Our Harbour

Community Partners

Hamilton Clean Harbour Program

A Community of Stakeholders
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From the earliest days of the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan, the Hamilton community has recognized that the only way to achieve the goals of the plan was to work together, with governments, corporations, institutions, community organizations and private citizens each playing an important role in creating and sustaining a healthy harbour. This stakeholder approach has been the strength of the HHRAP and a key feature of the City of Hamilton’s work through the Clean Harbour program.  With City Council taking the lead by making historic investments in the water and wastewater infrastructure that supports all the other harbour restoration efforts, dozens of community stakeholders have taken on important roles in returning the harbour to ecological health.

Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (HHRAP)
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The Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan identifies key impediments to the ecological health of the harbour and details the path to achieving the delisting of the harbour as an area of concern (AOC).  The plan addresses water quality, fish and wildlife, and toxic substances and sediment remediation. All stages of the plan involve detailed monitoring and reporting in order to meet water quality targets, standards for fish and wildlife health, milestones for habitat creation/protection and other factors. 

According to the HHRAP, the most significant component of cleaning up Hamilton Harbour is the reduction of pollution coming from combined sewer overflows and treated wastewater which is why the work of the Clean Harbour program on upgrades to the Woodward Wastewater Treatment Plant and the construction of combined sewer overflow (CSO) tanks is so vital to the success of the HHRAP.

The HHRAP office plays an important coordination and information-sharing role with all stakeholders. Learn more about the HHRAP.

Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC)
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The Bay Area Restoration Council is a non-profit community organization that serves as the public face and advocate of the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan.  BARC is responsible for engaging the public in the HHRAP, for helping provide the information and education that is a necessary part of securing public support for the HHRAP and for advocating on behalf of the HHRAP with governments, organizations and the public. 

Since its founding in 1991, BARC has run successful volunteer and public programs with an emphasis on school programs, volunteer planting events, community workshops, evaluative reporting on current issues and opportunities for online engagement.

Visit the BARC website.

Bay Area Implementation Team (BAIT)
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19 different organizations – representing the corporate sector, local institutions, non-profit organizations and four levels of government – constitute the Bay Area Implementation Team. The BAIT partners provide the strategic direction, industry/sector expertise, resources and operational capacity required to deliver both the short-term and long-term projects required to delist Hamilton Harbour as an area of environmental concern. BAIT works on a consensus-based process to deliver the remedial action plan for Hamilton Harbour.

BAIT Partners:

Strength in Partnership
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The people and organizations working to protect and restore Hamilton Harbour bring a diverse and powerful set of perspectives, skills and abilities to the task.  Beyond the members of the Bay Area Implementation Team (BAIT), a number of community partners make important contributions to restoring the harbour.

  • The Six Nations community and the City of Hamilton work closely together on the Joint Stewardship Board to preserve Haudenosaunee interests and incorporate First Nations’ perspectives into the environmental management strategies for the Red Hill Valley that is such an important part of the Hamilton Harbour watershed.
  • The Stewards of Cootes Watershed is a neighbourhood-based, grassroots organization that educates local communities and citizens about the importance of environmental health and biodiversity while also providing hands-on opportunities for volunteers to help protect and restore the Cootes Paradise marsh and the creeks that connect to it.
  • Environment Hamilton has a diverse mission of education, advocacy and action related to issues such as food security, sustainable transportation, clean air and healthy water.  The organization has a strong track record of identifying and raising awareness of key issues related to the health and sustainability of Hamilton Harbour and its watershed.