Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) covers the upper watershed of the Thames River, an area of 3,421 square kilometres. The watershed’s location in a highly developed part of southern Ontario results in pressures from urban and rural land uses. The water quality of the Thames and its tributaries is impacted by drainage practices, rural and urban runoff, spills, and bank alterations, among other activities. Much of the forest cover in the watershed has been cleared for agricultural fields or urban development. The forests have also been affected by invasive species and over-logging.
Despite these pressures, the Thames remains one of the most biologically diverse rivers in Canada. The river is home to over 90 species of fish and many Species At Risk including the spiny softshell turtle and the queen snake. The entire Thames River system has been designated a Canadian Heritage River based on its rich cultural heritage and diverse recreational opportunities.
"I am a firm believer that our ecosystems are the key to our existence on this planet. We need to do everything we can to slow down the rapid change we are doing to our planet. Our city is directly below a major watershed that provides us with clean water and protection from flooding. We are vulnerable without it."
- Morgan C.
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