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LETTER: SSEA serves essential role helping local municipalities, individuals

'We stand beside our organizations that work so hard every day to protect the environment that is essential to our future generations,' local Green Party official says
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(stock photo)

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Last week, Tay Council questioned the value of the services provided by the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA). The SSEA was created by its member municipalities to deliver environmental services for those eight member municipalities, including Tay.

SSEA, like Conservation Authorities and other watershed based organizations, are not-for-profit organizations. They rely on their municipalities for the support necessary to carry out their mandate which includes source water protection.

We all remember Walkerton and the lives lost with that disaster.

Conservation Authorities and SSEA also assist landowners and developers to work with environmentally protected lands to ensure that preserving natural heritage and wildlife and progress can be compatible.

Conservation authorities and SSEA also oversee the general protection of wetlands and habitat. We know that this protection is vital to the future of safe water and species generation. Tay residents in Paradise Point had to flee their flooded homes recently.

These flood waters run over septic systems carrying debris and contaminated water into Georgian Bay putting drinking water sources at risk. SSEA has advocated for upgrades to and could assist with improving stormwater management.

SSEA also merged with Sustainable Severn Sound (SSS) last year. SSS is working with the SSEA member municipalities supporting the implementing of a significant federal grant to develop climate action plans and reduce greenhouse gas production. That merger resulted in enhanced service to the municipalities.

We understand, like most organizations, that COVID-19 has taken a financial toll on SSEA with the need for enhanced IT as it’s work needed to be accomplished at a distance. Covid has taken a toll on all of us. We are grateful that municipalities have had some financial support for those challenges from the province.

We stand beside our organizations that work so hard every day to protect the environment that is essential to our future generations

Erik Schomann
Simcoe North Green Party of Canada Association CEO