This dataset identifies municipal drains that have been classified as fish habitat by the Provincial Ministry of Natural Resources. It excludes those drains that appear to have been natural streams that were modified to serve as drains. These were identified through a review of the Illustrated Historical Atlas of the Counties of Lincoln and Welland (1876) and a review of detailed contour lines. Municipal drains not classified as fish habitat are not included in this dataset.
Municipal drains are developed and constructed under the authority of the Provincial Drainage Act. The local municipality plays a key role in the development of the drain but the landowners in the drainage area cover the costs. Once a drain is constructed it becomes part of the municipal infrastructure and the municipality is responsible for repairing and maintaining it. More detailed information can be found in section 7 of the Regional Policy Plan or at http://www.regional.niagara.on.ca/living/icp/policy-plan.aspx.