1151 Bronte Road, Oakville
Ontario, Canada, L6M 3L1
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Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) are land and water areas containing natural features or ecological functions of such significance as to warrant their protection in the best long-term interest of the people and environment of Halton.
ESAs are part of The Greenlands System in the Halton Official Plan, which restricts the alteration of physical and/or biological features in these areas. While the general boundaries of ESAs are documented, precise boundaries are established through an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (1.7MB) which may be required when development is proposed near an ESA.
ESAs are documented through the Halton Region Environmentally Sensitive Areas Consolidation Report, April 2005. Information in this document is current to 2002.
Halton Region Environmentally Sensitive Areas Consolidation Report April 2005 2.8MB
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ESAs were first identified through a two-year program that involved a summer biological study and a hydrogeological study. Members of the Ecological and Environmental Advisory Committee contributed to the program by sorting through the available data, developing selection criteria, investigating candidate sites and selecting final ESAs.
As a result, 38 ESAs were identified and documented in Halton's 1978 ESA Study. Two years later, 37 of these ESAs were embodied into the Official Plan for the Region of Halton.
Halton Region has maintained its commitment to protecting these natural areas through continued protection and further study, including a review and updates to ESA designation criteria and ESA Updates in 1995 and 2002, which provided improved mapping and knowledge about the ESAs, recommended additions and deletions to existing ESAs and identified 10 new ESAs.
ESA designation does not imply that land will be purchased or expropriated by a public agency. It does mean that altering the physical and/or biological features of ESAs is restricted. Some ESA land is owned by public agencies but much of it is private property. Responsible stewardship of ESAs is the best possible protection that we can provide for these special areas.
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Halton Region is composed of
the City of Burlington,
the Town of Halton Hills,
the Town of Milton,
and the Town of Oakville .