4-6 weeks.

As part of grant agreements, landowners must  maintain the project for its intended purpose for 10 years or more.

Working together to restore our watershed

NVCA’s monitoring of water quality and natural habitat in the Nottawasaga Valley watersheds indicates that many of our river systems have been impaired, and critical habitat and functions lost. But with your help, much can be done.

About 95% of the land in the Nottawasaga Watersheds is privately owned. Achieving water quality and habitat targets will depend on everyone working in concert. Our stewardship programs assist landowners that want to protect and conserve our common waters.

Bringing Back the Nottawasaga – From Brook to Bay

The Nottawasaga Watershed covers 3,700 square kilometres. The valley contains diverse features and ecosystems.

The Nottawasaga River begins at the junction of the Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine. The river meanders down through the internationally significant Minesing Wetlands and out into Georgian Bay at Wasaga Beach, the world’s longest freshwater beach!

There are proven environmental, economic, social and health benefits to protecting our lakes, rivers and groundwater. Meeting and exceeding the watershed restoration targets will help safeguard these benefits.


Our targets


Naturally vegetated stream banks




Forest Cover


Interior Forest Cover

Every year about 47 tonnes of phosphorus enters the Nottawasaga River.

Phosphorus is a nutrient that encourages plant growth. Each 1kg of phosphorus can produce 300-500 kg of algae. Excessive concentrations can result in algal blooms. Certain species of algae can produce toxins. Additionally, when the blooms die, they consume oxygen which impacts aquatic life.

Phosphorus comes from agricultural runoff from croplands and pasture, urban runoff from lawns and gardens, failing septic systems, and sewage treatment plant effluent.

Nottawasaga Valley Watershed Phosphorus Sources

No Data Found

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