Jennifer O’Connell, member of parliament for Pickering–Uxbridge, announced $45,000 in federal funding under the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) to help Central Lake Ontario Conservation better plan for and prevent the effects of flooding.

“Central Lake Ontario Conservation (CLOCA) is at the front-lines of protecting communities from the devastating effects of floods. Within the CLOCA watershed, 2,510 buildings are flood prone within 113 flood damage centers,” said Jennifer O’Connell, member of parliament for Pickering–Uxbridge. “As we have seen across Ontario this spring, flood events have the potential to wreak havoc on communities and their residents. The Government of Canada is proud to have helped fund the CLOCA watershed flood risk assessment, so that CLOCA has the most updated, scientific analysis to prioritize flood mitigation projects and measures.”

This funding supported the acquisition of elevation information required to update floodplain mapping for the Town of Whitby and City of Oshawa. It also supported the acquisition of elevation information for small portions of the City of Pickering, Town of Ajax, Townships of Uxbridge, Scugog, and Municipality of Clarington.

CLOCA delivered this one-year project, which was initiated in 2018. It used Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to map a portion of the watershed, covering an area of 385 square kilometres. The use of LiDAR generated more detailed and accurate floodplain maps and improved flood models, which provided a better understanding of flood risks and allowing for more informed land use planning decisions.

“Accurate floodplain mapping is an important tool for land use planning and emergency management,” said Chris Darling, chief administrative officer of CLOCA. “This knowledge of flood hazards helps guide land use away from high-risk areas, protecting watershed residents and their property.”

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The Government of Canada cost-shares up to 50 per cent of eligible expenses for provincial projects and 75 per cent of eligible expenses for territorial projects. Central Lake Ontario Conservation, in collaboration with its partners (the Regional Municipality of Durham, the City of Oshawa, the City of Pickering, and the Town of Whitby) contributed $40,000 to implement these projects.

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