The Monitoring the Moraine (MTM) project, a collaborative project of Citizens’ Environment Watch (CEW), STORM Coalition (Save the Oak Ridges Moraine), and COMAP, is designed to engage and sustain community volunteers in science, stewardship, monitoring and decision-making on the Oak Ridges Moraine. MTM will provide for policy monitoring through the “Moraine Watch” project in 2008. The Moraine Watch project supports a network of voluntary organizations, with training and instructional materials, planning expertise, coordination and a web application provided by COMAP.
The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP) is implemented by municipalities through the adoption and approval of official plans and zoning by-laws. Community groups can assist in tracking land use applications, municipal decisions, general performance, appeals to OMB, and other activities over time.
The ORMCP is an ecologically-based plan established by the Ontario Government to provide land use and resource management direction for the 190,000 hectares of land and water within the moraine plan area. The purpose of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan is to provide land use and resource management planning direction to provincial ministers, ministries, and agencies, municipalities, municipal planning authorities, landowners and other stakeholders on how to protect the moraine's ecological and hydrological features and functions. The Ontario Government's vision for the Oak Ridges Moraine is that of ‘a continuous band of green rolling hills that provides form and structure to south-central Ontario, while protecting the ecological and hydrological features and functions that support the health and well-being of the region's residents and ecosystems’.
Community groups, supported by the MTM project, will monitor the activities of municipalities to determine if they have completed the actions assigned to them in the ORMCP and whether their decisions and planning applications are in compliance with the ORMCP. By determining municipal councils’ compliance with the ORMCP, the Moraine Watch project will be able to report on how the Plan is being implemented, and ultimately how effective it is in protecting the moraine’s ecological integrity.
The Moraine Watch Tracking System web application enables monitors to track development applications and council decisions by completing prescribed web-forms and locating development proposals on the map of the Oak Ridges Moraine.
Moraine Watch Tracking System
WIDE research is maintained on the web with Username and Password protected access. For access please call or email COMAP using the ‘Contact Us’ link on this page.
To launch the Moraine Watch Tracking System application (click here)
The mapping facility indicates whether the locations are within or outside constraint boundaries of the plan. Searches by discreet map polygons representing upper or lower tier municipaly (32 on the Moraine) watersheds or the Moraine boundary, will generate reports with compliance records. Mapped representation of these datasets will be coloured to distinguish between compliant development applications, non-compliant applications, and ORMCP exempt applications.
The Moraine Watch system will has a roll-based access system to support data entry by the network of community groups supported by the MTM project.
Moraine Watch Manual
“The purpose of this manual and associated training sessions are to provide the following tools for community groups monitoring imple¬mentation and conformity of the ORMCP:
- information about how the ORMCP affects your municipality (Appendix A)
- general information about land use planning (Appendix B)
- ways to assess planning applications against the ORMCP (Moraine Watch Checklist)
- strategies for what to do with collected information
- ideas on how your monitoring activities will contribute to long-term protection of the moraine
Monitoring involves consistent sampling repeated over time. The information gathered through this project will help build a picture of how well the ORMCP is working by annually assessing municipal performance and building support for the 2015 ORMCP review and beyond.
The ORM Conservation Act and Plan are products of collective community action. Similarly, the future health of the moraine will not rest solely with the provincial or municipal governments; residents and other interested parties must also be involved. People living and making a living on or downstream of the moraine must work together to ensure that the ORMCP is not only adhered to but is also effective and relevant over time.” Debbe Crandall, Executive Director, STORM Coalition
To download a copy of the Moraine Watch manual (click here)