Technical Report_2015

The Oak Ridges Moraine

The Oak Ridges Moraine is one of Ontario’s most significant geological landforms. This irregular ridge stretches 160 kilometres from just west of the Trent River to the Niagara Escarpment. Shared and enjoyed by millions of people, it is the source of water for many river systems, home to a wealth of natural habitats and an enormous groundwater recharge system and drinking water source for central southern Ontario. Boasting 273 kilometres of trail and countless outdoor recreation activities, the Moraine offers something for everyone. It is a vibrant place for people to live, work and play in harmony with nature.

The Moraine divides the watersheds that drain south into Lake Ontario from those that drain north into Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe or Rice Lake and east to the Trent River. The Moraine’s sand and gravel deposits act like a giant rain barrel, storing rain and snowmelt. This underground water is then filtered through layers of sand and gravel (aquifers) and slowly released as cool fresh water to the rivers and streams flowing from the Moraine.  Virtually every stream west of the Trent River within Northumberland County has a source connection to the Moraine.

The Conservation Authorities Moraine Coalition
The Conservation Authorities Moraine Coalition was established in 2000.  The nine Conservation Authorities with watersheds extending onto the Oak Ridges Moraine came together to advance the science and understanding of the Moraine. Our mission is to work towards government, agency and community support for the conservation and protection of the form, function and linkages of the Oak Ridges Moraine. The watershed boundaries of the nine independent conservation authorities – Central Lake Ontario, Credit Valley, Ganaraska Region, Kawartha, Lake Simcoe Region, Lower Trent, Nottawasaga Valley, Otonabee, Toronto and Region – collectively cover the entire moraine. Together the conservation authorities own more than 14,000 hectares of the Moraine. This makes them responsible for the largest and most strategically located tracts of land protecting the headwaters of the 65 river systems originating on the Moraine. These lands include Alderville Woods and Burnley Creek Natural Habitat Areas which are owned and managed by Lower Trent Conservation

To view the 2015 Report on the Environmental Health of the Oak Ridges Moraine and Adjacent Greenbelt please click on the image below. This report highlights the portion of the Oak Ridges Moraine situated within the Otonabee Region watershed.

Image For Our Report

To view the complete report, entitled The Environmental Health of the Oak Ridges Moraine and Adjacent Greenbelt Lands please visit